Alexander the Great from Britain to Southeast Asia: Peripheral Empires in the Global Renaissance

ISBN : 9780198777687

Su Fang Ng
432 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Apr 2019
Classical Presences
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No figure has had a more global impact than Alexander the Great, whose legends have encircled the globe and been translated into a dizzying multitude of languages, from Indo-European and Semitic to Turkic and Austronesian. Alexander the Great from Britain to Southeast Asia examines parallel traditions of the Alexander Romance in Britain and Southeast Asia, demonstrating how rival Alexanders - one Christian, the other Islamic - became central figures in their respective literatures. In the early modern age of exploration, both Britain and Southeast Asia turned to literary imitations of Alexander to imagine their own empires and international relations, defining themselves as peripheries against the Ottoman Empire's imperial center: this shared classical inheritance became part of an intensifying cross-cultural engagement in the encounter between the two, allowing a revealing examination of their cultural convergences and imperial rivalries and a remapping of the global literary networks of the early modern world. Rather than absolute alterity or strangeness, the narrative of these parallel traditions is one of contact - familiarity and proximity, unexpected affinity and intimate strangers.


List of Maps and Figures
0 Introduction: Intimate Strangers - Peripheries in Global Literary Networks
Part I: Conjunctions
1 Heirs to Rome
2 Islamic Alexanders in Southeast Asia
3 Scottish Alexanders and Stuart Empire
4 Greco-Arabic Mirrors for Barbarian Kings
5 Hamlet and Arabic Literary Networks
Part II: Invocations
6 From Source to Allusion: Alexander in Intercultural Encounters
7 English Alexanders and Empire from the Periphery
8 Millennial Alexander in the Making of Aceh
9 Milton, Alexander s Pirate, and Merchant Empires in the East
10 Demotic Alexander in Indian Ocean Trading Worlds
Timeline of Texts and Events

About the author: 

Su Fang Ng is Clifford A. Cutchins III Professor and Associate Professor of English at Virginia Tech . She is the author of Literature and the Politics of Family in Seventeenth-Century England (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and of numerous articles on early modern, medieval, and postcolonial topics; she has also guest-edited a special issue of Genre on Transcultural Networks in the Indian Ocean. She has received fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard, the National Humanities Center, the University of Texas at Austin, Leiden University, Heidelberg University, All Souls College, Oxford, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, among others.

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