This reading engages two important and related dimensions of Mark's scene of Legion entering the pigs. First, is the name Legion to be understood as signifying numbers (Gundry), or as a largely nonintegrated or secondary military detail (Marcus, Collins), or, as will be argued here, a military reference that is, along with other military terms and motifs, central to the scene? Second, how might we understand the demon's unusual request to enter the pigs? Seeking to integrate a military meaning for the name “Legion” with an explanation for the demon's request to enter the pigs, and employing imperial-critical, masculinity, and sociopolitical-narrative approaches, this paper highlights the scene's polyvalent gendered and military-imperial language that has often been neglected since Derrett's brief but undeveloped 1979 reference to it. My argument is that the scene inscribes Jesus's hegemonic masculinity even while it mocks Roman power as an out-of-control, demonic, militaristic, and (self-)destructive masculinity, and fantasizes Rome's defeat as womanly weakness at Jesus's superior, commanding, masculine hands. Attention to the scene's cross-gendering, which draws from imperial-critical and gendered perspectives, has been ignored in previous work.

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