Early Christian Sources

Recommend, or otherwise, books on Alexander (fiction or non-fiction). Promote your novel here!

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Pezhetairos (foot soldier)
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:50 am

Early Christian Sources

Post by Nikas »

Hi all,

All this talk of oriental sources has me revisiting a question that has been percolating in my brain for some time: namely is anyone aware of any broad survey completed of Alexander as represented in the early Christian writings? I have seen somewhere something on the presentation of Alexander in Augustine's City of God, but I'm think something more systematic?

Granted their use as any practical source material is practically nil, but it is interesting to see how the preservation of Alexander's reputation, or his impact on the society of the times was preserved. To cite such as The Golden Mouth's exhortation to lay-off the Alexander idol-loving weak of faith, it appears Alexander name still had a superstitious appeal even 5-6 centuries after his death:

"And what is one to say about them who use charms and amulets, and encircle their heads and feet with golden coins of Alexander of Macedon. Are these our hopes, tell me, that after the cross and death of our Master, we should place our hopes of salvation on an image of a Greek king? Dost thou not know what great result the cross has achieved? It has abolished death, has extinguished sin, has made Hades useless, has undone the power of the devil, and is it not worth trusting for the health of the body?"

St. John Chrysostom, Instructions to Catechumens, Second Instruction V.
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