Post-classical history

Alexander the Great in the Persian Tradition: History, Myth and Legend in Medieval Iran

Alexander the Great in the Persian Tradition: History, Myth and Legend in Medieval Iran

Alexander the Great (356-333 BC) was transformed into a legend by all those he met, leaving an enduring tradition of romances across the world. Aside from its penetration into every language of medieval Europe, the Alexander romance arguably had its greatest impact in the Persian language. Haila Manteghi here offers a complete survey of that deep tradition, ranging from analysis of classical Persian poetry to popular romances and medieval Arabic historiography. She explores how the Greek work first entered the Persian literary tradition and traces the development of its influence, before revealing the remarkable way in which Alexander became as central to the Persian tradition as any other hero or king. And, importantly, by focusing on the often-overlooked early medieval Persian period, she also demonstrates that a positive view of Alexander developed in Arabic and Persian literature before the Islamic era. Drawing on an impressive range of sources in various languages - including Persian, Arabic and Greek - Manteghi provides a profound new contribution to the study of the Alexander romances.Beautifully written and with vibrant literary motifs, this book is important reading for all those with an interest in Alexander, classical and medieval Persian history, the early Islamic world and classical reception studies.

Introduction: A Review of Key Secondary Sources on the Alexander Romance

Chapter 1. Greek and Syriac Versions of the Alexander Romance and their Development in the East

Chapter 2. Alexander the Great and the Legacy of Sasanian Historiography

Chapter 3. Alexander the Great in the Shāhnāma of Firdawsī

Chapter 4. Alexander in the Iskandarnāma of Niẓāmī Ganjavī (1141–1209)

Chapter 5. Alexander in the Iqbālnāma of Niẓāmī Ganjavī


Appendix: Summary of the Syriac Alexander Romance


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