Alexander the Great’s celestial journey (his flight into heaven on an odd aircraft driven by griffins) is the most widespread visual representation of the protagonist in western monumental artifacts. Nevertheless, the flight and its punishment did not yet belong to the archetypal plot neither of the Greek Alexander Romance, nor of its first translation by Julius Valerius, and it seems to emerge in literature as early as within a Latin Carolingian milieu: in its further occurrences in Frühmittelhochdeutsch, the celestial journey will be embedded in an odeporic repertory (gathering the hero’s final travels across the elements) and some lost fictive epistolary was credited as the model of its extant textual embodiments (which span from Annolied to Hartlieb). This paper aims at charting the literary occurrences of the celestial journey episode in Middle High German literary sources, in order to disclose its ideological and narrative function, the mutual relationships of texts and the development, in the post-classical production (Alexanderlied B and Ulrich von Etzenbach vs Jans von Wien’s Weltchronik), of an up-to-date fantastic travelogue. This, along with Alexander’s aerial and submarine adventures (which correspond to the plot of the main Latin sources, Leo and Historia de preliis), included a rewording of his attempt at submitting the Paradise (which derived from an originally independent work: Iter ad Paradisum). The ‘canon’ of Alexander’s fantastic trips was reinforced by manuscript illuminations, mainly within the tradition of the most popular Weltchronik compilations, where the odeporic sequence displayed a fixed order reverberating upon literature.

IL VOLO DI ALESSANDRO IN GERMANIA: IL COSMO VISTO DEL CIELO

Maria Adele Cipolla
2023-01-01

Abstract

Alexander the Great’s celestial journey (his flight into heaven on an odd aircraft driven by griffins) is the most widespread visual representation of the protagonist in western monumental artifacts. Nevertheless, the flight and its punishment did not yet belong to the archetypal plot neither of the Greek Alexander Romance, nor of its first translation by Julius Valerius, and it seems to emerge in literature as early as within a Latin Carolingian milieu: in its further occurrences in Frühmittelhochdeutsch, the celestial journey will be embedded in an odeporic repertory (gathering the hero’s final travels across the elements) and some lost fictive epistolary was credited as the model of its extant textual embodiments (which span from Annolied to Hartlieb). This paper aims at charting the literary occurrences of the celestial journey episode in Middle High German literary sources, in order to disclose its ideological and narrative function, the mutual relationships of texts and the development, in the post-classical production (Alexanderlied B and Ulrich von Etzenbach vs Jans von Wien’s Weltchronik), of an up-to-date fantastic travelogue. This, along with Alexander’s aerial and submarine adventures (which correspond to the plot of the main Latin sources, Leo and Historia de preliis), included a rewording of his attempt at submitting the Paradise (which derived from an originally independent work: Iter ad Paradisum). The ‘canon’ of Alexander’s fantastic trips was reinforced by manuscript illuminations, mainly within the tradition of the most popular Weltchronik compilations, where the odeporic sequence displayed a fixed order reverberating upon literature.
2023
Latin and Middle Latin tradition, Vernacular tradition, Alexander's Celestial Journey
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1116452
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