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Iskandar. See Alejandro de Macedonia

Index: El Aleph, La busca de Averroes.

Fishburn and Hughes: "Iskander, as Alexander the Great was known in Persia, was represented on his coins with two horns. One school of Islamic scholars attributes the allusion in the Koran to Zu'1-Qarnain ('he of two horns') to Alexander, others to a contemporary of Abraham. Borges probably refers to the former. A footnote to Night 464 in the 1885 edition of Burton's translation of the Thousand and One Nights deals with the highly idealised Persian version of Alexander. The two horns, probably symbolising the East and the West, have been variously explained as referring to two protuberances on his head or helmet, or two leeks, or the ram horns of Jupiter Ammon. The footnote in Burton also refers to the legend of Iskander as related in the Sikandar Nama e Bara, or Book of Alexander the Great, by Shaikh Nizami (c.1141-1217), the greatest romantic poet in Persian literature. In Canto XXIII, entitled 'Sikander's Mirror-making', the story is told that 'when Sikander became the key of the world, the mirror by his sword appeared'. Alexander was reputed to have been the first to fashion a mirror, and though at the beginning 'no reflection came truly' it became a 'mirror of philosophy' into which anyone could look and behold the truth. See Gog and Magog." (99)