Chapter

Symbiosis

Ory Amitay

in From Alexander to Jesus

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780520266360
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948174 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520266360.003.0005
Symbiosis

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This chapter deals with a series of incidents and stories, which testify to the special connections between Alexander the Great and Herakles. These include some crucial historical events as well as stories which do not belong to Alexander's life, but rather to his posthumous reputation and his myth. The chapter begins at Alexander's last banquet, which also saw the last appearance of Herakles in Alexander's life. The siege of Tyre forged the connection between the two on the battlefield. In light of the Tyrian affair, one can also understand better Alexander's visit to the oracle of Ammon in Siwah. The introduction of Divine Sonship into this visit is unexpected, even startling. Another episode connecting Alexander and Herakles is the story of the young Macedonian's confrontation with the delphic Pythia and his violent extraction of a prophecy from the Delphic oracle. Another, more concrete, example of the conflation of Alexander's image with that of Herakles appears on the Macedonian's new coinage.

Keywords: Alexander the Great; Herakles; myth; banquet; Tyre; Ammon; Divine Sonship; Pythia; Delphic oracle; prophecy

Chapter.  11113 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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