Alexander’s Eastern empire, much embellished in legends and romances,
interested Western Jewish writers as a place to imagine a historical and
ideological alternative to Rome and the destruction of Jerusalem. This
version of the Alexander Romance is considered the most inventive
and fanciful medieval tale. A new character is introduced: Menachem,
Alexander’s Jewish chief scribe. Despite the emergence of Menachem as a
tragic figure, his role illustrates the Jewish diaspora in Alexander’s empire.
Sponsor: Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies