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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Who’s Great?

By Debbie J Challis, on 25 March 2011

The answer is Alexander, or more properly Alexander III of Macedon. In February I accompanied the Friends of the Petrie Museum to Holland to see two exhibitions on Alexander the Great at the Hermitage Museum and Allard Pearson museum in Amsterdam.

Although I work at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, I am a rogue classicist with an unhealthy interest in Greek Egypt. My partner in crime, John J Johnston, and myself had already planned to theme our LGBT History Month for 2011 around Alexander the Great in 2010. We were then very excited to see that two exhibitions were planned around Alexander in Amsterdam. Jan Picton, Secretary of the Friends of the Petrie Museum, suggested that I tag along on a Friends trip to assist with information.

We also visited the Leiden National Museum of Archaeology where two Buddhist heads (see above) from Afghanistan in the ‘Greek style’ reminded me how far flung Alexander’s empire and Hellenic influence spread in his eastern campaign.