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Alexander the Great from Britain to Southeast AsiaPeripheral Empires in the Global Renaissance$
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Su Fang Ng

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777687

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198777687.001.0001

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Intimate Strangers—Peripheries in Global Literary Networks

(p.1) Introduction
Alexander the Great from Britain to Southeast Asia

Su Fang Ng

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the parallel literary traditions of the mythic Alexander the Great in the Eurasian archipelagic peripheries of Britain and Southeast Asia, focusing on how Alexander stories were transmitted from late antiquity through the medieval period and transformed by early modern authors. It looks at the global literary networks linking the British and Southeast Asian peripheries, along with their receptions of the Greek novel Alexander Romance. It also explores how Alexander was appropriated into English and Malay literatures and how both literary traditions connected him to the material culture and imagined presence of foreign others as part of their intercultural resonances. Finally, it describes how the myth of Alexander became intertwined with alterity and foreign relations at the two ends of the Eurasian trade routes, how he became associated with long-distance trade, and how he influenced the self-representation of emerging maritime empires.

Keywords:   peripheries, Alexander the Great, Southeast Asia, global literary networks, Alexander Romance, English literature, Malay literature, long-distance trade, maritime empires, foreign relations

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