Gog and Magog in Early Eastern Christian and Islamic Sources

Sallam's Quest for Alexander's Wall


Alexander's alleged Wall against Gog and Magog, often connected with the enclosure of the apocalyptic people, was a widespread theme among Syriac Christians in Mesopotamia. In the ninth century Sallam the Interpreter dictated an account of his search for the barrier to the Arab geographer Ibn Khurradadhbih. The reliability of Sallam's journey from Samarra to Western China and back (842-45), however, has always been a highly contested issue. Van Donzel and Schmidt consider the travel account as historical.
This volume presents a translation of the source while at the same time it carefully looks into other Eastern Christian and Muslim traditions of the famous lore. A comprehensive survey reconstructs the political and topographical data. As so many other examples, also this story pays witness to the influence of the Syriac Christian tradition on Koran and Muslim Traditions.

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Andrea B. Schmidt, Ph.D. (1990) is Professor for Christian Orient at the University of Louvain. Her publications deal with manuscript studies, text editions as well as research on the history and theology of the Syriac, Armenian and Georgian people. She is the editor of the journal Le Museon and several book-series, Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium being the foremost of these.
Emeri J. van Donzel, Ph.D. (1969) was an Editor of the Encyclopaedia of Islam, New (2nd) edition (1956-2005). His publications deal with Arabic and Ethiopic text editions and Ethiopian history.
All those interested in Medieval and Early Islamic geography, history and literature of the Christian people of the East, and in particular the influence of Biblical motifs on Koran and Islamic Tradition.