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The Legendary Journeys of Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great in a glass barrel

Alexander being lowered from a ship in a glass barrel to view the wonders of the sea. From The Old French Prose Alexander Romance manuscript, Rouen, 1445
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According to surviving historical texts, Alexander the Great (born 356 BC; died 323 BC) was the son and heir of Philip II of Macedon. He was educated by Aristotle and became king in 336 BC. Continual military success enabled him to become the foremost leader in Greece and replace Darius III as ruler of the mighty Persian empire. His victory over the Indian king Porus extended his conquests farther eastwards and established his empire as the greatest ever achieved by one man.

Legends began to develop soon after his premature death. Alexander's relentless energy and apparently limitless ambition drove him to explore remote parts of the world inhabited by strange peoples and monsters, investigate the wonders of the heavens and the depths of the sea, and seek out the secrets of true wisdom and immortal life. It is these legendary journeys that are recounted in the Romance of Alexander that originated as a Greek text, but soon proved popular in innumerable versions and translations that were spawned across western Europe, the Middle East and India. The Mythical Quest explores these legends as illustrated in western medieval manuscripts, drawings and tapestries, and in Persian, Mughal and Indian manuscripts from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries.

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Discover more:
The Mythical Quest The Mythical Quest
Quest for the Holy Grail Quest for the Holy Grail
Jason and the Quest for the Golden Fleece Jason and the Quest for the Golden Fleece
Seven Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor Seven Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor
Tale of Cupid and Psyche Tale of Cupid and Psyche
Rama's Quest for Sita Rama's Quest for Sita
Legendary Journeys of Alexander the Great
Journey to the West Journey to the West
 
 
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