The Alexandreis: A Twelfth-Century Epic
Walter of Châtillon’s Latin epic at the lifetime of Alexander the nice was once a 12th- and thirteenth-century “best-seller:” scribes produced over 2 hundred manuscripts. The poem follows Alexander from his first successes in Asia Minor, via his conquest of Persia and India, to his revolutionary ethical degeneration and his poisoning through a disaffected lieutenant. The Alexandreis exemplifies twelfth-century discourses of worldwide domination and the exoticism of the East. yet whilst it calls such desires of mastery into query, again and again undercutting because it does Alexander’s claims to heroism and advantage and by way of extension, related claims by means of the good males of Walter’s personal iteration. This terribly layered and refined poem stands as a high-water mark of the medieval culture of Latin narrative literature.
in addition to David Townsend’s revised translation, this version offers a wealthy number of historic records, together with different writings through Walter of Châtillon, excerpts from different medieval Latin epics, and modern bills of the overseas and “exotic.”
damaged swords will end up regard for me, while I see shields beaten below myriad blows. Your correct hand’s savagery will express the affection your minds profess; your breasts carry Alexander 545 merely so pricey as your blades could make simple. triumph over once again these conquered as soon as prior to. Who spares the sword opposed to the enemy is enemy to himself; who offers him lifestyles denies his personal. struggle is aware no clemency 550 in piety towards the foe. The hand that spares is harsh opposed to itself and will be severed.
Auspiciously you name them queens, forgetting antagonistic wrath, letting them continue the trimmings of a hundred their previous lot. Your clouded countenance and eyes made darkish with tears mark out a foe extra clement than a foe, whose visage attracts apart the veil upon his soul. Such used to be the strength of Darius’ sorrow, whilst he despatched us, one hundred and five as Alexander’s essentially is to boot. but he mourns for his spouse, you in your enemy. Your left hand may now carry a protect, and also you may stride the battlefront; now.
The broad sea for his navy’s looming prows, which crowd the harbor mouths. I say not more— the realm can scarce include this one man’s strength.”  while Alexander had heard the messenger, one hundred thirty five he summoned an meeting of the dukes and took their information how he should still reply. the following it's possible you'll see the senate murmuring, and lengthy the courtroom is expounded to have stored silence, till Parmenion spoke out—although one hundred forty his loyalty of spirit was once no longer matched through eloquence; he spoke much less with ease than he.
Mars’ hero picked a direction towards Porus, via 230 such a lot of intervening foes. He spied him astride an elephant, like a few nice fort pre-eminent above protecting partitions, and stated, nonetheless at a distance, “Here, finally, is hazard priceless of amazement and 235 my spirit’s fit. One deed i need to in achieving opposed to either monsters and illustrious men.”  He spoke, and towards the left flank grew to become his tune: there warlike tumult vexed the air extra gravely, the place Porus battled; battling males.
Departed 510 the corpse, now slack with chilly; and, breaking forth from its criminal of clay, the spirit handed into skinny air. Then from their grief was once loosed the bitterest of mourning; lamentation broke in all its energy, nor did the group 515 extra suppress its apprehensive tumult. Such a crashing doesn't press opposed to the celebrities, while, hurling thunder, the 4 brother winds strike on the pole of heaven and its lighting.  O chuffed race of mortals, if continually 520 we would.