Chapter

Alexander and Jesus

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/9780520266360.003.0009
Alexander and Jesus

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Alexander the Great and Jesus Christ are diametrically opposed. One lived a life of violence, the other shed his own blood for the sake of humanity. One was an agonistic and egotistic leader of men, the other walked selflessly and alone. One gained his victories in this world, the other is to do so in the next. The example set by Alexander inspired a fashion of self-divinization. The influence of this new-found fashion on the philosophy of religion is manifest in the famous theory of Euhemeros the Messenian, who argued that Ouranos, Kronos, and Zeus had all once been humans, and that they were deified as a reward for their benefactions to mankind. Yet there are also many memes shared by both Jesus and Alexander, including Divine sonship, dual paternity, virgin birth, moral choice in the face of temptation, world rule, mission for the benefit of humankind, death at a young age before the mission is complete and, finally, apotheosis.

Keywords: Alexander the Great; Jesus Christ; self-divinization; Euhemeros the Messenian; Divine sonship; dual paternity; moral choice; temptation; apotheosis

Chapter.  11886 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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