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Does the New Testament Imitate Homer?Four Cases from the Acts of the Apostles$
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Dennis R. MacDonald

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300097702

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300097702.001.0001

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Alexander's Escape from Darius

Alexander's Escape from Darius

(p.131) 13 Alexander's Escape from Darius
Does the New Testament Imitate Homer?

Dennis R. MacDonald

Yale University Press

This chapter presents a particularly fascinating imitation of Priam's escape from the Achaean camp, which appears in the Alexander Romance, pseudonymously attributed to Callisthenes, historian to Alexander the Great, and composed in the late second or the third century ce Among other things it tells how Alexander, disguised as Hermes, daringly entered and escaped from Darius's palace. This episode merits special treatment insofar as it entices its readers to recognize it as a parody of the end of the Iliad. The reader should see here an imitation of Hermes' appearances to Priam in Iliad 24. In the first appearance, Hermes takes with him his soporific wand and disguises himself as a Myrmidon; in the second, he appears as himself to Priam as he sleeps. In the novel, Ammon disguises himself as Hermes, wand in hand, and appears to Alexander as he sleeps.

Keywords:   Priam's escape, Achaean camp, Alexander Romance, Callisthenes, Alexander the Great, Hermes

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