‘Aleksandriia’

‘Aleksandriia’ (also ‘Oleksandriia’ [‘Алексанрія’ or ‘Олексанрія’]). Alexander romances—legends and myths about the life of Alexander the Great of Macedonia. The Alexander romances are among the most widespread epics in world literature and have appeared in more than 30 languages. In Kyivan Rus’ a translation of a later Greek version of the 2nd-century folk epic—the pseudo-Callisthenes—appeared in the 11th century and became a part of various Rus’ narratives. In the 13th century the ‘Aleksandriia’ was modified with Christian elements. In the 15th–16th century a Serbian redaction of the romance, with an emphasis on the fantastic elements, reached Ukraine. Later, a Croatian redaction of an Italian version appeared but was not widely known. The ‘Aleksandriia’ had a considerable influence on the description of military events in Old Ukrainian literature and on folk epics. The texts of the romances were published by V. Istrin in Aleksandriia russkikh khronografov (The Aleksandriia of Rus’ Chronographers, 1893) and by Sylvestr Haievsky in ‘Aleksandriia’ v davnii ukraïns’kii literaturi (The ‘Aleksandriia’ in Old Ukrainian Literature, 1929).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]




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