By Francis J. Tschan (Translated, Introduction and Notes)
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Stoneman (1994a). Knights (1993 and 1995) is a study of a Jewish text, ‘The History of the Rechabites’ which derives directly from the Brahman encounter in the Alexander legends. 68 This page intentionally left blank ‘THE LAST DAYS OF ALEXANDER’ IN AN ARABIC POPULAR ROMANCE OF AL-ISKANDAR Faustina Doufikar-Aerts The Alexander Romance of Pseudo-Callisthenes spread, through numerous translations and derivatives, not only in the medieval western and Byzantine world, but also in the East. The oriental tradition is represented by the extant Syriac, Persian and Ethiopic versions of the Alexander romance.
Of this testament there remains only the beginning, a few lines with consolatory words to his mother. She is called Almûfîd, which is probably a corruption of the name Olympias. Arabic historians name her Alumfîdâ or Almûfîdâ. In the popular romances this name is unknown; she is called here Rûqîyâ, Arqîyâ or Nâhîd, which is also the case in the preceding part of the Sîrat Al-Iskandar, to which this episode is appended. The rest of the testament is lacking. The fifth part of the chapter occurs exclusively in the Arabic text.
Another passage in the account of the palace of Shoshan or Sûs gives a description of the large silver jars, which were alleged to have a capacity of three hundred and sixty measures of wine. Alexander puts this assertion to the test, having one of the jars filled with wine and poured out for his soldiers during a banquet. This exact specification has been maintained, heedless of the Islamic ban on the use of wine. Moreover, it is stated that these jars had been brought to the palace from Madînat al-Mushtarî, which means, the city of Zeus.