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The 17th-century manuscript M7709 (held in the Matenadaran, Yerevan, Armenia) includes an Armenian copy of the History of the City of Brass, to which an unknown scribe has added short poems about Alexander the Great. The first of three articles that together present the Alexander poems of M7709 in full, with English translation, for the first time, this article introduces the manuscript and considers the first six poems: the seduction of Olympias, and Alexander’s encounter with plant-men at the edge of the world. It adds commentary on the poems’ relationship to the corresponding part of the History of the City of Brass on each page, proposing textual reasons why the scribe added the poems where he did. Across the three articles, this commentary delves into textual relationships beyond the pages of M7709, linking the Armenian History of the City of Brass, Alexander Romance and other texts and traditions, to show how this manuscript is situated amid wider networks of circulating literature. As a microhistorical study, it seeks to provide illumination into the macrohistory of medieval and early modern literature in and beyond the Caucasus.

In: Iran and the Caucasus
Author:

The 17th-century manuscript M7709 (held in the Matenadaran, Yerevan, Armenia) includes an Armenian copy of the History of the City of Brass, to which an unknown scribe has added short poems about Alexander the Great. This is the second of three articles that together present the Alexander poems of M7709 in full, with English translation, for the first time (see Part I in Iran and the Caucasus 25.4: 334–351), focusing on sixteen poems: the death of Alexander, and Alexander’s confrontation with emissaries of Darius III. It adds commentary on the poems’ relationship to the corresponding part of the History of the City of Brass on each page, proposing textual reasons why the scribe added the poems where he did. Across the three articles, this commentary delves into textual relationships beyond the pages of M7709, linking the Armenian History of the City of Brass, Alexander Romance and other texts and traditions, to show how this manuscript is situated amid wider networks of circulating literature. As a microhistorical study, it seeks to provide illumination into the macrohistory of medieval and early modern literature in and beyond the Caucasus.

Open Access
In: Iran and the Caucasus
Author:

Abstract

Two journeys, one city. The History of Alexander of Macedon and the History of the City of Bronze entered Armenian literature at different times and from different languages—Greek and Arabic respectively—but shared in a narrative geography where the edges of the world contain marvels and moral instruction. This article tracks slippage between these two texts in their Armenian iterations, specifically in the kafas (short monorhymed poems) written about Alexander. It examines the addition of the City of Bronze itself into Alexander’s itinerary as the lavishly built city of Queen Kandakē, then turns to a manuscript of the History of the City of Bronze with kafas about Alexander added to the bottom of select pages, accentuating the tale’s lesson about the inevitability of death. This reveals how the people transmitting and elaborating on these texts in Armenian saw connections between their remote landscapes and moral themes, a reading found in texts circulating in other languages throughout the medieval Middle East.

Open Access
In: Armenia through the Lens of Time
Constructing the Late Antique and Byzantine World
Volume Editors: and
Trends and Turning Points presents sixteen articles, examining the discursive construction of the late antique and Byzantine world, focusing specifically on the utilisation of trends and turning points to make stuff from the past, whether texts, matter, or action, meaningful. Contributions are divided into four complementary strands, Scholarly Constructions, Literary Trends, Constructing Politics, and Turning Points in Religious Landscapes. Each strand cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries and periodisation, placing historical, archaeological, literary, and architectural concerns in discourse, whilst drawing on examples from the full range of the medieval Roman past. While its individual articles offer numerous important insights, together the volume collectively rethinks fundamental assumptions about how late antique and Byzantine studies has and continues to be discursively constructed.

Contributors are: David Barritt, Laura Borghetti, Nikolas Churik, Elif Demirtiken, Alasdair C. Grant, Stephen Humphreys, Mirela Ivanova, Hugh Jeffery, Valeria Flavia Lovato, Francesco Lovino, Kosuke Nakada, Jonas Nilsson, Theresia Raum, Maria Rukavichnikova, and Milan Vukašinović.
In: Trends and Turning Points
In: Trends and Turning Points
In: Trends and Turning Points
In: Trends and Turning Points