The Location of the Candace Episode in the Alexander Romance and the Chronicle of John Malalas

Authors

  • Benjamin Garstad MacEwan University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15460/aethiopica.26.1970

Keywords:

Ethiopia, India, Palladius De Vita Bragmanorum, Indian Ocean networks, elephants, Aksum, Alexander Romance

Abstract

The Alexander Romance is vague about Alexander's passage from India to the realm of Candace of Meroë, but seems to suggest it is accomplished swiftly and easily. The earliest versions of the Romance, moreover, indicate there were close relations between Candace's kingdom and India, even that her ancestors once held power over India. If Candace's realm is identified as Ethiopia, this is a perplexing state of affairs. But it seems to have taken on a plausibility with the rise of the kingdom of Aksum. In the De Vita Bragmanorum Palladius depicts Aksum as a province of a vast empire centred on Sri Lanka. But it is John Malalas, in his universal chronicle, who modifies the story of Alexander and Candace to explicitly locate it in Aksum, or the land of the 'Inner Indians', as distinct from both India and Ethiopia. This modification not only made sense of several details in the Alexander Romance, but was also consistent with shifting attitudes toward Ethiopians and Aksumites in Late Antiquity.

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Published online

2024-05-07

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How to Cite

[1]
Garstad, B. 2023. The Location of the Candace Episode in the Alexander Romance and the Chronicle of John Malalas Aethiopica 26 (2023) 30–61. DOI:https://doi.org/10.15460/aethiopica.26.1970.