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Document Details :
Title: Alexander the Flexible Friend.
Subtitle: Some Reflections on the Representation of Alexander the Great in the Arabic Alexander Romance
Author(s): DOUFIKAR-AERTS, Faustina C.W.
Journal: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies
Volume: 55 Issue: 3-4 Date: 2003
In the third century A.D. a legendary biography of Alexander the Great was composed in Greek: this co-called Alexander Romance of Pseudo-Callisthene became enormously popular and was translated in many languages. This treatise pays attention to the Arabic version of the Romance. Although the Arabic Romance was considered to be lost, my research for Alexander Magnus Arabicus brought to light an Arabic manuscript which, apparently, contained this Alexander Romance. The text forms the ‘missing link’ between the Syriac Romance, and its translation into Ethiopic. The Arabic version is a revision of the Syriac recension with interpolations from other sources. The polytheistic character of the Syriac Romance was thoroughly erased, in favor of monotheistic features, which show ambiguity as to whether their nature is to be interpreted as Islamic or Christian.