Explores the significance of Alexander the Great in French medieval literature and culture.
Alexander the Great was one of the legendary Nine Worthies in the medieval canon of ancient and modern heroes, and medieval writers exploited his legend in a wide variety of literary and didactic texts. Addressing the classical legacy to the Middle Ages as expressed in four centuries of vernacular narratives, this volume offers the first systematic collective study of Alexander the Great's thematic prominence in medieval culture. Contributors from Britain, France, the Netherlands, and the United States combine sensitive textual analyses with perspectives from such diverse fields as art history, codicology, anthropology, sociology, the history of mentalities, and postcolonial theory. Overall, the collection offers a provocative rethinking of the monumental medieval French tradition of Alexander the Great, as well as valuable insight into the emergence and transformations of French literature between the early twelfth century and the end of the Middle Ages.
Donald Maddox and Sara Sturm-Maddox are Professors of French and Italian Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. They have coedited many books, including Transtextualities: Of Cycles and Cyclicity in Medieval French Literature; Melusine of Lusignan: Founding Fiction in Late Medieval France; and Froissart Across the Genres.
"…will be essential reading for all Alexander scholars for many years to come." — Speculum
"The editors have assembled a group of European and American 'stars' of the Old French field, many of whom have written elsewhere on the subject of the Alexander texts, but most of whom have strong reputations as historians and critics in several branches of medieval French literature. The results do not disappoint. This will be the English-language authority on Alexander." — Brian Merrilees, coeditor of The Anglo-Norman Voyage of St. Brendan
Contributors include Emmanuèle Baumgartner, Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Keith Busby, Catherine Croizy-Naquet, Catherine Gaullier-Bougassas, Martin Gosman, Laurence Harf-Lancner, Douglas Kelly, William W. Kibler, Donald Maddox, Rupert T. Pickens, Sara Sturm-Maddox, François Suard, Michelle Szkilnik, Jane H. M. Taylor, Michelle R. Warren, Stephen D. White, and Michel Zink.