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Monday, November 16, 2020

The Mystery Of The Gates Of Alexander

The Alexander Romance is a cross between fiction and historical accounts. To this day, the author's identity is still a mystery. Historical accounts often name him as Pseudo-Callisthenes. Pseudo-Callisthenes immortalized the life and exploits of Alexander the Great crossed the line between memory and fantasy. The most peculiar part of the Alexander Romance is the chapter about the construction of colossal gates to protect most of the known world from barbarians and demons. 

Alexander the Great, Wall OF Alexander, Gog And Magog
Image: Mysterious Middle East

Most people know a fragment about Alexander the Great's conquests in middle school lessons and encyclopedic entries of his life in books and from the Internet. It turned out that writers during the classical and medieval period immortalized his path to power in quests that rival Greek myths. After all, Alexander the Great's achievement is mythical in proportion as he created an empire that stretches from Macedonia to India. Some of his depictions, such as minted coins, often show him having protruding ram horns. In Islam, Alexander the Great is also called the Dhu al-Qarnayn or He of the Two Horns.


The most notable visual representation of how Alexander the Great aided the construction of the Gate of Alexander is the 16th-century Persian miniature art depicting him as Dhu al-Qarnayn while overseeing the wall's structure with the aid of Djinns in its construction. The wall's primary purpose is to protect most of the known world from Gog and Magog(Yajuj and Majuj in Islamic lore). Some accounts describe Gog and Magog's armies as vicious or less human or in league with other Djinns. Some scholars believe that the barbarians were mistaken to be humanoids because of their gears made out of animal hides or skin that is often mistaken for their natural appearance.

Alexander the Great, Gog And Magog, Wall of Alexander
Image: Purple Motes

These accounts about the exploits of Alexander the Great and how he saved the ancient world by erecting the Gate of Alexander will raise the question, where is it located in the modern-day? The remnants of this mythical wall or Gates of Alexander is called the Great Wall of Gorgan.

According to Muslim scholars, The Great Wall of Gorgan is a reconstruction of a more massive Gates of Alexander; although smaller in scale, the purpose is still the same, to protect the vast lands beyond the walls from the scourge of Gog and Magog. The Red Wall or Great Wall of Gorgan is second only to the Great Wall of China, with 121 miles from the Caspian Sea to the mountains of Bilikuh, of modern-day Iran. Sadly, the Great Wall of Gorgan is not in pristine condition to be a tourist spot since time buried what once to be the mighty Red Wall.


Fictional accounts of the Alexander Romance also pit the conqueror in various quests on lands beyond the known world. Tales about his quest to obtain the 
Ab-i Hayat (Water of Life) or the fountain of youth is also a story arc in the Alexander Romance. Most of these stories are fictional and ways to immortalize Alexander the Great since he is larger than life figure. 

Gates Of Alexander
Image: Mail Online

A more authoritative ancient text about Alexander the Great's life is Plutarch's monumental work, The Life of Alexander the Great, or only Alexander in some modern translations. The best current book published about Alexander the Great's life is The First European: A History of Alexander in the Age of Empire, written by Pierre Bryant.

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