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A Watery Folktale in the Alexander Romance: Alexander's Byzantine Neraïda

From: Syllecta Classica
Volume 20 (2009)
pp. 105-134 | 10.1353/syl.2010.0003

Abstract

Abstract:

Alexander's mermaid, famous in Greek folktale, makes a brief but extraordinary appearance in the Alexander Romance. This analysis of her presence in a small set of Romance manuscripts reveals the unique work of a Byzantine redactor and his creative effort to merge this oral folktale into the fantastic portion of the literary Romance. The mermaid, however, proves to be absent from subsequent versions of the Romance, a result of her incompatibility with the textual Romance.