The We-Passages in Acts: a Roman audience interpretation. Pt 9

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by Neil Godfrey


Excursis (only — not a foundational point): Another intermediate “little Troy”

(I will discuss in depth in a later excerpt the unity of Troas, the Troad and Troy in the Classical literature)


In passing it may be worth noting that after Aeneas left Troy and while Italy was still far off Aeneas came upon a second “little Troy” in Greece. Epirus had been populated earlier by Trojan refugees who rebuilt a Troy-like citadel and even attempted a second Xanthus River nearby. Aeneas’ party were welcomed as “fellow-citizens”. Epirus and Rome were both destined to be known as a new Troy, twin sister cities (Aeneid III.503-505).

Of specific note is that the first person Aeneas met here was a woman praying by a river, the royal Andromache, who welcomed him warmly. (III.294ff) Compare below the first person Paul met on reaching his “second Rome” – a woman wealthy from selling purple who was met at a place of prayer by a river (Acts 16:13).

The next person Aeneas met was a man who had the power of prophecy, Helenus. Aeneas greeted him with “You … are Heaven’s interpreter. You know the truth of Apollo’s power …What will guide me safely through the dread ordeals to come?” (III.358ff) Compare the second person Paul is said to have met in Philippi, the slave girl with the false spirit of divination. She greeted Paul with “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation” (Acts 16:17). The author of Acts never takes kindly to pagan prophets and rites.




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Neil Godfrey

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