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Alexander the Great from Britain to Southeast AsiaPeripheral Empires in the Global Renaissance$
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Su Fang Ng

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777687

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198777687.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 January 2022

Islamic Alexanders in Southeast Asia

Islamic Alexanders in Southeast Asia

Chapter:
(p.75) 2 Islamic Alexanders in Southeast Asia
Source:
Alexander the Great from Britain to Southeast Asia
Author(s):

Su Fang Ng

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198777687.003.0003

This chapter explores the ways in which Malay Alexander romances redeploy a medieval discourse of holy war to frame contemporary conflicts. The discussion focuses on the Malay Alexander Romance, Hikayat Iskandar Zulkarnain (Romance of Alexander the Two-Horned), which features a universal sovereign who united East and West. The chapter reads Hikayat Iskandar Zulkarnain in the context of the Portuguese conquest of Melaka and considers how it represents global Islam—and its dominant theme of strangers converted to kin. It also examines how a religious empire is gained by technology in the novel, along with the text’s moral critiques of empire. Finally, it analyses the chronicle of Melaka, Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals), its emphasis on the assimilability of outsiders in translatio imperii, its appropriation of Alexander the Great, and how it defines empire as translated from elsewhere by Alexandrian figures embodying “stranger sovereignty.”

Keywords:   holy war, Hikayat Iskandar Zulkarnain, Melaka, Islam, empire, technology, Sejarah Melayu, translatio imperii, Alexander the Great, stranger sovereignty

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