The Libro de Alexandre is an epic poem about the life of Alexander the Great, written by an anonymous Spanish cleric in the thirteenth century. It is the most substantial poem (and almost certainly the first) composed in the learned cuaderna via verse form and provides a unique insight into the intellectual world from which it sprang. The poem conveys the grim message of Alexander's life, the sense of hubris and the horror of his fall from greatness and domination of the world to the bleak obscurity of the grave. As well as relaying the story of a great ancient figure, the poet also comments on the society and political situation of early thirteenth-century Spain. The combination of eras makes this poem strikingly representative of its time. Peter Such and Richard Rabone's edition in the Hispanic Classics series will greatly illuminate this substantial and important text, with a wide-ranging introduction, Spanish text with facing-page English translation and notes.
In short, this is a fine addition to the translated work series. It will not serve the expert, but this is not the aim of the work. It will, however, provide an excellent starting point for the student of medieval Iberian literature and anyone interested in the Alexander story who may have no knowledge of Spanish.'
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