Deeds of John and Manuel Comnenus (Epitome) by Ioannes Kinnamos, tr. Charles Brand

By Ioannes Kinnamos, tr. Charles Brand

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In the Syriac and Arabic recensions the Red Sea is called the great sea, where a hunt takes place. This event is absent in all the other recensions. In the next episode most of the romances mention Alexander’s encounter with strange people, among them dog-headed men and headless people who have their eyes and mouths in their chests. The Syriac and Arabic texts make no mention of these creatures. ” From there Alexander and his men embark in five ships and on the third day they arrive in the city of the Sun, according to the Syriac and the Arabic text.

This is the name of Alexander’s horse in the Sîrat Al-Iskandar. ’ These two names display a perfect assonance. See also Doufikar-Aerts (2003), chapter 4. 19 See Doufikar-Aerts (1999) 68. 32 FAUSTINA DOUFIKAR-AERTS Other changes in the Arabic account must have been dictated by cultural or religious objections and preferences. An example is the scene of Alexander consulting his augurs about the portent of the birth of the Scylla-like baby. In the Syriac romance he threatens to cut off their heads if they do not speak the truth about the sign.

In Persian, even when the story in question is one of Arabic origin, his designation is Iskandar, which is a back-formation from Alexander on the assumption that the initial Al- is the Arabic prefix-article. In general, however, the designation al-Iskandar is used by Arab authors only in stories of Persian origin. ). The commentators on the Qur’an universally assumed that Dhu’l-qarnain here is a name of Alexander, but were at a loss to understand the term, and thus give a wide variety of explanations.

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