Holt, Frank L. 1954–

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Holt, Frank L. 1954–

PERSONAL:

Born April 6, 1954, in Lynchburg, VA; son of Elwood (a brick mason) and Jane (a textile worker) Holt; married Linda Drinkard (a homemaker), May 17, 1975; children: Laura. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Lynchburg College, B.A., 1976; University of Virginia, M.A., 1978, Ph.D., 1984.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Houston, TX. Office—University of Houston, Department of History, 536 Agnes Arnold Hall, Houston, TX 77204-3785. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Professor, writer, and lecturer. University of Houston, Houston, TX, professor of history, 1982—, director of graduate studies. Houston Mummy Research Program, director, 1987-90.

MEMBER:

American Numismatic Society, Association of Ancient Historians, Institute for Balkan Studies.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Craddock Prize, Southwest Historical Association, 1983; Alexander Medal, Macedonian Society, 1995; Aristotle Prize, Greek Government, 1999; several distinguished teaching awards from the University of Houston.

WRITINGS:

(Editor) W.W. Tarn, Greeks in Bactria and India, Ares (Chicago, IL), 1985.

Alexander the Great and Bactria: The Formation of a Greek Frontier in Central Asia, Brill (New York, NY), 1989.

Thundering Zeus, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1999.

Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2003.

Into the Land of Bones: Alexander the Great in Afghanistan, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2005.

Contributor of dozens of articles to professional and popular journals, including Newsweek, Archaeology, Aramco World, History Today, Ancient World, Numismatic Chronicle, Revue Numismatique, Ancient Macedonia, and Ancient History Bulletin.

SIDELIGHTS:

Frank L. Holt is professor of history at the University of Houston. He is considered one of the world's leading authorities on Alexander the Great, Hellenistic Asia, and numismatics (the study of coins and other forms of money). He has published five books and nearly fifty articles and has lectured on these topics across the globe for both academic and general audiences. In 2003's Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions, Holt traces the historical background of the famous Elephant Medallions, which bear the likeness of Alexander the Great, since their discovery in 1880. Holt explores the changes that have taken place in the field of numismatics since these artifacts first appeared in Afghanistan and Iraq and "ably illustrates the last 150 years of scholarship," noted Clay Williams in his review of the book for Library Journal. Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions "presents not only an interesting glimpse into the life and times of Alexander the Great but also into the archeological process and the science of numismatics. It takes highly technical information and presents it in a way so that the non-scholar can understand and enjoy it, making it appropriate for an audience with a variety of backgrounds," noted Mary G. Saracino in her review of the book for World History Connected. "Holt's search for the truth reads like an A-class detective novel," wrote Nick Welman in a Pothos.org review.

Into the Land of Bones: Alexander the Great in Afghanistan, published in 2005, is a historical account of Alexander the Great's campaign through ancient Bactria, now Afghanistan. The book brings to light "probing questions about the current situation in Afghanistan and also tries to draw up meaningful lessons from Alexander's experiences. Holt attempts to explain why Bactria [to] date has not been conquered completely and … situates the current war in Afghanistan in a broader historical perspective. [The author adds] that one cannot help but see a visible similarity between Alexander's campaign and the current/ongoing U.S. war in Afghanistan," remarked Amina Khan in her review of the book on the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad Web site. "Holt's book is compulsory reading for anyone who tries to understand the events in Afghanistan," observed Jona Lendering, a critic for Bryn Mawr Classical Review. According to Historian contributor A.B. Bosworth: "This rich book will attract anyone who cares about Afghanistan in ancient or modern times."

Holt once told CA: "I write so that readers will be astonished to discover that something as old and ‘irrelevant’ as ancient history can be thoroughly engaging and useful. I like to catch the eye of a busy commuter with such titles as ‘French Fries and the Fall of Rome’ and compel him/her to spend some time with a subject completely outside the scope of the day's business."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, July 1, 2005, Gilbert Taylor, review of Into the Land of Bones: Alexander the Great in Afghanistan, p. 1894.

Historian, December 22, 2006, A.B. Bosworth, review of Into the Land of Bones, p. 876.

Library Journal, January 1, 2004, Clay Williams, review of Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions, p. 126.

Weekly Standard, November 21, 2005, "Alexander's Nemesis: After 2,300 Years, History May Not Repeat Itself."

ONLINE

Bryn Mawr Classical Review, http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/ (June 23, 2004), Filippo Canali De Rossi, review of Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions; (August 18, 2005), Jona Lendering, review of Into the Land of Bones: Alexander the Great in Afghanistan.

Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad Web site, http://www.issi.org.pk/ (December 8, 2008), Amina Khan, review of Into the Land of Bones.

Pothos.org: All about Alexander the Great, http://www.pothos.org/ (December 8, 2008), Nick Welman, review of Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions.

University of Houston: The College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Web site, http://www.class.uh.edu/ (December 8, 2008), faculty profile of Frank L. Holt.

World History Connected Online, http://www.historycooperative.org/ (December 8, 2008), Mary G. Saracino, review of Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions.