French miniature painting of the 14th century from a manuscript in the Berlin Royal Kupferstich Cabinet.

The Alexander Romance is one of the most popular tales of the middle ages. Callisthenes, one of the companions of Alexander the Great, wrote an account of the Asiatic expedition, but this is lost. His name is attached to a fabulous account which is supposed to have been written early in the 3d century. This was translated into Latin by several persons, and all later renderings of the story are based upon one of these. In the 5th century it was translated into various Eastern languages, and in the nth century was translated from the Persian back to the Greek, and this in turn was translated into Latin and even Hebrew. In this garb it became very popular and is the foundation of all the subsequent English and French poems on the subject. A score of French poets worked upon it, and by translations and expansions turned it into the "Romance of Alexander," the best example of which is the work of the troubadour Alexander of Paris.

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