From Tyrant to Philosopher-King: A Literary History of Alexander the Great in Medieval and Early Modern England

Overview

Since his death in Babylon in 323 BC, Alexander the Great has inspired an unparalleled legacy founded on both histories and legends. From ancient Alexandria to twentieth-century America, and from politics to popular entertainment, he has remained a source of fascination and debate. Today our conception of Alexander rests upon two Roman inventions of history. The first, that of a bloodthirsty tyrant corrupted by Persian decadence, was recovered in medieval monasteries and thrived for centuries, until the second, ...
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Overview

Since his death in Babylon in 323 BC, Alexander the Great has inspired an unparalleled legacy founded on both histories and legends. From ancient Alexandria to twentieth-century America, and from politics to popular entertainment, he has remained a source of fascination and debate. Today our conception of Alexander rests upon two Roman inventions of history. The first, that of a bloodthirsty tyrant corrupted by Persian decadence, was recovered in medieval monasteries and thrived for centuries, until the second, which viewed Alexander as an enlightened ruler and the head of a harmonious global empire, flourished in the age of humanism. From this clash of intellectual movements arose our modern debates over Alexander as either a madman or a philosopher-king, the epitome of corruption or of ideal government. This book explores the investigation of Latin and Greek histories of Alexander in twelfth- to seventeenth-century England and the radical evolution of a man still abhorred and imitated today.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9782503545394
  • Publisher: Brepols Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/30/2013
  • Series: Cursor Mundi Series , #19
  • Pages: 262

Table of Contents

Introduction Part One. English Monasticism and the Latin Alexander Chapter 1. London, British Library, MS Royal, 13. A. i: Contexts in Anglo-Saxon England Chapter 2. London, British Library, MS Royal, 13. A. i: Texts Chapter 3. The Benedictines and Alexander in the Twelfth Century Part Two. Alexander and the Education of Kings Chapter 4. From Monasticism to Scholasticism Chapter 5. Moral Gower and the Rejection of Alexander Part Three. English Humanism and the Greek Alexander Chapter 6. Duke Humfreys Alexander: Lydgate and Plutarch Chapter 7. Royal Libraries and the Lumley Collection Epilogue, 1612
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