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Vol. 55 Alexander and Dindimus

Edited from Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 264.


‘Alexander and Dindimus’ is an anonymous alliterative poem which tells the fictitious epistolary exchange between Alexander the Great and Dindimus, king of the Bragmans. It is acknowledged to be one of the earliest poems belonging to the Alliterative Revival. Derived from the ‘Historia de Preliis Alexandri Magni’, its sole witness is extant in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 264, a lavishly illustrated miscellany containing French texts dealing with the Alexander legend. The manuscript is one of the clearest examples of multilingual codices that were produced and circulated in England in the late Middle Ages. It is probable that the compiler conceived ‘Alexander and Dindimus’ as a moral and edifying complement to the French chivalric romances present in the first part of the manuscript.

The introduction includes an up-to-date study of the text, with a focus on its codicological, linguistic and metrical features. In particular, it explores relationships between the text of ‘Alexander and Dindimus’ and the nine accompanying illustrations (which are reproduced in the edited text). It includes also an analysis of the Latin source for the text. The edition is supported by a commentary and glossary.

'Khalaf edits the text sensibly, with sufficient commentary and a helpful glossary'

'It is most useful to have this edition'

Veronica O'Mara
Journal of the Early Book Society 21 (2018)
'In its scholarly detail, this edition is a gem ...'
Marleen Cré
Scriptorium LXXIV-1 (2020)