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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 February 2013

Mark Cruse
Affiliation:
Arizona State University
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Summary

Behavior that's admired is the path to power among people everywhere.

Beowulf

[Any] social production having some marked characteristics, be it an industrial good, a verse, a formula, a political idea which has appeared one day somewhere in the corner of a brain, dreams like Alexander of conquering the world, tries to multiply itself by thousands and millions of copies in every place where there exist human beings and will never stop except if it is kept in check by some rival productions as ambitious as itself.

Gabriel Tarde, Monadologie et sociologie

It is often the fate of celebrities to be well known for their appearance rather than for their personal histories and inner qualities. The same is true of the many famous illuminated manuscripts whose images are reproduced with little or no discussion of the books' origins, purpose, or written contents. One of the best examples of such a celebrity book is Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 264. The first part of this manuscript, completed in 1344 in Tournai, contains the Old French Roman d'Alexandre (Romance of Alexander the Great) interpolated with the Prise de Defur, Vœux du paon, Restor du paon, and Voyage au Paradis Terrestre, and with the Venjance Alixandre appended to the end. The fame of Bodley 264 derives from its myriad marginal images, which since the eighteenth century have been used by art historians, folklorists, and historians to illustrate everything from the history of sport in England to medieval dining practices.

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2011

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  • Introduction
  • Mark Cruse, Arizona State University
  • Book: Illuminating the 'Roman d'Alexandre': Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 264
  • Online publication: 05 February 2013
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  • Introduction
  • Mark Cruse, Arizona State University
  • Book: Illuminating the 'Roman d'Alexandre': Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 264
  • Online publication: 05 February 2013
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Mark Cruse, Arizona State University
  • Book: Illuminating the 'Roman d'Alexandre': Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 264
  • Online publication: 05 February 2013
Available formats
×