Jehan de Grise and workshop: MS Bodley 264 (The Romance of Alexander); folio 21v (14th century)

(Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)

The Romance of Alexander is a book which cornering the life and exploits of Alexander the Great. The earliest version of this book comes from the 3rd century but through the centuries the book was copied a lot. The book not only deals with historical facts but also includes mythical deeds by Alexander the Great and his army such as fighting dragons, giants, an exploration the depths of sea with a diving bell and even a trip which Alexander supposedly made through the air with a griffin-powered flying machine. This page comes from a copy of The Romance of Alexander from the 14th century. This fantastic illuminated page shows a duel, a large battle and a conversation between two parties. Notice also the illustrations at the bottom of the page. These illustrations throughout the book show everyday life in the Medieval times but also an 'inverted world' in which animals and humans live among each other - bottom left a small group of people are trying to catch birds while bottom right a group of women and animals are dancing with each other to some music. Book from the 14th century.