This paper deals with the rich production of Greek verse inscriptions of Late Antiquity, a large, multi-layered production, which has been usually studied for its historical value. The literary aspects of late epigrams are not often considered by epigraphists, who merely emphasize the presence of “Homeric” expressions and syntagms. In order to show the interest and the results of a literary analysis of late epigraphic epigrams, a sample of Christian inscriptions in verse, of the fifth and sixth centuries, from Crete, Asia Minor, Egypt is taken into consideration. The study of the language and the literary models reveals how these inscriptions, far from being a dull repetition of the so-called “Homeric model” are often inspired by contemporary poetic language, especially by that of Christian poetry. Greek Christian inscriptions in verse show a conscious, and ideological, re-use of Christian poets of the fourth and fifth centuries, in particular of Gregory of Nazianzen and Nonnus of Panopolis, together with / instead of the classical models. These epigrams should therefore be considered at the light of the general problem of the Christianization of the classical language. Their authors and their patrons tried to adapt the classical paideia to a language felt as “lawful” and more representative from an ideological and religious point of view.

Les langues de l’épigramme épigraphique grecque : regard sur l’identité culturelle chrétienne dans l’Antiquité tardive

AGOSTI, GIANFRANCO
2016

Abstract

This paper deals with the rich production of Greek verse inscriptions of Late Antiquity, a large, multi-layered production, which has been usually studied for its historical value. The literary aspects of late epigrams are not often considered by epigraphists, who merely emphasize the presence of “Homeric” expressions and syntagms. In order to show the interest and the results of a literary analysis of late epigraphic epigrams, a sample of Christian inscriptions in verse, of the fifth and sixth centuries, from Crete, Asia Minor, Egypt is taken into consideration. The study of the language and the literary models reveals how these inscriptions, far from being a dull repetition of the so-called “Homeric model” are often inspired by contemporary poetic language, especially by that of Christian poetry. Greek Christian inscriptions in verse show a conscious, and ideological, re-use of Christian poets of the fourth and fifth centuries, in particular of Gregory of Nazianzen and Nonnus of Panopolis, together with / instead of the classical models. These epigrams should therefore be considered at the light of the general problem of the Christianization of the classical language. Their authors and their patrons tried to adapt the classical paideia to a language felt as “lawful” and more representative from an ideological and religious point of view.
9782847888188
Cet article s’intéresse à la riche production d’inscriptions grecques versifiées de l’Antiquité tardive, une production vaste, à couches multiples, qui a été souvent étudiée pour sa valeur historique. Les aspects littéraires des épigrammes tardives ne sont pas souvent pris en considération par les épigraphistes, qui se limitent à souligner la présence d’expressions et de syntagmes «homériques». Afin de montrer l’intérêt et les résultats d’une analyse littéraire des épigrammes épigraphiques tardives, on prend en considération un échantillon d’inscriptions chrétiennes en vers des Ve et VIe siècles, provenant de la Crète, d’Asie Mineure et d’Égypte. L’étude de la langue et des modèles littéraires montre comment ces inscriptions, loin d’être une répétition terne du prétendu «modèle homérique», sont souvent inspirées par le langage poétique contemporain, en particulier par celui de la poésie chrétienne. Les inscriptions grecques chrétiennes en vers révèlent un réemploi conscient, et idéologique, des poètes chrétiens des IVeet Ve siècles, en particulier de Grégoire de Nazianze et de Nonnos de Panopolis, en complément, ou à la place des modèles classiques. Ces épigrammes doivent donc être considérées à la lumière de la problématique générale de la christianisation de la langue classique. Leurs auteurs et leurs commanditaires ont essayé d’adapter la paideia classique à une langue ressentie comme «légitime» et plus représentative d’un point de vue idéologique et religieux.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/1144327
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