For the centuries between Late Antiquity and Humanism, just about the only vehicle transmitting Alexander’s myth was the Alexander Romance. The Greek text, which had first been translated into Latin by Julius Valerius in the 3rd Century AD, existed in various redactions. These can be traced to no common archetype, but an inextricable ramification of versions, translations, and redactions spread the Romance far and wide and made it extraordinarily popular in literature and iconography. In the 10th Century the archpriest Leo brought a new translation of the text back to the West from Byzantium, the Historia de preliis, and it served as the basis for all medieval versions in Western languages. At the same time the Romance was translated into various other languages: Syriac, Armenian, Coptic, and Arabic. It has been noted that of all the textual traditions growing out of Graeco-Roman Antiquity (except the New Testament), the Alexander Romance has had the most important diffusion in space and time. In particular, the story of Alexander’s flight to heaven, charged with precise symbolic meaning, enjoyed its own success, and it is perhaps the one image from stories about Alexander that for centuries was known even to those who could not read. The essay by Monica Centanni, "Alessandro beyond the borders of the world", along with Mark Cruise's essay "A monument in parchment. Text, pictures and history of Bodley 264 manuscript", and Marcello Ciccuto's "Marco Polo to the Crusades. The travels of the Million between France and Great Britain ", accompany the precious reproduction of MS Bodley 264 (XIV C., containing the Romance of Alexander along with The travels of Marco Polo) in an important volume published in 2014 by the Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, Giovanni Treccani.
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