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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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Lying Dream and True Portent

Lying Dream and True Portent

(p.23) 2 Lying Dream and True Portent
Does the New Testament Imitate Homer?

Dennis R. MacDonald

Yale University Press

This chapter begins with the first book of the Iliad, according to which, in the ninth year of the Trojan War, Apollo destroyed many Greeks to punish Agamemnon, their commander, for having taken captive the daughter of Apollo's priest. To avert the plague, Agamemnon begrudgingly freed the girl and, in her place, took to his tent Achilles's beloved concubine Briseis. Enraged, Achilles withdrew from the war and asked his mother, Thetis, to implore Zeus to punish Agamemnon. The king of the gods thus decided to send him a “destructive dream.” Hera, Zeus's wife, stiffly opposed Troy, so without telling her or any other god, the Olympian ordered Oneiros to tell Agamemnon that the Greek troops could “now” take the city. The subsequent attack would cause the death of many.

Keywords:   Iliad, Trojan War, Apollo, Agamemnon, Achilles, Briseis

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