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Titolo: "Le figure di paragone nel tessuto stilistico e narrativo della 'Passio Septem Dormientium' inglese antica"
Data di pubblicazione: 2009
Abstract: The article investigates the formal and stylistic features of the anonymous Old English prose version of the Passio Septem Dormientium; in particular, the analysis focuses on the additions made to the original Latin text and on the figures of comparison employed to describe things with more incisiveness or to highlight the narrative turning points and bring them to the reader’s attention. After a presentation of the comparisons inherited from the Latin source, a close scrutiny follows of those ones which have been modified or added independently, placed in the context of the possible models of figurative speech at that time circulating in Anglo-Saxon England and abroad. In particular, attention is given to the comparison used to describe the seven young men upon their miraculous awakening (eall heora nebwlite wæron swilce rose and lilie “their faces were as roses and lilies”); also, a new source is suggested for the unusual image describing the miserable and helpless Christians (swilce lytle gærstapan “like little grasshoppers”) chased out of their shelters by the Roman soldiers, and forced to walk the streets of the town. Such image could be derived from a verse in Psalm 109 (108) – excussus sum sicut locustae (v. 23) – referring to the wretchedness of the speaking worshipper who has been unjustly accused and oppressed by malevolent enemies. In particular, it is in St Augustine’s expositio that, for the first time, the comparison with the grasshoppers found in the Psalm is no longer (or not only) interpreted as a reference to Christ’s Passion, but to the persecuted Christians. Knowledge of such patristic exegesis by the author of the Old English Passio Septem Dormientium is proved by the occurrance, in the final portion of the Legend, of the image of Christ as a mother, which can also be found in commentaries on Psalm 109 (108), 23, among others, in the Homily on Psalm 109 by Saint Jerome.
ISBN: 978-88-8467-527-9
Tipologia:2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)

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