Evangelising Zeus: the Iliad according to Loukanes

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Dourou, Calliope
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Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand
© 2019 the author
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As early as the fourth century AD, and despite the unflagging efforts of the emperor Julian, known by the sobriquet the Apostate, to thwart the Christians from forging an abiding bond with classical literature, the process of amalgamation of the Greek literary heritage with the emerging Christian culture was already underway spawned primarily by the writings of the Cappadocian Church Fathers, for whom Homer continued to hold the highly esteemed position of the educator of the Greeks. Against this rich backdrop of Christian détournement of the Homeric legacy, the present article seeks to explore the Christian resonances in Nikolaos Loukanes’ 1526 Iliad. Rather than banishing the Olympian gods from his Iliad, as his Byzantine predecessor Konstantinos Hermoniakos had done in the fourteenth century cleaving to his faith, Loukanes opts to depict the gods, albeit through the lens of contemporary Christian beliefs.
© 2019 the author
Iliad, Zeus, epithet παντοκράτωρ, Hellenistic period
Dourou, C 2019, 'Evangelising Zeus: the Iliad according to Loukanes', Journal of Modern Greek Studies (Australia and New Zealand) — Special Issue, pp. 123-142.