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:

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This book has shown how Alexander the Great framed his life after the venerable precedents of Greek Myth, which were often, at the same time, his family traditions. Emulating Dionysus, Perseus, Achilles and, not least, Herakles, Alexander lived his life as a character of myth. In hindsight, the mythologization of Alexander, by himself and by others, appears a natural response to changing circumstances, rather than the result of a well-executed master plan. Alexander may perhaps have suborned the priests of Siwah to acknowledge his status as the Divine Son, but he cannot have planned in advance such circumstances as the discovery of Prometheus's cave, the strange yet familiar legends told at Aornos, or his special reception as the third Son of Zeus by the Indian kings. Through his myth, Alexander also provided Christianity with a theological framework, including Divine Sonship, dual paternity, and deification, which helped to strike a delicate balance between the polytheistic and monotheistic worlds. But the inherent difficulties posed by the Jesus Christ myth to any true-hearted monotheist are obvious.

Keywords: Alexander the Great; Jesus Christ; Divine Sonship; myth; Prometheus; Aornos; Zeus; Christianity; dual paternity; deification

Chapter.  1709 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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