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New Testament

Imitatio Romuli

I would like to add something to what I said a week ago about Richard Miller’s Resurrection and Reception in Early Christianity. Just before the section on the author’s conclusions, we read this paragraph:

Those properly comprehending, yet prone to resist the present thesis then must answer: How might a Judaized, Christianized adaptation of the “translation fable,” particularly one mimetically following that of Romulus, have appeared, if not more or less precisely as one finds crafted in the postmortem narratives of the New Testament Gospels? [page 177]

Miller is talking about how the Four Evangelists plagiarised the stories about the old God of the Romans when it came to the missing body, prodigies, darkness over the land, meeting on the road, eyewitness testimony, mountaintop speech and great commission, son of a god, ascension, taken away in a cloud and deification (classical sources about the Romulus story: Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Plutarch, Ovid, Livy and Cicero).