Medieval Narratives of Alexander the Great: Transnational Texts in England and France (Studies in Medieval Romance, Book 20)

October 31, 2020
Medieval Narratives of Alexander the Great: Transnational Texts in England and France (Studies in Medieval Romance, Book 20)

How was Alexander the Great - controversial king, conqueror,explorer, and pupil of Aristotle, the subject of histories,romances, epic poetry, satires, and sermons in most of thelanguages of Europe and the Middle East - read, written andrewritten during the High Middle Ages? Aiming to illuminate notonly the conqueror's history but also the fast-changing and complexliterary landscape that existed between 1150 and 1350, this studyconsiders Alexander narratives in Latin, varieties of French andEnglish - the Alexandreis, the Roman d'Alexandre, the Roman detoute chevalerie, and Kyng Alisaunder - to address this vast andwide-ranging question. These important Alexander works are comparedwith the fortunes of other prestigious inherited tales, such asstories of Arthur and Troy, highlighting the various forms oftranslatio studii then prevalent across northern France andBritain. The book's historically appropriate focus on Latin, Frenchand English allows it to take a multilingual and comparativeapproach to linguistic, literary and political cultures, movingaway from interpretations driven by post-medieval nationalism toset the expansive phenomenon that is Alexander in its historicaland transnational context.VENETIA BRIDGES is Assistant Professor in the Department of EnglishStudies at Durham University.