Aulus Gellius and Irenaeus of Lyons in the Cultural Context of the Second Century AD

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Abstract

In the second century AD the literary and exegetic textual practices became instruments of reinforcement of a variety of social groups, inwardly distinct on the grounds of religious trends (pagans, Christians and independent religious movements) and the elitist or inclusive nature of cultural sharing. In such a context, it is possible to suggest a comparison between two leading intellectuals of the pagan and Christian wings, respectively Aulus Gellius and Irenaeus of Lyons. Even though these two scholars directed their works to different circles and audiences, they shared the interest for the philological and grammatical study of texts and the appropriate lexical choices, the concern about intentional and unintentional mistakes in copying, the reading of a passage in different ways according to the dispositio verborum and the figures of speech – such as hyperbaton or anastrophe – linked to it, the critical analysis of exordia (for orations in Gellius; for Gospels in Irenaeus) and the discussion about the validity of allegorical interpretation. Public lectures held by intellectuals and their textual analysis and exegesis became instruments of mediation in a social context of cultural and religious debate, and led also Christians to form their own community identity against their opponents.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteStudia Patristiica. Vol. XCIII - Papers presented at the Seventeenth International Conference on PAtristic Studies held in Oxford 2015, Volume 19: The First Two Centuries; Apocrypha and Gnostica
Pagine265-273
Numero di pagine9
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017
EventoInternational Conference on Patristic Studies - Oxford
Durata: 10 ago 201514 ago 2015

Convegno

ConvegnoInternational Conference on Patristic Studies
CittàOxford
Periodo10/8/1514/8/15

Keywords

  • Ancient grammatical hermeneutics
  • Early Christianity

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