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Christianizing Homer : The Odyssey, Plato, and The Acts of Andrew - Dennis R. MacDonald

Christianizing Homer

The Odyssey, Plato, and The Acts of Andrew

Hardcover Published: 1st February 1994
ISBN: 9780195087222
Number Of Pages: 372

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This study focuses on the apocryphal Acts of Andrew (c. 200 CE), which purports to tell the story of the travels, miracles, and martyrdom of the apostle Andrew. Traditional scholarship has looked for the background of such writings in Jewish and Christian scriptures. MacDonald, however, breaks with that model and looks to classic literature for the sources of this story. Specifically, he argues that the Acts represent an attempt to transform Greco-Roman myth into Christian narrative categories by telling the story of Andrew in terms of Homeric epic, in particular the Odyssey. MacDonald presents a point-by-point comparison of the two works, finding the resemblances so strong, numerous, and tendentious that they virtually compel the reader to consider the Acts a transformative "rewriting" of the epic. This discovery not only sheds valuable light on the uses of Homer in the early church but also significantly contributes to our understanding of the reception of Homer in the empire as a whole.

"Gracefully and graciously crafted....Will be of equal interest to scholars of the classics, ancient history, and early Christianity....This stimulating work is also accessible to upper-division undergraduates and interested members of the general public."--Choice "MacDonald is to be commended."--New England Classical Newsletter and Journal "Acts of Andrew offers an extraordinary window into the intellectual and social world of its original audience....A bold thesis."--The Living Church "[A] provocative and erudite book....Christianizing Homer is not a book to be dismissed."--The Journal of Religion "Dennis MacDonald's long-standing involvement with the Acts of Andrew qualifies him admirably for this fascinating investigation....MacDonald has set a new approach to our understanding of at least this apocryphon, and we shall reread the Acts of Andrew with new eyes."--Novum Testamentum "Christianizing Homer is an important book."--International Journal of Classical Tradition "MacDonald offers a significant innovation."--Religious Studies Review

Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introductionp. 3
Homer in the Early Churchp. 17
The Iliadp. 35
City of the Cannibals (Achilles' Myrmidons, AAMt 1a)p. 35
Abduction of Matthias (Circe the Cannibal, AAMt 1-2)p. 39
Jesus Consoles Matthias (Athena the Comforter, AAMt 3)p. 40
Voyage to Myrmidonia (Athena the Sailor, AAMt 4-11)p. 41
Summoning the Dead (Nekyia, AAMt 12-15)p. 44
Sleepy Disembarkation (Odysseus's Arrival at Ithaca, AAMt 16-17)p. 46
Andrew Rescues Matthias (Odysseus Rescues Crew, AAMt 18-21)p. 47
Slaying the Children (Iphigenia and Orestes, AAMt 22-23)p. 50
Devil's Advocate (Zeus's Lying Dream, AAMt 24)p. 52
Dragging the Apostle (Hector's Corpse, AAMt 25-28)p. 53
Fighting the Flood (Achilles and the Scamander, AAMt 29-32a)p. 55
Jesus the Child (Hermes the Youth, AAMt 32b)p. 58
Andrew Departs (Odysseus's Departure from Circe, AAMt 33)p. 59
The Order of the Parallelsp. 60
Conclusionp. 62
Nekyiap. 77
Rendezvous at a Mountainp. 78
City of the Barbariansp. 79
Raising the Myrmidonsp. 81
Visit to the Netherworldp. 84
Departure from Myrmidonia for Amasiap. 100
Conclusionp. 101
Nostosp. 113
The Blind Savant (Tiresias, GE 2)p. 114
Demetrius and His Slave (Achilles and Patroclus, GE 3)p. 115
Sostratus and His Mother (Oedipus and Jocasta, GE 4)p. 117
Gratinus and the Woman's Bath (Nestor and Polycaste, GE 5)p. 119
Dog-Demons and the Dead Youth (Actaeon, GE 6-7)p. 121
Storms, Pirates, and Sailors (GE 8-10)p. 122
The Double Wedding (The Wedding at Sparta, GE 11)p. 124
Exochus (Melampus, GE 12)p. 125
Carpianus and Adimantus (Zeus and Sarpedon, GE 13)p. 126
The Dead Youth (Hector, GE 14)p. 128
Medias and Philomedes (Zeus and Hephaestus, GE 15)p. 129
Nicolaus (Menelaus, GE 16)p. 132
The Young Demoniac (Apollo, GE 17)p. 133
Varianus and Aristobula (Zeus and Hera, GE 18a)p. 134
The Magician and the Virgin (Simon Magus and Helen, PCU 1)p. 141
The Deserter (Ares, PCU 1 and GE 18b)p. 144
Andrew and the Beasts (Heracles, GE 18c)p. 145
The Snake at the Oak (the Dragon at the Golden Tree, GE 19)p. 146
Andrew's Cross (Odysseus's Oar, GE 20)p. 150
Anthimus (Orpheus, GE 21)p. 155
Conclusionp. 157
Back in Achaeap. 177
Lesbius (Dionysus, GE 22)p. 177
Trophime and Callisto (Atalanta and Aphrodite, GE 23)p. 180
Philopater and Verus (Orestes and Pylades, GE 24)p. 182
Calliope (Circe, GE 25)p. 184
Sostratus and Leontius (Agamemnon and Achilles, GE 26)p. 185
The Men at the Bath (Heracles and Hylas, GE 27)p. 187
Nicolaus and the Whore (Menelaus and Helen, GE 28)p. 188
Antiphanes (Heracles, GE 29a)p. 190
Aegeates (Poseidon, GE 29b)p. 193
Sosius and Iphidama (Eumaeus and Eurycleia, GE 30)p. 194
The Beggar at the Portico (Irus the Beggar, GE 31)p. 195
The Blind Family (Phineus, GE 32)p. 196
The Leper at the Harbor (Philoctetes, GE 33)p. 197
Conclusionp. 201
Recognitionsp. 211
The Arrival of Stratocles (Telemachus, Passion 1)p. 212
The Healing of Alcman (Heracles, Passion 2-5)p. 214
The Bedroom of Maximilla (Penelope, Passion 6)p. 217
The Birth Pangs of Stratocles (Theaetetus, Passion 7-12)p. 218
The Return of Aegeates (Odysseus, Passion 13-14a)p. 222
The Empowerment of Maximilla (Penelope, Passion 14b-16)p. 223
The Deception of Euclia (Melantho, Passion 17-22)p. 227
The Arrest of Andrew (Passion 23-28a)p. 228
Iphidama in Prison (Socrates' Friends, Passion 28b-29a)p. 230
The Invisibility of the Women (Odysseus's Mist, Passion 29b-34)p. 231
Maximilla Becomes Male (Passion 35-41)p. 233
Stratocles Gives Birth (Theaetetus, Passion 42-46)p. 234
Andrew's Last Will and Testament (Passion 47-50)p. 235
Conclusionp. 236
Slaying the Suitorp. 249
The Accusation Against Andrew (Socrates, Passion 51)p. 253
The Vengeance of Stratocles (Telemachus, Passion 52-53a)p. 255
The Simile of the Eagle (Socrates' Chariot, Passion 53b)p. 255
The Mystery of the Cross (Odysseus's Mast, Passion 54-55a)p. 257
The Laughter from the Cross (Socrates' Laughter, Passion 55)p. 262
The Immortality of the Soul (Socrates' Psyche, Passion 56-58)p. 263
The Attempted Escape (Crito's Plan, Passion 59-60)p. 269
The Refusal to be Untied (Socrates' Resolve, Passion 61-62)p. 270
The Release of Andrew's Soul (Socrates' Death, Passion 63)p. 272
The Burial of Andrew's Body (Socrates' Corpse, Passion 64a)p. 272
The Denouement (Penelope and Telemachus, Passion 64b)p. 273
Conclusionp. 274
Postscriptp. 287
Authorshipp. 287
Allegorical Readingsp. 289
Unallegorical Readingsp. 290
Andrew's Own Epicp. 293
Conclusionp. 296
Conclusionp. 301
Criteria for Literary Dependencep. 302
Implicationsp. 316
Andrew's Speech to the Crossp. 325
Bibiliographyp. 329
Indexp. 345
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195087222
ISBN-10: 0195087224
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 372
Published: 1st February 1994
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.52 x 16.2  x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.69