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Chapter Summary

Sallams travel account poses a number of problems which are not easily explained away, and so a number of presumptions had to be made. Like fanciful description of Alexanders wall itself, the interpretation of facts by fiction was probably meant to meet the caliphs intentions. Notwithstanding these and other objections that can be made, no reasonable doubt can be raised against the historicity of the travel account nor, in view of Sallams position, against its reliability at large. The sources available provide enough converging probabilities to convince the reader that Sallam did undertake the journey he describes. The fascination which Eastern Christianity and Islam had once developed for Alexander in his role of divine tool against apocalyptic peoples may have receded in our time into the background. Yet, Gog and Magog have not disappeared. They continue to be symbols of dreadful enemies as long as chiliastic and apocalyptic fears remain.

Keywords: Eastern Christianity; Gog and Magog; Islam; Sallams travel account

10.1163/ej.9789004174160.i-280.82
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