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The Ancestor In Greco-Roman Culture: The Case Of Aeneas

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses three questions: how were the Greeks able to accept the story of Aeneas as an invitation to admire the Romans and to collaborate with them; how did Virgil and Dionysius manage to turn Aeneas into a symbol of friendship between Greeks and Romans; and how does the story provide us with a paradigm for comprehending Paul's presentation of Abraham in Romans 4:1-25. It discusses distinctive similarities between Abraham and Aeneas, who is an ancestor of both Greeks and Romans. The chapter explores how Hellenistic and Roman writers of the Augustan Age shaped the Aeneas legend. The story of Aeneas is one of self-definition. But it is also a poem of reconciliation between Greeks and Romans. Dionysius was determined to make Aeneas the sacred founder of both Greeks and Romans.

Keywords: Abraham; Aeneas; Dionysius; Hellenistic writers; Roman writers

10.1163/ej.9789004181649.i-265.9
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