Chapter

Eve and the Fallen Angels: Traditions of the First Sin

Vita Daphna Arbel

in Forming Femininity in Antiquity

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199837779
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932351 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199837779.003.0002
Eve and the Fallen Angels: Traditions of the First Sin

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Employing intertextual analysis chapter 1 suggests that in their depiction of Eve’s transgression, several GLAE narrative scenes weave together themes rooted in two aetiologies of evil that were prevalent in the world of antiquity: the Adam and Eve tradition, which links the origin of sin to the first human actions, and the Fallen Angels tradition, which traces the origin of evil to the wrongdoings of the wicked angels. This aspect appears most noticeable in depictions of three aspects: (a) how Eve is implicitly conflated with the evil instigator of the primeval sin, depicted correspondingly as the serpent, Satan, and a fallen angel; (b) how Eve’s sin of disobedience gains sexual connotations; and (c) how Cain is presented not only as his brother’s killer but also as a blood-drinking figure whose unnatural characteristics allude to his supernatural origin as the offspring of the satanic fallen angel and Eve. The chapter further posits that these representations not only reveal an interesting phase of harmonizing literary traditions of evil but also seem to form a new discourse of Eve and characterize her as both disobeying God’s command, as in Genesis, and as playing a much more damaging role associated with the sins of the Fallen Angels.

Keywords: aetiologies of evil in antiquity; genesis; fallen angels tradition; book of the watchers; satan; illicit lust; cain

Chapter.  7160 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Christianity

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