Alexandreida in Rima: The Life and Deeds of Alexander the Great in an Anonymous Italian Renaissance Poem

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This work is a critical edition of an Italian poetic version of the legend of Alexander the Great. The Alexandreida in rima was written in the 15th century, and was primarily derived from a 12th century Latin prose version of a Greek romance. Although a versifier of limited abilities, the anonymous Italian compiler perceived that he had, literally, a fabulous tale to tell, and he worked diligently to transform it into ottava rima, the popular poetic form of the time. His poem brought to the Italian public one of the richest legends of all time, and it met with such success that it was reprinted 16 times between the 16th and 18th centuries. This work will make accessible to scholars a popular epic whose hero was honored as one of the Nine Worthies of the early modern period.


“….praise to the editor who, with patience and passion, has restored to the history of Italian literature a fragment of the 15th century literary mosaic, significant in and of itself, and useful for retrieving the history of that cultural activity that can seem like a minor counterpoint, but from which, in the final instance, the literary works defined as “major” draw their genesis and sustenance.” – Olympia Pelosi, Associate Professor of Italian Literature, State University of New York, Albany

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Alexandreida in rima

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