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Title: A Short Note on Seneca's Hercules Furens and the Imperial-Critical Reading of Hebrews
Author(s): DODSON, Joseph R.
Journal: Biblica
Volume: 101    Issue: 2   Date: 2020   
Pages: 282-291
DOI: 10.2143/BIB.101.2.3288268

Abstract :
In Resisting Empire, Whitlark argues that the depiction of Jesus as a Herculean hero in Hebrews 'communicated covert anti-imperial notions to its audience'. This note draws on an imperial-critical reading of Hercules Furens to support Whitlark’s argument regarding how the author of Hebrews cuts against the grain of the Roman use of the Hercules saga. Hercules Furens stands as an example of a subversive work about Hercules that is more comprehensive and contemporaneous than Whitlark’s other references, and it buttresses the plausibility of his inference that Hebrews uses the ubiquitous imagery for Hercules to communicate a subtle-yet-blistering critique of the empire.

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