A famous mosaic from late Antiquity (3rd century CE) shows the Roman poet Virgil
sitting between two Muses. To his right stands Klio, the muse of history with a scroll in her hands, to his left Melpomene, the muse of tragedy, with a theatre mask. On Virgil’s knees lies a scroll with the 8th verse of the Aeneid quoting: Muse, tell me the reasons…
Virgil created the Aeneid, the poem of the Roman state, the myth of Roman origins. Mark wrote the gospel of Jesus, the myth of Christian origins.
As with Virgil’s poem two literary genres were also the inspiration for the Gospel according to Mark: historical account, giving us the facts, and tragedy, transforming the facts to create a fictional story of philosophical truth. The poet tells us the reasons for what was going on, but transformed poetically.
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