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From Alexander to Jesus$
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Ory Amitay

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520266360

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520266360.001.0001

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Alexander and the End of Days

Alexander and the End of Days

(p.104) 7 Alexander and the End of Days
From Alexander to Jesus

Ory Amitay

University of California Press

Alexander the Great's great adventure wrought ground-shaking changes from the Indus to the Nile, and beyond. Alexander's name pops up repeatedly in the context of eschatological expectation. Indeed, Alexander plays a key role in the most influential piece of apocalyptic eschatological literature produced by second temple Judaism: the Book of Daniel. Alexander also occupies a prominent position with respect to the relation between the inevitable march of history and the principle of prophecy. Moreover, the position of Alexander as a prominent milestone on the road towards the end of time (eschaton) receives its clearest elucidation in a Hebrew text: the Midrash of ten kings. The legendary Alexander had become associated with protecting the northern frontier of civilization, building a fortification to defend a pass across the Caucasus. Of course, Alexander had never been to the mountains which we today call the Caucasus. The real Caucasus was close to the traditional home of the Amazons, whose queen, Thalestria, Alexander met in Hyrkania.

Keywords:   Alexander the Great, Judaism, Book of Daniel, prophecy, eschaton, Midrash, kings, Caucasus, Amazons, Thalestria

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