Alexander the Great IN ANCIENT GREEK!

Massive thanks to Barefaced Greek for their expert help in making this video. Find out about their films in Ancient Greek here:

Alexander is played by Charlie Merriman, an actor who studied Ancient Greek and Latin at Cambridge University. With Barefaced Greek, he performs in plays and videos in Ancient Greek.

Watch the English version of this speech and our series on the conquests of Alexander here:

The speech is taken from the ‘Anabasis of Alexander’ (Book VII Chapter X), written around 130 AD by the Roman/Greek historian Arrian. Arrian had access to eyewitness accounts which are now lost (principally Ptolemy and Nearchus), and modern historians generally agree that this speech was a real historical event, and that Arrian gives a good representation of its likely content. Ultimately, however, this speech was written by Arrian, and Alexander’s exact words are not known.

The speech has been abridged and edited for this video. You can read Arrian’s full version in English translation here:

Buy Alexander books at Amazon (as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases):
The best recent Alexander biography
A short introduction to Alexander
The most recent English translation of Arrian

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Comment (21)

  1. For those interested in the pronunciation used in this video, and why it doesn't sound like modern Greek, here's some info from Barefaced Greek, who helped produce this video and regularly stage Ancient Greek plays in their original language:
    “There is quite a big difference between the way we think ancient Greek was pronounced and the way modern Greek is pronounced. There are a lot of different vowel sounds in ancient Greek, which have now conflated to become the same ‘i’ sound in modern Greek pronunciation.
    In Barefaced Greek films we use the Erasmian pronunciation of the ancient language – which is how scholars (in the UK, US and Germany and many other academic/pedagogic communities) believe it was pronounced, based on a range of linguistic techniques for understanding how a dead language might have sounded. Modern Greek speakers tend to use modern Greek pronunciation for the ancient language (understandably) and the two sound quite different.
    Obviously it’s an ongoing and lively debate, and we are completely engaged with new developments in our understanding of the sound of the ancient language. For those seeking more info, Wikipedia has a good introductory article here:
    Or get in touch with Barefaced Greek to chat more about it.”

  2. People really need to stop using the Erasmian pronunciation. This is NOT how Greek was spoken. Very cool video nonetheless.

  3. Great video! Great effort. Ancient Greek language is the "Grandfather" of modern Greek but essentially still the same language; the accent is understandably not very good, so it makes it difficult to follow/understand everything; i would love it hear the narration made by a Greek, like Alexander was.

  4. when he said:
    humes satrapai
    humes strategoi
    humes taxiarkai
    i really felt that. ancient greek sounds weird but when written it just looks like modern greek. quite understandable to say the least.

  5. Modern Greek – Koine Greek Comparison ⬇️

    Koine Greek:

    Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Λόγος
    καὶ ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν
    καὶ Θεὸς ἦν ὁ Λόγος

    Modern Greek:

    Στην αρχή ήταν ο Λόγος
    και ο Λόγος είναι με τον θεό
    και θεος ήταν ο Λόγος

    Koine Greek Transliteration:

    En archi ein o Logos
    kai o Logos ein pros ton Theon
    kai Theos ein o Logos

    Modern Greek Transliteration:

    Stin archi itan o Logos
    kai o Logos einai me ton Theo
    kai Theos itan o Logos

    Koine Greek is 2,300 Years old…..🏛

    ^^^The Conclusions are all Yours ✅

    -Sebastianos the Philhellene 🇬🇷

  6. Alexander was originally an Iranian who won the civil war against the Achaemenid Empire, and Greek historians falsely portrayed Alexander as Macedonian in order to alleviate some of the humiliation of Xerxes' conquest of Athens.

  7. Macedonia never saw an army capable of confronting the great Achaemenid Empire. The Achaemenid Empire disintegrated in a civil war. You needed a hero to hide your humiliation behind it, and who better than Alexander, who had won the Civil War.

  8. Most horrible butchering of Greek that I have encountered yet. I speak and read ancient Greek and this was the most horrific narration I have heard. Almost sounds like Norwegian.
    The phonetics are horrible. Why not leave the Greek to the Greeks and scholars who pracrice it. English professors not only butchered this video but have bastardized the english translation of Alexander.

  9. Πολύ καλό το βίντεο και ωραία η προσπάθεια, όμως τα αρχαία Ελληνικά πρέπει να ξέρει κάποιος να τα προφέρει σωστά, κοινώς να τα απαγγέλει και όχι απλά να τα διαβάζει, ειδάλλως ακούγονται αλλόκοτα! Οι αρχαίοι Έλληνες πρόφεραν διαφορετικά το ''ο'' από το ''ω'', όπως και το ''ι'' από το ''η'' και το ''υ'' ή το ''ει'' αλλά και το ''οι'' και γενικά όλα τα φωνήεντα και τους δίφθογγους. Αυτή είναι η διαφορά με τις υπόλοιπες γλώσσες! 🙂🏛

  10. Sounds very camp to me from when being said in the ENGLISH language !!!!!!! these is no such thing as a british language by the way people


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