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Alexander And Gog And Magog In Eastern Christian Sources

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Chapter Summary

In the Eastern part of the Roman Empire Gog and Magog continued to haunt the Christian communities. Eastern Christianity witnessed so many upheavals that the apocalyptic figures of Gog and Magog were continuously evocated in the minds of the people. The historical figure of Alexander and the Gog and Magog motif began probably to be combined in apocalyptic expectations of Syrian Christians in Northern Mesopotamia in the late 4th or early 5th century. The narration of Alexanders Iron Gate as told in the Syriac Legend is quite probably the oldest version which puts Alexanders enclosure of the impure nations Gog and Magog behind iron gates in an apocalyptic setting. The text has been more influential than any other, even more than the Syriac Alexander Romance for the development of the motif. The Alexander Poem has come down to us in three versions, neither of them being the true original.

Keywords: Alexander; Alexander Legend; Alexander Poem; Alexander Romance; Eastern Christianity; Gog and Magog motif; Syrian Christians



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