The paper deals with etymological wordplays on proper names in late antique metrical inscriptions, discussing some select examples from the 3rd to the 6th century AD, of both funerary and honorary epigrams. In most of the texts etymological puns on proper names are usually quite ‘easy’ to detect, but there are examples of more sophisticated wordplays that require a higher level of engagement from the reader. Their presence is a further evidence that metrical inscriptions were meant also to be read. If the targeted audience were primarily cultivated people, performative reading (perhaps accompanied by on-the-spot exegesis) probably also enabled less educated groups to appreciate etymological wordplays, which were after all extremely popular in antiquity.

Wordplays on proper names in metrical inscriptions of Late Antiquity

Agosti
2020

Abstract

The paper deals with etymological wordplays on proper names in late antique metrical inscriptions, discussing some select examples from the 3rd to the 6th century AD, of both funerary and honorary epigrams. In most of the texts etymological puns on proper names are usually quite ‘easy’ to detect, but there are examples of more sophisticated wordplays that require a higher level of engagement from the reader. Their presence is a further evidence that metrical inscriptions were meant also to be read. If the targeted audience were primarily cultivated people, performative reading (perhaps accompanied by on-the-spot exegesis) probably also enabled less educated groups to appreciate etymological wordplays, which were after all extremely popular in antiquity.
Agosti, Gianfranco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/1144586
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