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THURSDAY, 17TH SEPTEMBER 12.00 – 14.00 Registration 14.00 – 14.45 Opening of Conference 14.45 – 15.30 Opening lecture GENNARO D’IPPOLITO (PALERMO) SOLVED AND STILL UNSOLVED ISSUES ABOUT NONNUS AND HIS WORKS

15.30 – 16.00 Coffee break 16.00 – 17.30


Berenice Verhelst (Ghent) “Breaking the fourth wall”. On literariness and metalepsis in Nonnus’ Dionysiaca

Simon Zuenelli (Innsbruck) The Typhon episode and Dionysus as god of comical theater Laura Miguélez-Cavero (Oxford) Staphylos the imperial panegyrist? Old and new directions on the junctures of epic and encomium 17.30 – 18.00 Coffee break 18.00 – 19.30


Sophie Schoess (Oxford) Visualising Acteon: The motif of recognition in Nonnus’ treatment of the metamorphosis Camille Geisz (Monmouth) Structure and meaning through analogy. Bathing scenes as an example of the use of spatial form in the Dionysiaca Nestan Egatashvili (Tbilisi) Anti-typical poetry as conversing silence 19.30 Evening reception 1

FRIDAY, 18TH SEPTEMBER 9.00 – 10.30

SESSION 3: NONNUS DOCTUS: PHILOSOPHY, RITUAL AND MEDICINE CHAIR: GIANFRANCO AGOSTI Delphine Lauritzen (Paris) Metempsychosis in Nonnus’ Dionysiaka Ewa Osek (Lublin) Sacrificing the snake: Nonnus’ Dionysiaca 2.672–79 and the Orphic Lithica 699–747 Anna Lasek (Poznań) Medical knowledge in the Dionysiaca of Nonnos 10.30 – 11.00 Coffee break 11.00 – 12.30

SESSION 4: PARAPHRASE: THEOLOGY AND PARAPHRASTIC TECHNIQUE (1) CHAIR: MICHAEL PASCHALIS Roberta Franchi (Budapest) (Par. 4.114): Some doctrinal issues in Nonnus’ Paraphrase and their theological implications Frederick Lauritzen (Paris) Nonnus’ interpretation of the ecumenical councils Jane Lightfoot (Oxford) In the beginning was the book? 12.30 – 14.00 Lunch break 14.00 – 15.30

Mary Whitby (Oxford) The epigrams of George of Pisidia


Enrico Magnelli (Firenze) An uknown ‘Nonnian’ poet: John of Memphis Konstantinos Spanoudakis (Rethymno) The mystic reception of Theocritus in Late Antiquity 15.30 – 16.00 Coffee break 2

16.00 – 17.30


Katherine LaFrance (Oxford) Weaving the : Structuring motifs in the Dionysiaka Marta Otlewska-Jung (Berlin)

. On the different concepts of harmony in the Dionysiaca of Nonnus. David Hernández de la Fuente (Madrid) Awakenings in Nonnus: a conscious metaphor 17.30 – 18.00 Coffee break 18.00 – 19.30


Anna Lefteratou (Göttingen) The Christianization of a metamorphosis tale: Virginity, rape or marriage in the Greek novel and in Nonnus’ Dionysiaca Benjamin Acosta-Hughes (Columbus) I had only an untimely love. The ephebic ‘epyllia’ of Dionysiaka XI-XII Katerina Carvounis (Athens), Sophia Papaioannou (Athens) Nonnus’ Dionysiaca and the Latin tradition: revisiting an old question 19.30 Dinner Evening: Songs of ancient Greece – a recital by Łukasz Szypkowski


SATURDAY, 19TH SEPTEMBER 10.00 – 11.00


Cosetta Cadau (Dublin) Female characterisation and gender reversal in Nonnus and Colluthus Fotini Hadjittofi (Lisboa) Women in power? Inverted gender hierarchies in the episodes of Europa and Cadmus 11.00 – 11.30 Coffee break 11.30 – 13.00

SESSION 9: PARAPHRASE: THEOLOGY AND PARAPHRASTIC TECHNIQUE (2) CHAIR: ROBERTA FRANCHI Margherita Maria di Nino (Frankfurt am Main), Maria Ypsilanti (Nikosia) Shepherding the past. Michael Paschalis (Rethymno) Amplification in Nonnus’ Paraphrasis of the Gospel of John and in Juvencus’ Evangeliorum Libri IV Laura Franco (London), Maria Ypsilanti (Nikosia) Poetry and exegesis in portraits of biblical characters: the cases of John the Baptist and Pontius Pilatus in Nonnus’ Paraphrase of St. John’s Gospel 13.00 – 14.30 Lunch break 14.30 – 15.30


Fabian Sieber (Leuven) Boom years of Nonnian Studies? On the reception of Nonnos in Germany (1900–1976)

Domenico Accorinti (Pisa) Photius, the Suda and Eustathius: Eloquent silences and omissions in the reception of Nonnus’ work in Byzantine literature 15.30 – 16.00 Coffee break 4

16.00 – 17.30


Pierre Chuvin (Paris) In the Dionysiaca, was Nonnus really a poet of patria? Gianfranco Agosti (Roma) Nonnus and Coptic literature

Nicole Kröll (Wien) Sites and cities in late antique literature. Athens as cultural self-identification in the Dionysiaka of Nonnus of Panopolis 17.30 – 18.00 Coffee break 18.00 – 19.00 Closing discussion Trends and uncharted territories of Nonnian scholarship

Evening: Warsaw by night – dinner in a restaurant and a guided tour of the Old Town *** THE CONFERENCE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE MISSION AND STRATEGY OF CARDINAL STEFAN WYSZYNSKI UNIVERSITY IN WARSAW FUND. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE Joanna Komorowska Katarzyna Jażdżewska Filip Doroszewski

[email protected] [email protected] [email protected]


ABSTRACTS (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER OF PRESENTER’S SURNAME) Domenico ACCORINTI Photius, the Suda and Eustathius: Eloquent silences and omissions in the reception of Nonnus’ work in Byzantine literature It is well known among Nonnian scholars that a) Photius (c. 810–c. 893), Patriarch of Costantinople, does not mention the Egyptian poet in his Bibliotheca; b) a marginal gloss in one MS of the Suda, Marcianus gr. 448 (coll. 1047), s.v. Νόνναι (ν 489 Adler), refers to Nonnus as (1) a native of Panopolis, (2) ‘a very learned man’ (λογιώτατος), and (3) the author of an hexameter paraphrase of St John’s Gospel; c) Eustathius (c. 1115–1195), Archbishop of Thessalonica (c. 1115–1195), in his commentaries on Homer and Dionysius Periegetes, only quotes anonymously and inaccurately a few lines from Book 1 of the Dionysiaca, and passes over the Paraphrase in silence. This paper offers a reconsideration of these eloquent silences and omissions in the reception of Nonnus’ work in Byzantine literature, and aims to provide new insights into old questions. Benjamin ACOSTA-HUGHES I had only an untimely love. The ephebic ‘epyllia’ of Dionysiaka XI-XII The eleventh and twelfth books of Nonnos of Panopolis’ long hexameter Dionysiaka encompass a chain of shorter narratives of homoerotic love within a larger, self-contained narrative of the god’s love for Ampelos, and the latter’s death and subsequent metamorphosis into the vine. Turning self-consciously to earlier Hellenistic narratives of homoerotic love, these Nonnian episodes recreate the moment of beautiful ephebic death, a death made necessary to preserve for eternity a brief transitional phase in the evolution of a boy into a young man. Dionysios, in his lament for the dead Ampelos (11.276, ‘I had only an untimely youth’, simultaneously comments upon, as does the poet Konstantinos Kavafis’ ‘before time could change them’ upon the necessary brevity of ephcbic beauty. This paper comments upon Nonnus’ treatments of ephebic love in light of earlier poetry, and highlights Nonnus’ intricate, elaborate and often slightly ironic reworking of a particular eros with a long tradition in Greek poetic culture. Gianfranco AGOSTI Nonnus and Coptic literature Nonnian allusions to cults, customs, and aspects of everyday life, and the reworking of features of Egyptian folklore have been extensively studied in the last years, mainly in the works by D. Gigli Piccardi. But another source of influence remains largely unexplored: it is the role Coptic ‘popular’ culture and literature played in Nonnus’ narrative. Like the visual arts, Coptic literature is significant to understanding passages of Nonnian poems in terms not of direct derivation, but rather of a common ‘cultural imagination’. In this paper, in the wake of previous researches (on Dion. 47. 116–124), I will deal with a Coptic hagiographic text (the Life of Shenute by Besa) in order to explain the vexed passage of Dion. 17.385– 397, where Nonnus characterizes the people of Blemmyes in surprisingly positive accents, emphasizing their prompt ‘conversion’ to the Dionysiac cause and carefully distinguishing them from Indians. Both Coptic text and Nonnian verses do not recount a historical event, but a representation shaped by the same rhetorical narrative about the Blemmyes and their relation to Egyptian society. In the second part of my paper I am going to examine a recently edited Coptic apocryphon, The Dance of the Saviour, (most likely from the end of the 4th century, representing Jesus dancing and singing hymns on the Mount of Olives, like a well known passage from the Acts of John) arguing that it opens new paths to a reassessment of dance imagery in the Paraphrase, possibly to be related to contemporary liturgical practices. 6

Cosetta CADAU Female characterisation and gender reversal in Nonnus and Colluthus Over the past decade the attention devoted by Nonnus to the description of physical appearance and gestures has attracted much scholarly interest. My paper surveys the relation between how the female body is presented in the Dionysiaca and the contemporary views on the role of women in early Christian literature. By comparing Nonnus’ portrayals with those of other late antique authors, at least two parallel perspectives on the feminine role emerge: for the Church Fathers, women are allowed sexual activity, although only within the conjugal bond and for the purpose of procreating; this leads to their elected purpose of motherhood, and then to childbirth and breastfeeding as obliged (and admitted) responsibilities. This perspective on women is reflected by characters who (more or less proudly) display a feminine body, where a curvy silhouette and large motherly breasts symbolise that they have embraced their role of nurturers, of procreating spouses, and of women who engage in legitimate sexual activity within marriage. In other contemporary Christian literature, however, the views on women engaging in sexual activity and motherhood range from avoidance to rejection to complete ban: these positions are reflected in portrayals of women who are proud of their boyish figure and their flat chest (as Aura), which symbolise their detachment from femininity, sexuality, and motherhood. I aim that female characterisation in Nonnus may reflect views on gender boundaries of the time, revealing how some authors (such as Colluthus) responded to Nonnus contrasting his promotion of a masculinised and asexual woman in favour of a motherly woman who relies on her femininity as an infallible weapon. Katerina CARVOUNIS, Sophia PAPAIOANNOU Nonnus’ Dionysiaca and the Latin tradition: revisiting an old question Nonnus’ familiarity with Latin literature has attracted scholarly attention in the search for sources for individual episodes in the Dionysiaca. This paper will focus on the episode of Dionysus and Ampelus in Dionysiaca 10-12 and compare it to that of Nisus and Euryalus in Aeneid 9. Nonnus’ Quellenforschung so far has not considered Virgil as a major intertext behind the Dionysiaca; the two episodes in question, however, exhibit similarities that elicit close study. Admittedly, there are significant differences in the settings of the two episodes: Ampelus is the beloved of a god and thus recalls other unlucky young men who were loved by gods (such as Hyacinthus and Adonis) and have become part of nature through transformation, whereas the mortals Nisus and Euryalus are united even in death. But the similarities the two episodes share in both the outline and the details seem too attractive to ignore: both stories depict a pair, where the younger of the two men exhibits rash behaviour and lack of restraint, which eventually leads to his untimely death, causing immense grief to his beloved one; yet both episodes end with immortality for the mortals involved, as Ampelus is transformed into the vine (ἄμπελος) and Nisus and Euryalus are celebrated in Virgil’s own poetry. In its latter part, this paper will discuss the way with which Virgil and Nonnus deal in these two episodes with their earlier Greek sources. It has been suggested that both poets are drawing on Hellenistic authors (such as Bion) to portray the relationship between the two respective pairs. Whereas Virgil seems to be transforming amatory themes within his war epic, Nonnus moulds these themes within the rhetorical context of Late Antiquity. Pierre CHUVIN In the Dionysiaca, was Nonnus really a poet of patria? Since the pathbreaking paper by Alan Cameron, “Wandering Poets” (1965), based upon undisputable cases, it has been customary to look at the Dionysiaca as if it were a collection of samples of patria, a catalogue of ready-to-deliver enkômia, which, obviously, they are either very partially, or not at all, whatever may be the wealth of information they contain. 7

See for an example of this approach Chuvin 1994, and many others. The huge poem would be a witness for a long-living interest for local stories, tales piously transmitted through the centuries and even the millenniums, testifying for the vitality of cities in the proto-Byzantine era. But the question remains none the less, why such an interest ? For, except in the case of two neighbours, major cities of the Empire, Tyre and Beirut, and of the Roman Empire himself, the praise of imperial cities is nowhere on the foreground, and, worse, is often inappropriate in the choice of particulars, and even in the naming of places. Why Satala, and not Smyrna ? Arbitrary, mere caprice, re-use of neglected matter ? Why the giant Alpos quite unrelated with the homonymous mountains ? The paper will endeavour to make a survey and classification of these Nonnian incongruities, then to explain their presence in a poem under most other aspects very carefully composed, and in the end to offer a general explanation for the coexistence under the pen of the same poet, of two works seemingly so diametrically opposed as are Dionysiaca and Paraphrase. Margherita Maria DI NINO, Maria YPSILANTI Shepherding the past The present paper focuses on Nonnus’ paraphrase of the parable of ‘the Good Shepherd’ (P. 10), taken as a telling specimen of his paraphrastic technique, which was intended to rework the pagan tradition, its vocabulary and thematic repertoire to express Christian content. As has been noted by scholars, the Paraphrase reflects the Johannine text quite closely. Nevertheless, Nonnus’ rendering leaves room for different degrees of variation too. This paper aims to analyze in depth a few meaningful omissions, as well as a number of original additions. The most obvious addition to the Gospel version concerns the attribution of human emotions to the flock, which appears indebted to the Bucolic poetry of the Hellenistic age. But also noteworthy in this regard is Nonnus’ tendency to repeat St. John’s ipsissima verba, but to add adjectives of his own choosing: this inclination to produce poetry per adjectiva allows the paraphraser to explain, interpret and comment on his model. On occasion, the presence of pagan models is revealed through epithets drawn from the old sphere of gods and heroes, and reworked to match the new religious content, but sometimes it is expressed through wider intertextual affinities rather than through strict verbal parallels. Moreover, this paper pays specific attention to Nonnus’ imitatio Homerica, which ranges from the use of simple epic or epic/Ionic forms to more evident borrowings from the epic vocabulary. But particularly germane are his use of the Homeric hapax legomena παλινάγρετος and παλίνορσος, of the rare epic verb προκαλίζομαι, which never occurs in Hellenistic literature and reappears only in late authors, and his reworking in Kontrastimitation of the substantives ἐφετμή and ὑψιμέδων. Nonnus’ rendering thus proves to be a complex paraphrastic enterprise, which merges two different worlds in order to explain Christian subject matter in a pagan form. Gennaro D’IPPOLITO Solved and still unsolved issues about Nonnus and his works A comparison between two detailed and comprehensive entries distant in time, the entry “Nonnus” written by Rudolf Keydell (RE 1936) and the eponymous entry written by Domenico Accorinti (RAC 2014) clearly indicates what progress Nonnian criticism has madein almost eighty years. Among the most important turning points there is that which concerns the so-called “Nonnian question”, i.e. the problem of Nonnus’ religion and the apparent contradiction that a single author wrote two works as different as “Dionysiaca” and the “Paraphrase of John’s Gospel” are: the solution which postulates a conversion to Christianity has dominated in the past but today criticism inclines towards a solution that sees Nonnus as a representative of the paganChristian religious syncretism of late Antiquity, and thus opens up new perspectives, 8

especially in the interpretation of the epic of Dionysus. As for the economy and also the text of “Dionysiaca”, the idea of compositional and even textual disorder (alleged gaps, apparent contradictions, transpositions) passes through a reading iuxta propria principia, free of any classicist prejudice, to that of a composition organized according to specific rules, although devoid of the finishing touches. Among issues that are still unsolved but, in my opinion, can be solved, I will mention the problem of the use of Latin sources. In an author who praises the Roman Empire and the law school of Beirut, who writes in an Egypt where papyri attest to scholastic study of Latin poets, who lives in a globalized world in which other poets before (Quintus, Triphiodorus) and after him (Christodorus of Coptus) show they appreciate Latin culture, it is unacceptable that the many parallels with Virgil, Ovid, Nemesianus, and Claudian (who, besides, like other contemporaries of his, also writes in Greek) should continue to be attributed to imaginary common Greek sources. Nestan EGATASHVILI Anti-typical poetry as conversing silence For many years the Nonnian scholars believed, that Dionysiaca is a poem without any structure, composition and poetical style. However, research methodology of Homer’s poems applied in the 20th century (geometric composition) is also relevant to Nonnus. According to some Nonnian scholars’ opinion this disorganized, chaotic and diverse style is the major aspect of the Nonnian poetry. Nonnus calls muses for assistance from the very first paragraph of the Dionysiaca to creating ποικίλον ὕμνον, i.e. colorful song. Poikilia defines one of the main styles of Dionysiaca. Nevertheless, it is not the only one. Nonnus has another major principle of style expressed in anti-type, namely: one item or event reflected in another, which echoes the first one. This formula is referred to the poem of Nonnus as δίστιχος ἁρμονίη − a two-fold harmony. The poet applies the opposition of anti-typical items or events by the following terms: ἀντίτυπος, ἰσότυπος, ἀντίρροπος, τύπος. Though the most commonly used word is ἀντίτυπος, prefix of which – ἀντι, does not mean the opposite for Nonnus, in contrast with the poet’s peers. In the following paper we shall discuss the duality of events used by Nonnus. The author juxtaposes different things and events (phenomena) applying both similarities and differences to convey the anti-type style. Roberta FRANCHI

(Par. 4.114): Some doctrinal issues in Nonnus’ Paraphrase and their theological implications The Johannine Gospel is well-known for its wealth and depth of figurative language, metaphors, and symbols. John uses many different images. In this paper I shall investigate the Johannine Spirit from the particular perspective of the metaphors and symbols Nonnus uses to enable his readers to come to a better understanding of the Spirit. I will also consider the theological implications of the usage of these metaphors, and their explanations in close connection with the surviving Christian commentaries on the Gospel of John. I shall furthermore suggest that there exists a close relationship between the Spirit and the concept of truth. If the Dionysiac world is characterized by instability and change, the world of Christ in the Paraphrase is based on stability, solid faith, and truth. Looking at these themes, a question arises: what is truth in the Paraphrase? What kind of implications do we have in Nonnus? I will also deal with the issue of authenticity.


Laura FRANCO, Maria YPSILANTI Poetry and exegesis in portraits of biblical characters: the cases of John the Baptist and Pontius Pilatus in Nonnus’ Paraphrase of St. John’s Gospel In the Paraphrase Nonnus typically adds terms which denote features and qualities of the feelings, the mental capacity, the disposition, or even the appearance of the persons referred to, whilst the Gospel is generally laconic and strikingly economic in its expression. By adding adjectives or whole phrases to sketch his characters’ minds and souls, Nonnus enhances the rhetorical amplificatio of his model, as regards the form of his work. At the same time, he enriches his work’s content, according to “readings” of the Johannine characters, which can be found in the other Gospels and in later theologians directly or indirectly. In this paper the cases of a positive and a negative character, John the Baptist and Pontius Pilatus, will be examined with particular reference to the sources that may have influenced the Evangelist in his depiction of these persons. Camille GEISZ Structure and meaning through analogy. Bathing scenes as an example of the use of spatial form in the Dionysiaca The variety of the bathing scenes in the Dionysiaca provides a significant insight into the writing methods of Nonnus. Close scrutiny of these scenes reveal the narrator’s care for the structure of his poem, as well as his skill for proposing, through the repetition of a same theme, a colourful range of variations, reworked through both his literary background and his sense of humour. The first of the nine bathing scenes in the Dionysiaca is the archetypal one included in the story of Artemis and Actaeon, drawn out of the chronological order of the narrative to be used as a model or foil for the other eight scenes. The Nonnian rendering of this well-known story scene has Callimachean undertones, and is reworked in two parts complementing each other. In the eight subsequent bathing scenes, the narrator displays his skills for variation through elements such as the behaviour of Zeus or the setting of the scene. He also adds bathing scenes to myths that did not include them in other versions known to us. His wit and sense of humour are displayed in the story of Morrheus and Chalcomedeia, a parody of the archetypal bathing scene, with inverted motifs and the presence of the Homeric tradition pervading the description of Morrheus’ bathing preparations, turning epic into mock epic. Scrutiny of these bathing scenes suggest that in order to appreciate the interplay of correspondences and allusions between these scenes, the Dionysiaca have to be read according to the concept of spatial form: chronology is secondary, and sometimes less meaningful than the interplay of analogies and parallels between the separate, apparently self-contained episodes in the poem. Fotini HADJITTOFI Women in power? Inverted gender hierarchies in the episodes of Europa and Cadmus The feminisation of the Dionysiaca’s men (as well as the occasional masculinisation of its women) is a phenomenon which has received increasing attention in recent years. This paper will examine the ways in which the episodes of Europa and Cadmus, in the first two Books of the epic, programmatically set out such a pattern in the representation of the sexes, but will also ask what this pattern implies in terms of the traditional gender hierarchy, whereby manliness equalled control and power. Europa’s position in the very first episode of the Dionysiaca seems to suggest that she is not only the victim of Zeus’ aggression, but also the one who controls the course of Zeus-the-bull, and therefore of the narrative. 10

Nonnus’ vocabulary implies a certain masculinisation of Europa, not in terms of her appearance, but as the (paradoxically) powerful and active partner, as opposed to Zeus’ willing enslavement and loss of control. Correspondingly, if Cadmus is feminised in his involvement in the battle against Typhoeus, this seems to make him more, rather than less, powerful. His feminine means of beguilement are not only successful, they will also be seen to fulfil the impossible fantasies and daydreams of at least one Iliadic hero, thus allowing the (feminised) Dionysiac hero to both have his cake and eat it: Cadmus can be both effeminate and powerful. It will be suggested that the factor allowing for this paradox is eros and the devastating effects it is thought to have on the male characters (in these case studies: Zeus and Typhoeus), overwhelming their subjectivity and allowing them to become, at least to some extent, the playthings of their female beloveds.

David HERNÁNDEZ DE LA FUENTE Awakenings in Nonnus: a conscious metaphor “Der junge Bacchus kam mit heiligem / Weine vom Schlafe die Völker weckend,” wrote once Friedrich Hölderlin alluding to the figure of Dionysos as “the Awaker”. No doubt, the Dionysiac awakening par excellence is that of Ariadne on the island of Naxos, rescued by Bacchus after her abandonment by Theseus. But there are other moments in which people sleeping are awaken by Bacchus one way or another in Nonnus’ Dionysiaca. Not only young maidens such as Nicaea, Aura and Pallene indulge in a sensual slumber and an abrupt awakening to a new stage of their life with a Bacchic offspring, but also other mythical characters such as Tylus or Ampelus experience a peculiar awakening to a renewed life. Thus, references to sleep and awakening deal as very productive metaphors in Nonnus’ Dionysiaca. Some interesting parallels with the Paraphrase can be also mentioned (the most obvious is Lazarus’ episode). But, beyond that, this contribution aims at a global interpretation of this basic Dionysiac ‘mythologeme’ with particular reference to Nonnus’ literary project, his ideological context and the visual arts. Nicole KRÖLL Sites and cities in late antique literature. Athens as cultural self-identification in the Dionysiaka of Nonnus of Panopolis The aim of the contribution is to highlight how Nonnus of Panopolis inserts topographical sites, historical persons and mythological characters that are typical for the classical and Hellenistic Greek culture into his Dionysiaca. Through the mirror of late antique epic, special heed will be taken of the relationship between Greece and the eastern Mediterranean world. By implementing various poetical techniques, as it will be argued, Nonnus absorbs and transforms outstanding events and traditions of the Greek past into his own late antique era and therefore partakes in the shift of Greek culture towards the east. Katherine LAFRANCE Weaving the κόσμος: Structuring motifs in the Dionysiaka The frequency of the character Harmonia’s appearance in the Dionysiaka is curious. Being less known and appearing less frequently in Greek literature than her counterpart, Eris (Strife), Harmonia yet emerges as a recurrent character in Nonnus. What is the significance of Nonnus’ repeated use of Harmonia in his epic? It is clear that the play of opposites and contrasts feature largely in the poem, not least in Dionysus himself; yet the repeated stories featuring Harmonia 11

appear to arise because the poet seeks a dual focus in his epic: both to present a multitudinous universe, and to offer a means of finding order and control within it. This paradox of bewildering diversity and a claim to order recurs throughout the work. Ordering mechanisms – such as recurrent themes and tropes, astronomical language, oracular speeches, a strict meter – are put into direct contrast with the sometimes disorderly nature of the poem: overflowing and ornate language, numerous mythological stories strung together, violent warfare. Unlike many of Nonnus’ passing mythological stories and characters, however, the character of Harmonia is a persistent presence. She is also often tied with the discussion of κόσμος and with the examples of the universe which appear in art and image in the poem. I will address these issues and the way in which the poet uses the poem as microcosm to explore duality and the interplay between chaos and order. Anna LASEK Medical knowledge in the Dionysiaca of Nonnos Some scholars have described traces of medical and pharmacological knowledge in the Dionysiaca of Nonnos, but none have provided much detail to his references. The author portrays a wide range of medical knowledge, such as: anatomical descriptions, symptoms of diseases and disorders, and methods of treatment. Many of the descriptions mentioned in the epos testify to the broad medical knowledge of the author, which can be surprising for the modern reader. The aim of this presentation is to evaluate and classify medicine and pharmacological references as presented in the epos. To conclude, my aim is to answer the following question:  Did the author of Dionysiaca have proper medical education or was he simply a very good observer of his surroundings? Delphine LAURITZEN Metempsychosis in Nonnus’ Dionysiaka In Dionysiaka 37.3-6, Nonnus alludes to the belief in metempsychosis in relation to the Indians who died at war. Although brief, the passage is precise enough so that various philosophical and theological influences can be detected. The key question of the immortality of the soul is also addressed with the lengthy description of the funerary games given in honor of Opheltes which follows. One of the themes is the link between body and soul as well as the place of the soul after death and its relation to the first Principle. These questions are central in the Alexandrian thought in the Vth century and provide a new perspective on the framework of the poem. Frederick LAURITZEN Nonnus’ interpretation of the ecumenical councils The Paraphrase of the Gospel of Saint John written by Nonnus of Panopolis in the fifth century offers not only a poetic rendition of a prose text, but also an up-to-date interpretation of its meaning. In some passages the Paraphrase adds ideas which are not originally present in the Gospel and which have allowed scholars to date Nonnus’ text itself. The origin of such additions can be found in theologians as well as decrees issued by the ecumenical councils of Nicaea (325), Constantinople (381), Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon (451). While individual theologians, such as Cyril of Alexandria, inspired notions which could be more or less acceptable, the ecumenical councils issued official documents which were the result of debate, compromise and agreement among numerous points of view. There are passages in the Paraphrase which originate from these decrees. The inclusion of council decrees in the Paraphrase demonstrates the intention of the author to paraphrase the Gospel in order to s u p p o r t t h e o f f i c i a l p o s i t i o n e x p r e s s e d b y t h e O r t h o d o x C h u r c h12.

Given the divisive nature of such a council as Chalcedon (451) specifically in Egypt, the intention of the author may also be polemical within the local context of composition. This means that the Paraphrase was intended as a theological treatise rather than a rhetorical exercise and this explains its popularity in Byzantium as well as with such thinkers as Philip Melanchthon who introduced and sponsored the second edition of 1523. Anna LEFTERATOU The Christianization of a metamorphosis tale: Virginity, rape or marriage in the Greek novel and in Nonnus’ Dionysiaca This paper will discuss the metamorphosis myths of virgin maidens in the erotic narrative of Longus, Achilles Tatius, and Nonnus’ Dionysiaca and will show the process of the Christianization of the myth. a. In the first section I will examine the similarities and the differences in the description of the metamorphosis tales. I will present the aetia about ‘Euthynicus and Rhodope’ in Achilles Tatius (8.12.1) and Longus’ ‘Phatta’ (1.27.2-4) and I will study them alongside the rape of Nicaea, that is compared, among others, to that of Daphne (16.179-180) Echo and Syrinx (16.324-338) and Aura’s rape, childbirth, and metamorphosis into a locus amoenus (48.238-978). I will then challenge the debt of Nonnus to the novel and I illustrate how epic and novel manipulate differently the readerly expectations from a metamorphosis tale by starting from a divergent ideal of virginity and procreation. b. In the second part, I will tackle the reception of such tales by Nonnus’ Christian readership. For a Christian, the most impeccable transformation was the Transfiguration of Jesus (Matth. 17.1, Mark 9:2, Luke 9:28) and the transubstantiation of wine and bread, during the Eucharist, into blood and body of Christ. This Christian transformative imagery slowly replaced the classical one. In De Virginibus 4.31, for example, Ambrose describes the exchange of clothes between a virgin martyr condemned to be raped in the brothel and a Christian soldier who stays behind in her stead (and in her clothes), as follows: ‘this is not that famous story (fabulosam) of the hind substituted for the virgin. Rather it is a case of a maiden being transformed (convertit) into a soldier. I had heard and did not believe that Christ changed water into wine (cf. John 2:1–10), but now he has begun to change (mutare) sexes as well’. (transl. Ramsey) My paper will close with a discussion of the Christianization of mythological metamorphosis in late antique epic poetry. Jane LIGHTFOOT In the beginning was the book? This paper continues the theme of the previous two contributions to the Nonnus series by following up the discussions of prophecy with an exploration of how the Paraphrasis (and to a lesser extent the Dionysiaca) presents scripture, the book, and the written word. An exploration of Nonnus’ paraphrastic practice when rendering the words biblion and graphe in the Paraphrasis contrasts it with his ‘expansive’ or ‘interpolative’ treatment of inspired voice, or omphe. Further patterns also emerge in the course of the investigation — Nonnus’ preference for the singular ‘book’, but equal readiness to render ’scripture’ in terms of books and voice. Epithets of books suggest their divinity, wisdom, sentience, and truth; many or most apply to both text and speech, and many are present in the Dionysiaca too, including the interesting metaphor of wisdom as ‘milk’. One pattern within the Paraphrasis itself is that ‘truth’ is considerably likelier to be associated with speech than with books; reinforcing this is perhaps Nonnus’ tendency to ascribe the sound of the live voice to ‘witness’ (almost universally in the Paraphrasis; in much more attenuated and trivialised form in the Dionysiaca). Furthermore, where the Gospel uses fulfilment citations with the verbs π λ η ρ ο ῦ ν o r τ ε λ ε ι ο ῦ ν , N o n n u s p r e f e r s t o r e n d e r t h e m v o c a l l y . 13

His combinations of text and speech, and presentation of ‘multi-media’ prophets (who employ both), seem broadly to conform to certain patterns (rather to exhibit poikilia for its own sake); there are both similarities and differences with the ‘double modality’ of text and speech in the Sibylline oracles (where references to textuality are employed especially in connection with issues about authenticity, and where text is often something in need of explication).The paper concludes by considering the bearing of the late antique conception of the book as a mystic or even holy object on both Nonnus’ poems. Enrico MAGNELLI An uknown ‘Nonnian’ poet: John of Memphis This paper deals with an almost entirely neglected poetical text from Late Antiquity. In the last pages of an eleventh-century manuscript of Gregory of Nazianzus’ orations preserved at Oxford, Magdalen College, gr. 5, we find a short Greek poem in seventeen hexameters On a book containing the 47 orations of the Theologian, ascribed to some John of Memphis. The text was printed long ago by R. Montagu in his edition of Gregory’s orations against Julian (Eton 1610); a much improved text was offered by the distinguished Polish Hellenist Jan Sajdak in his Historia critica scholiastarum et commentatorum Gregorii Nazianzeni, I (Krakow 1914, p. 268f.; lines 1-6 alone are briefly quoted by J. Nimmo Smith, in Studia Nazianzenica II, Turnhout 2010, p. 135). About the author we know nothing − he cannot, for evident chronological reasons, be identified with the Egyptian John who was the Meletian bishop of Memphis in the first half of the 4th century. What I am going to argue is that the poem has a distinctly Nonnian flavour, and can thus be dated not earlier than the mid5th century. An obvious terminus ante quem is the Arab conquest of Egypt: nor is the possibility of a false ascription worth considering, since these verses feature a good metrical accomplishment that does not fit the Byzantine age stricto sensu. To be sure, our poet is not strictly ‘Nonnian’, such as Musaeus, Paul the Silentiary and the others: but echoes from both the Dionysiaca and the Paraphrase can indeed be detected, and the poem is a telling instance of Nonnus’ influence on ‘minor’ poets of this age—there is still much to do in this field. Laura MIGUÉLEZ-CAVERO Staphylos the imperial panegyrist? Old and new directions on the junctures of epic and encomium Alan Cameron’s book on Claudian (Claudian: Poetry and Propaganda in the Court of Honorius, Oxford 1970) successfully explored the intersections of epic and encomium in the Latin side of the late antique Mediterranean, but failed to trigger a parallel study on the poetry produced in the Greek-speaking East. In this paper I shall analyse the speeches dedicated by Staphylos, king of Assyria, to Dionysos in book 18 of Nonnus’ Dionysiaca and read them together with their epic sources of inspiration (Staphylos is as prolix as long-winded as Nestor), the rhetorical patterns discerned, among others, in the treatises by Menander Rhetor, and late antique panegyrics (P.Oxy. 7.1015, P.Oxy. 63.4352, PSI 2.149, P.Oxy. 50.3537, P. Vindob. Gr. 29788+20474, P.Berol. inv. 10558-9, P. Gen. 4.158, P.Argent. 480, P.Flor. 2.114, PSI 3.253, P.Vindob. gr. 29788 A-C, BKT 9.56; AP 15.9; prologues of Paul Sil. Ekphr. Hagia Sophia and Ekphr. ambo). I shall focus especially on the deployment of comparisons and paradigms. Ewa OSEK Sacrificing the snake: Nonnus’ Dionysiaca 2.672–79 and the Orphic Lithica 699–747 The paper analyses and compares two contemporary texts of Egyptian provenance: Nonnus’ Dionysiaca 2.672–79 and the Orphic Lithica 699–747. The latter one shows the bizarre sacrifice of serpent to be cooked and eaten, whereas the Nonnian passage describes the 14

unusual, magic-like rite that was to be performed by Cadmus, the dragon-killer. Both of them reflect some occult rituals as represented in the alchemical writings (cf. CAG 1.5–6: Mystery of Ouroboros), rather than the regular sacrificial practice of late antiquity (“no one ever used to sacrifice the snakes”, to quote Porphyry of Tyre). Marta OTLEWSKA-JUNG of Nonnus

. On the different concepts of harmony in the Dionysiaca

In the Dionysiaca various philosophical notions of harmony can be encountered, apparently an indication of Nonnus’ famous fondness for poikilia. As in ancient philosophy, Nonnus describes harmony as a principle of music and as texture of the whole universe, representing social justice and embodying the ethics of a durable marriage. Moreover, he introduces two personifications of harmony in his epic. The first Harmonia is an unchanging goddess dwelling in her palace in the vault of heaven, protecting the oracles of history, depicted by epithets such as “mother of all” (παμμήτωρ) and “all-nurturing” (παντρόφος). In contrast, the second Harmonia is the illegitimate daughter of Aphrodite and Ares, living the life of a mortal, growing from a maiden to a fellow wanderer and faithful wife of Kadmos, giving birth to five children. In my contribution, I will examine how these seemingly opposite Harmoniai are presented and what is the common core of their virtue. Further, I will scrutinize the philosophical roots of the concepts of harmony displayed in the epic, from the early Pythagoreans to the Neoplatonic schools. I will argue that Nonnus, who was widely praised for the harmony of his hexameter, offers a coherent vision of celestial harmony and its mundane manifestations in his poem. Finally, I will consider whether the conquests of Dionysus can be regarded as an act of harmonization of the cosmos of the Dionysiaca. Sophia PAPAIOANNOU see Katerina Carvounis Michael PASCHALIS Amplification in Nonnus’ Paraphrasis of the Gospel of John and in Juvencus’ Evangeliorum Libri IV Amplification, the quantitative expansion of the base text, constitutes the most significant common ground for comparing the paraphrastic techniques of Nonnus and Juvencus, since abbreviation is common in Juvencus but rare in Nonnus and transposition carries each time its own peculiar features. Periphrastic and pleonastic substitutes for the base text are found in both writers, but there is an area in which Nonnus’ technique is distinctly different from Juvencus’: while the latter favors the repetitive aspect of amplification, the former favors its exegetical function. Through the addition of new elements in the text Nonnus aims, among other things, at clarifying the sense in the typically elliptical Gospel narrative, occasionally even with obvious and “prosaic” supplements; at clarifying the reasons for events and the motives behind human attitudes and actions; and at rendering the psychological state of characters. Comparative or independent studies of Nonnus and Juvencus have largely tended to ignore the above-mentioned difference in the employment of amplification and as a result have either tended to identify their paraphrastic techniques or have reached precarious comparative conclusions (cf. A. Hilhorst, “The Cleansing of the Temple in Juvencus and Nonnus”).


Sophie SCHOESS Visualising Acteon: The motif of recognition in Nonnus’ treatment of the metamorphosis Nonnus’ treatment of the myth of Actaeon has attracted considerable scholarly attention. It not only stands at the end of a long literary tradition, but also contains traces of the diverse variations encompassed in this tradition. In particular, the motifs of the violating gaze and of seeing (and being seen) have invited discussions concerning the relationship between the literary and visual traditions of depicting Actaeon’s crime and punishment. This paper will revisit some of these issues, especially that of the importance of the motif of gazing and its relationship with sexual violence in the Dionysiaca in general, and in the Actaeon episode in particular. At the same time, however, the focus will be shifted toward Actaeon as the subject of the gaze—both that of the internal, and that of the external viewer. Beginning with Actaeon’s instructions regarding his depiction on his grave stele, this paper will examine the descriptions of Actaeon’s changed form and the responses of the internal viewers. With Actaeon’s grave stele in mind, I will re-examine the relationship between Nonnus’ treatment of the myth and its depiction in the visual arts of classical and late antiquity. Nonnus’ Actaeon’s wish to be shown in his metamorphosed form, yet with his human face, reflects visual conventions from the earliest depictions of his death through modernity. Moreover, I hope to show that this concern with emphasising the hybridity of his form in visual representations relates to the literary discrepancy between Actaeon’s human speech and his bestial voice, as well as between his animal shape and his human tears. Fabian SIEBER Boom years of Nonnian Studies? On the reception of Nonnos in Germany (1900–1976) The paper aims to contextualise the traces of Nonnos reception to be found in early 20th century Germany. Accordingly, the paper is focused on three different fields of reception. In a first step, the Nonnus reception of Wilamowitz-Moellendorf and his circle is reconstructed. Besides his one interest in Nonnus as expressed in his letters, the works of Paul Friedländer, Werner Peek and Joachim-Friedrich Schulze in particular have to be taken into account. In a second step, the work of Thassilo von Scheffer and his famous Nonnos Gesellschaft is analysed. By using a biblio-biographic approach, his activities are situated within the process of cultural transformation that took place during the so-called Golden 20s. In this case, it is Börries von Münchhausen who appears to hold central importance in terms of linking the work of Thassilo von Scheffern, Hans Bogner and Viktor Stegemann to a broader field of cultural activity. In a third and final step, some traces of Nonnus reception in the field of German-speaking literature are enumerated. On this occasion, it is not only the Nonnus reception of Stefan George and his circle, but also the more theosophic Nonnus reception of Helena Blavatsky and Fritz von Herzmanovsky-Orlando, marking as unexpected findings as the Nonnus reception of Arno Schmidt. If a deeper understanding of the motivation that lead to the Nonnos reception is not gained as a result of my presentation, it might at least broaden about the context in which Nonnus was read in 20th century. Konstantinos SPANOUDAKIS The mystic reception of Theocritus in Late Antiquity No bucolic per se survives from Late Antiquity in the East. Yet scenes of bucolic type are frequent and attention is diverted to Theocritus as a model. Theocritean reception extends though far beyond such scenes. The proposed presentation aims to identify Theocritean reception in Late-antique literature and explore the modalities thereof. A wide range of texts will be taken into consideration: verse-inscriptions from the East, sophisticated ‘pagan’ verse (esp. the Orphic Lithica), early Christian poetry (Gregory of Nazianzus, Nonnus, PseudoApollinarius Metaphrasis of the Psalms), even Neoplatonist philosophers such as Plotinus 16

or Church-fathers such as Cyril of Jerusalem. It will appear that the reception of Theocritus varies from an immediate ‘literary’ reception sometimes carrying metaliterary connotations, to creating an reclusive atmosphere of meditation, often in association with a locus amoenus. Above all, and most interestingly, Theocritus seems to be transformed into a mystic poet especially on the basis of idyll 7. His reception is therefore of the same vein as the reception of Homer: his word is made to convey to connotations of a new spirituality. This will lead to further thoughts on the use of ‘pastoral’ in late-antique poetry in association with political or religious/ideological ends. Berenice VERHELST “Breaking the fourth wall”. On literariness and metalepsis in Nonnus’ Dionysiaca When in book 1 of the Dionysiaca Zeus’ position on the Olympus is threatened by Typhon, his first concern is his reputation among the Greeks (1.385-7). What if they defile his name, by calling Typhon now the “Bringer-of-rain”, the “Ruler-on-high” or even worse, the “allhighest” instead of Zeus? One can but smile about his apparent concern which adjectives are used by men to describe him. Our smile grows wider, when we realize that these are, skills and education. of course, not merely adjectives, but epithets associated with Zeus in the literary tradition. “τις Ἀχαιῶν” in line 385 already reminded us of the Greeks of Homer, but a more important clue for interpreting this passage as a metalepsis (breaking the boundaries between narrative levels) is the reference to Hellas as “μυθοτόκος” (bringing forth mythological stories) in the same line. As a self-conscious literary character Zeus, indeed, seems not only to care about his reputation within the literary world he is confined to, but also to fear the way his story will be told. As a mise-en-abyme, this passage is an important clue for interpreting the characterization strategies for both Zeus and Typhon in the first books of the Dionysiaca. Taking the case of Zeus and Typhon as a starting point, I will try to shed new light on the constant dialogue with the literary tradition in the Dionysiaca. Regardless of whether he does so by giving his characters a say in how they want to be remembered, by anachronistically comparing them with characters from the Iliad that “actually” still have to be born or by juxtaposing two versions of one myth, Nonnus continuously prevents his audience from believing his story. Instead, he seems to focus their attention on his demonstration of literary Mary WHITBY The epigrams of George of Pisidia In a two-part article in Wiener Studien for 1891 and 892 the renowned Polish scholar Leo Sternbach published 108 poems of George of Pisidia that he had discovered in a Paris manuscript (par. gr. 690 suppl.; 12th c.), the earliest witness to George’s oeuvre. Three of the poems are in hexameters, the remainder in iambics, mirroring George’s adoption of iambics as the predominant metre of his epic poetry. All but the first four are short poems or epigrams that have not yet benefited from a critical edition. Subsequent scholars have emphasized the quality of Sternbach’s publication, but work has concentrated on textual and metrical issues as the problematical task of establishing a critical edition continues. On the other hand, study of George’s writings, particularly in Anglophone scholarship, has centered on the so-called panegyrical epics published by Agostino Pertusi in the first volume of a nevercompleted two-volume edition. In my view the result has been to distort understanding of George’s overall output and interests. In this paper I plan to explore the themes, language and techniques of the epigrams in relation to the rest of George’s corpus and thereby to enhance understanding of this versatile and talented writer.


Maria YPSILANTI see Laura Franco and Margherita Maria di Nino Simon ZUENELLI The Typhon episode and Dionysus as god of comical theater The Typhon Episode, which the Dionysiaca start with, shows a lot of burlesque motives. These elements have so far been explained by the assumption that Nonnus wanted to exhibit his poetic ability by employing different stylistic features already at the beginning of his poem. In this paper I would like to suggest another interpretation, which looks at the burlesque motives in the context of Dionysus’ nature as a god of comical theatre. Firstly, I will investigate the Quellenlage of the myth of Typhon and Cadmus and show that Nonnus consciously shaped the traditional mythical material in order to achieve burlesque effects. Secondly, I will argue that this burlesque framing has to be seen in the context of the contemporary mime performances. By analyzing 1.363–375 I will demonstrate that the passage can be understood as a mime en miniature, which points out the connection between the plot of the Typhon Episode and the genre of the mime on a metapoetic level. Thirdly, I will interpret this connection as an attempt set by Nonnus to create a fitting overture for this epic, which takes into account the nature of Dionysus as god of comical theater.


Forthcoming Publication Brill’s Companion to Nonnus of Panopolis edited by Domenico Accorinti Hardback (approx. 900 pp.) Expected publication date: December 2015/February 2016 Brill’s Companions in Classical Studies

Brill’s Companion

Panopolis provides a collection of 32 essays on Greek Late Antiquity by a large international group of scholars from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, England, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Scotland, Spain, and the United States. to



the most representative poet of


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