The Alexander romance in Greek sources

The Alexander romance is any of several collections of legends concerning the mythical exploits of Alexander the Great. The earliest version is in Greek, dating to the 3rd century. Several late manuscripts attribute the work to Alexander's court historian Callisthenes, but the historical figure died before Alexander and could not have written a full account of his life. The unknown author is still sometimes called Pseudo-Callisthenes.

The text was recast into various versions between the 4th and the 16th centuries, in Middle Greek, Latin, Armenian, Syriac, Hebrew, and most medieval European vernaculars.
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The Greek versions


The oldest version of the Greek text, the Historia Alexandri Magni (Recensio α), can be dated to the 3rd century. It was subjected to various revisions during the Byzantine period, some of them recasting it into poetical form in Middle Greek vernacular. Recensio α is the source of a Latin version by Julius Valerius (4th century), and an Armenian version (5th century). Most of the content of the Romance is fantastical, including many miraculous tales and encounters with mythical creatures such as Sirens or Centaurs.
Recensio α sive Recensio vetusta: W. Kroll, Historia Alexandri Magni, vol. 1. Berlin: Weidmann, 1926
Recensio β: L. Bergson, Der griechische Alexanderroman. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1965
Recensio β (e cod. Leidensi Vulc. 93) L. Bergson, Der griechische Alexanderroman. Rezension β. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1965
Recensio β (e cod. Paris. gr. 1685 et cod. Messinensi 62): L. Bergson, Der griechische Alexanderroman. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1965
Recensio γ (lib. 1): U. von Lauenstein, Der griechische Alexanderroman. [Beiträge zur klassischen Philologie 4. Meisenheim am Glan: Hain, 1962]
Recensio γ (lib. 2): H. Engelmann, Der griechische Alexanderroman. [Beiträge zur klassischen Philologie 12. Meisenheim am Glan: Hain, 1963]
Recensio γ (lib. 3): F. Parthe, Der griechische Alexanderroman. [Beiträge zur klassischen Philologie 33. Meisenheim am Glan: Hain, 1969]
Recensio δ (e cod. Vat. gr. 1700, 88v‑89r): G. Ballaira, "Frammenti inediti della perduta recensione δ del romanzo di Alessandro in un codice Vaticano," Bollettino del comitato per la preparazione dell'edizione nazionale dei classici greci e latini 13 (1965)
Recensio ε: J. Trumpf, Anonymi Byzantini vita Alexandri regis Macedonum. Stuttgart: Teubner, 1974
Recensio λ (lib. 3): H. van Thiel, Die Rezension λ des Pseudo-Kallisthenes Bonn: Habelt 1959
Recensio λ (Pseudo-Methodius redactio 1) H. van Thiel, Die Rezension λ des Pseudo-Callisthenes Bonn: Habelt 1959
Recensio λ (Pseudo-Methodius redactio 2) H. van Thiel, Die Rezension λ des Pseudo-Kallisthenes Bonn: Habelt 1959
Recensio F (cod. Flor. Laurentianus Ashburn 1444), vernacular: V.L. Konstantinopulos and A.C. Lolos, Ps.-Kallisthenes‑ Zwei mittelgriechische Prosa-Fassungen des Alexanderromans, 2 vols [Beiträge zur klassischen Philologie 141 & 150, Meisenheim am Glan: Hain 1983]
Recensio φ: G. Veloudis, Ἡ φυλλάδα τοῦ Μεγαλέξαντρου. Διήγησις Ἀλεξάνδρου τοῦ Μακεδόνος [Νέα Ἑλληνικὴ Βιβλιοθήκη 39. Athens: Hermes, 1977]
Recensio Byzantina poetica (cod. Marcianus 408): S. Reichmann, Das byzantinische Alexandergedicht nach dem codex Marcianus 408 herausgegeben [Beiträge zur klassischen Philologie 13. Meisenheim am Glan: Hain, 1963]
Recensio E (cod. Eton College 163), vernacular: V.L. Konstantinopulos and A.C. Lolos, Ps.-Kallisthenes, Zwei mittelgriechische Prosa.Fassungen des Alexanderromans, 2 vols [Beiträge zur klassischen Philologie 141 & 150‑ Meisenheim am Glan: Hain 1983]
Recensio V (cod. Vind. theol. gr. 244): K. Mitsakis, Der byzantinische Alexanderroman nach dem Codex Vind. Theol. gr. 244 [Miscellanea Byzantina Monacensia 7. Munich: Institut für Byzantinistik und neugriechische Philologie der Universität, 1967]
Recensio K (cod. 236 Kutlumussiu, Athos), vernacular: K. Mitsakis, "Διήγησις περὶ τοῦ Ἀλεξάνδρου καὶ τῶν μεγάλων πολέμων," Byzantinisch-neugriechische Jahrbücher 20 (1970)
Recensio poetica (recensio R), vernacular: D. Holton, Διήγησις τοῦ Ἀλεξάνδρου. The tale of Alexander. The rhymed version [Βυζαντινὴ καὶ Νεοελληνικὴ βιβλιοθήκη. Thessalonica, 1974]
Resources:
The Medieval Alexander Project: Alexander the Great in Medieval Literature and Culture


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