Edmund Richardson, "Alexandria: The Quest for the Lost City Beneath the Mountains" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

36:14
 
Share
 

Manage episode 301883587 series 2421484
By Marshall Poe. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

The story of Alexander the Great has inspired conquerors and would-be conquerors throughout history. Alexander’s sweep through the Middle East and Central Asia left behind evidence of his mark on history--namely, in the several cities that he founded, and that sprung up to govern the kingdoms he left behind.

One man looking for evidence of Alexander was Charles Masson: a deserter from the East India Company who reinvented himself as an archaeologist and scholar in Afghanistan. Academic, traveller, writer and unwilling spy, Masson’s story is told in Professor Edmund Richardson’s book Alexandria: The Quest for the Lost City (Bloomsbury, 2021)

We’re joined in this interview by David Chaffetz, who’s a regular contributor to the Asian Review of Books, and the author of Three Asian Divas: Women, Art and Culture In Shiraz, Delhi and Yangzhou.

In this interview, the three of us talk about Charles Masson and his experiences in Afghanistan. We talk about what drove this man to embark on his archaeological calling, and how his story meshes with the story of the East India Company and Afghanistan. And we end on what Massey’s story and observations teach us about how to understand Afghanistan today.

Edmund Richardson is Professor of Classics at Durham University. He has published Classical Victorians: Scholars, Scoundrels and Generals in Pursuit of Antiquity, and was named one of the BBC’s New Generation Thinkers in 2016.

You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Alexandria: The Quest For the Lost City. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.

Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/archaeology

77 episodes