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13 - The Persian Alexander (2)

Amir Khusraw and the Philosophical View of Alexander

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 January 2022

Richard Stoneman
University of Exeter
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Alexander played an important role in medieval Islamic philosophy and Persian literature, serving as a vehicle for discussions of the ‘ideal king’ in Mirror for Princes literature. This chapter explores the background to one particular work, Amir Khusraw’s Mirror of Alexander (1299), in which the king consults the philosopher Plato for advice on rulership before embarking on his submarine voyage to explore the nature of the universe. Plato’s characterisation as a mystical sage is contrasted in medieval Islam with the wisdom of Aristotle, Alexander’s teacher. In Amir Khusraw as in Nizami, Alexander is as much a philosopher as a king.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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