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Arrian was a Roman historian, public figure, military commander and well-acclaimed philosopher of the 2nd Century. As a youth, he studied under Epictetus, and later strove in his literary works to emulate the great soldier-historian, Xenophon. Considered by many to be the most important work on Alexander the Great, Arrian's "The Anabasis of Alexander" is an accurate and thorough account of the Macedonian conqueror's military exploits. Writing in the 2nd Century, nearly 400 years after the death of Alexander, Arrian had access to many important works which are now lost. He took information from the contemporary works of Callisthenes, Onesicritus, Nearchus, Aristobulus, and most significantly from the biography of Alexander by Ptolemy, one of Alexander's generals and possibly his half-brother. The text focuses mainly on Alexander's military history, and includes very little on his wider political views or personal life.