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“A Woman Clothed With The Sun” And The “Great Red Dragon” Seeking To “Devour Her Child” (Rev 12:1, 4) In Roman Domestic Art

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Chapter Summary

David E. Aune interprets an astounding range of ancient and modern sources in his commentary on Revelation (Rev). This chapter focuses on Greco-Roman culture, especially philosophy and historiography, more lately on Roman domestic art. The central theme of the chapter is that in Rev 12 John was subverting the Imperial visual representation of a pregnant woman/goddess, whose giving birth to her divine child would generate cosmic conflict. A secondary thesis is that the cosmic disorder in heaven and on earth described verbally by John has visual analogies among frescos on Roman domestic walls. The chapter investigates first whether and how the second myth concerning the woman, the child, and the dragon might be visually represented in Roman domestic art; then it discusses visual representations of the other myth. The second myth was known in many cultures and was adapted in the Hebrew Bible.

Keywords: combat myth; David E. Aune; Greco-Roman culture; Hebrew Bible; revelation; Roman domestic art



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