A structurally-oriented analysis of the Alexander Romance demonstrates that the work is not a mere random conglomeration drawn from various sources. The author is attempting to create a work possessing unity and cohesion and to this end he employs basic motifs associated with the hero, such as the motif of world-conqueror, of the φρενήρης (‘intelligent’) and the link with Heracles and Dionysus, which run through the totality of the work and ensure its cohesion. An additional interesting technique employed by the author is that of the redeployment of a motif. For example, the archetypal folk hero figure of Nektanebo, who is presented in the introduction of the Romance as Alexander’s father, is characterized by three features: magic, disguise and deception. These elements are used in a variety of ways in the description of the adventures of Alexander. In addition the triadic schema and antithesis are also employed. Considering that such figures are characteristic of folk tales as well, one acquires an idea of how skillfully the author has reworked his material, in order to create, by means of ‘popular’ tools, his own folk hero.
JouannoC.KarlaG.Novelistic Lives and Historical Biographies: The Life of Aesop and the Alexander Romance as Fringe NovelsFiction on the Fringe. Novelistic Writing in the Post-classical Age2009Leiden/Boston3348
On the author see Merkelbach197788-92. The work has previously erroneously been attributed on the grounds of a Byzantine ms. to Kallisthenes a contemporary of Alexander and for this reason the author is sometimes referred to as Pseudo-Kallisthenes. On the composition date of the Alexander Romance see also Stoneman 1991 8-17.
See Merkelbach197740; Pfister 1964 60-4; Payne 1991 169; Jouanno 2002 198; Koulakiotis 2006 214-7 with bibliography on this issue.
On this motif see Kroll19191711-2; Pfister 1964 66-8; Stoneman 1994 123-4; Jouanno 2002 206-8.
Baynham19959in particular n. 39.
Perry 1966; Stoneman1992110-1; Jasnow 1997 100-3; Lloyd 1982 46-50. There were many narratives involving Nektanebo. See on this matter Konstantakos 2009 114-22 with bibliography.
Papathomas2000. Cf. Trumpf 2006 who tries to show that the papyrus fragment (Pap. Berl. 21266) comes not from the historiographical tradition but from the Romance. This assumption is perhaps more appropriate to the usus scribendi of the author who sometimes changes the historiographical tradition in order to create his narrative technique.
On this passage see Koulakiotis2006210. On the affinity of Alexander and Hermes see Koulakiotis 2006 227-32.
Merkelbach197789; Bounoure and Serret 1992 252; Baynham 1995 10-2.
See for example Olrik1992.
On this issue see Merkelbach197750; Jouanno 2002 193-4.