The Creation of «Alexanderlied» and the Authors’ Use of Sources. The Apollonius Sequence

Adele Cipolla


ABSTRACT: This paper aims at scrutinising the ties between the twelfth-century German poems on Alexander the Great and contemporary chronicles from the Levant by Fulcher of Chartres and William of Tyre. The key is the Apollonius allusion at the end of the Tyre episode in Lambrecht’s Alexanderlied, which opens a window on the manifold literary models involved in the creation of the Early Middle High German text. In the Tyre sequence, Alexanderlied diverges from the Pseudo-Callisthenes and Julius Valerius tradition and, according to its Old French relatives (namely, the different versions of the Roman d’Alexandre), follows Curtius. Curtius’s text represents the skeleton of its compilative achievement, which merges biblical and romance narrative themes and is characteristic of the contemporary preoccupation with overseas incidents. Alexanderlied, independent from its Old French relatives, encapsulates in the frame borrowed from Curtius the multi-authored Jewish-Christian legend of King Solomon, Sheba and King Hiram of Tyre (from the Book of Kings, Josephus and William Archbishop of Tyre), which puts the German poet on the trail of Apollonius.

KEYWORDS: Lambrecht’s AlexanderliedHistoria Apollonii regis Tyri – Crusade Writing – Fulcher of Chartres – William of Tyre – Source Contamination –

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