Alexander and the End of Days

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:
Alexander and the End of Days

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Alexander the Great's great adventure wrought ground-shaking changes from the Indus to the Nile, and beyond. Alexander's name pops up repeatedly in the context of eschatological expectation. Indeed, Alexander plays a key role in the most influential piece of apocalyptic eschatological literature produced by second temple Judaism: the Book of Daniel. Alexander also occupies a prominent position with respect to the relation between the inevitable march of history and the principle of prophecy. Moreover, the position of Alexander as a prominent milestone on the road towards the end of time (eschaton) receives its clearest elucidation in a Hebrew text: the Midrash of ten kings. The legendary Alexander had become associated with protecting the northern frontier of civilization, building a fortification to defend a pass across the Caucasus. Of course, Alexander had never been to the mountains which we today call the Caucasus. The real Caucasus was close to the traditional home of the Amazons, whose queen, Thalestria, Alexander met in Hyrkania.

Keywords: Alexander the Great; Judaism; Book of Daniel; prophecy; eschaton; Midrash; kings; Caucasus; Amazons; Thalestria

Chapter.  9887 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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