Alexander the Great in “L’Abreujamen de las estorias”

The universal history attributed to Paolino Veneto contains fragments of a late antique work, Pompeius Trogus’s biography of Alexander the Great, as abbreviated by Justin (‘Epitoma historiarum Philippicarum’). This may be one of the earliest examples of a vernacular rendering of Justin’s work, which is part of the ‘historical’ as opposed to the ‘legendary’ Alexander tradition. Perhaps unsuprisingly, Paolino’s team also wove in a few fragments of the ‘legendary’ material (the ‘Historia de Proeliis’).
I identified and analysed these extracts thanks to a simple google search, turning an Occitan phrase into what I though (rightly) would have been its Latin original. Looking at this unedited, fragmentary translation sheds light on the decision-making processes of medieval translators.
The findings are in my article, ‘Just as fragments are part of a vessel : A translation to medieval Occitan of the Life of Alexander the Great’, published in a special issue on medieval translation of the journal ‘Florilegium’, 31 (2016) 55-76.

About Catherine Leglu

Catherine Leglu is Professor of French and Occitan Studies at the University of Reading.
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