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  • Studi di poesia greca tardoantica ed. by D. Gigli Piccardi—E. Magnelli
  • Laura Miguélez-Cavero
Studi di poesia greca tardoantica
D. Gigli Piccardi—E. Magnelli, Eds.
Florence: Firenze University Press, 2013. Pp. 175. ISBN 978–88–6655–487–5.

This volume of studies represents the publication of a seminar on late antique Greek poetry organised at the University of Florence by two recent doctorates, Lucia Maddalena Tissi and Nicola Zito. It gives voice to a number of young researchers working at the moment in Florence and other Italian universities. As such the volume gives illustrative notice of the careful work done on diffi cult and historically understudied late antique poems.

Valentina Cecchetti dedicates the first chapter to Orphic Argonautica line 31, part of the initial opus catalogue, a taste of the commentary she is preparing on the whole poem. The edition curated by Francis Vian presents ὄργια Πραξιδίκης καὶ ὀρεινῆς νύκτας Ἀθηλῆς (which he translates, “les mystères de Praxidike et les nuits d’Athélé la montagnarde?”), although the manuscripts transmit ὄργια Πραξιδίκης καὶ ἀρείνης νυκτὸς ἀθήνης (the mysteries of Praxidike and of Athena, oak of the night). After considering the textual solutions proposed previously, as well as investigating the parallels and contexts of all variants, Cecchetti concludes that the best option is to print Vian’s reading, wisely relying on the Orphic-Dionysiac background of the text.

Nicola Zito focuses on two passages of Maximus’s Περὶ καταρχῶν, a brief epic-didascalic poem on the influence of the moon and zodiacal signs on human life. For the vox nihili αιοερωση [End Page 436] (of the Pleiads) transmitted by manuscript L in line 281, Ludwich had suggested εἰαρόεσσα (spring-like), but Zito gives wider evidence for αἰθερόεσσ’, a conjecture suggested earlier by Eduard Gerhard. In line 296 Ludwich printed μορόεντι σιδήρῳ, instead of the transmitted πυρόεντι σιδήρῳ, which, it is proved here, is likelier. Zito’s edition of this poem, forthcoming in Belles Lettres, is eagerly anticipated.

Lucia Maddalena Tissi offers here a “preview” of her forthcoming commentary on the oracles embedded in the Theosophia Tubingensis. § 27 Erbse (= I 24 Beatrice) is attributed to Porphyry (De philosophia book 2) and has been described as Chaldean. The text quoted by the Theosophia seems to be a hymn, and the commentary that immediately follows concludes that it describes the three types of angels. Tissi offers a detailed textual (lines 12–19 require editorial attention) and contextual study (PGM, the New Testament, extant works and fragments by Porphyry, Porphyry-related texts such as Proclus’s commentaries or Calcidius’s In Tim., and Fathers of the Church such as Augustine and Gregory of Nazianzus). Based on this, she concludes that the oracle is consistent with the style of the De philosophia (although three of the angels mentioned there do not find an exact counterpart in the extant texts) and that Chaldean influence is visible in the first part, whereas the second reproduces a late theological koine influence by Jewish tradition. For the final paraphrase of the oracle, Tissi rules out Porphyrian authorship: Porphyry usually resorts to symbolic exegesis, whereas here we have something akin to a grammarian’s glossa.

Sara Lanna is the author of a critical edition, with Italian translation and commentary of the Hymn to Physis by Mesomedes (S. Lanna, Mesomede. Inno a φύσις, Quaderni di Seminari Romani di cultura greca 15, [2013]). In this book she offers a reading of Mesomedes’ Hymn to Isis, an expression of syncretistic henotheism. The text transmitted for lines 9–10 in the Ottobonianus (τὸ, καλεῦσι πῦρ / Ἄϊδός τε καὶ χθόνιος Ὑμέναιος) does not fit the metre (cretic dimeters) and is diffi cult to understand. Previous editors have corrected the initial τό into τύ or τε, but after reading each cluster of the two lines in the context of this hymn and of what we know about the language used at the time to refer to Isis, she proposes τὸ καλεῦσι πῦρ Ἄιδος <τε> / ‹ἐγ›χθόνιος ὑμέναιος. πῦρ Ἄιδος describes Isis as the sun of the Underworld.

Idalgo Baldi, the author of Gli Inni di Sinesio di Cirene. Vicende testuali di un corpus tardoantico (2012), treats Synesius’ Hymn 7, where the author prays for his own well being and that of his family. He focuses on the much disputed lines 29–31, where he suggests that Synesius prays for two brothers and two sons (Hesychius and Dioscorius): Γνωτῶν τε συνωρίδα / τεκέων τε φυλάσσοις, / ὅλον Ἡσυχιδᾶν δόμον / ὑπὸ σᾷ χερὶ κρύπτοις.

Francesco Valerio, who published...


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