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Alexander the Great's Impact in Ancient and Modern Afghanistan

April 3, 2006

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MACOMB, IL - - How could the activities of Alexander the Great in ancient Afghanistan carry over to modern history? Frank Holt, University of Houston history professor, will present the guest lecture "Alexander the Great in Afghanistan in Ancient and Modern Times" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 11 in Currens Hall 205 on the Western Illinois University campus. The lecture is open free to the public.

Holt is considered a leading scholar on Alexander the Great and Hellenistic Bactria. He also specializes in ancient military history and its impact on Western military philosophy. His talk will touch on some of the issues in his recent book, including his premise that what President George Bush called the first war of the 21st century actually began more than 2,300 years ago when Alexander the Great led his army into what is now a sprawling ruin in northern Afghanistan. Accounts of Alexander’s invasion of ancient Bactria strikingly preview news reports from today's war.

He will trace Alexander's historical, archaeological and numistical legacy back and forth between ancient Bactria and modern Afghanistan; and he will explain how modern superpowers - - Britain in the 19th century, the Soviets in the 20th century and the U.S. in the 21st century - - continue the struggle that Alexander began. Holt's lecture will position the current war in Afghanistan in a broader historical perspective.

Holt has appeared on the History Channel and has been a contributor to the National Geographic Society and BBC for his research on Alexander the Great.

Holt's lecture is made possible with funding from the Visiting Lecture Committee and the University Theme Committee.

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