Nonnus of Panopolis in Context III

Old Questions and New Perspectives


Nonnus of Panopolis (5th c. AD), the most important Greek poet of Late Antiquity, is best known for his Dionysiaca, a grand epic that gathers together all myths associated with Dionysus, god of wine and mysteries. The poet also authored the Paraphrase of St. John’s Gospel which renders the Fourth Gospel into sophisticated hexameter verse. This volume, edited by Filip Doroszewski and Katarzyna Jażdżewska, brings together twenty-six essays by eminent scholars that discuss Nonnus’ cultural and literary background, the literary techniques and motifs used by the poet, as well as the composition of the Dionysiaca and the exegetical principles applied in the Paraphrase. As such, the book will significantly deepen our understanding of literary culture and religion in Late Antiquity.

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Filip Doroszewski is Assistant Professor of Classics at Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw. His recent publications include a monograph on Nonnus’ Paraphrase (De Gruyter, forthcoming) as well as an edited volume on Dionysus and politics in antiquity (Routledge, forthcoming).
Katarzyna Jażdżewska is Associate Professor at Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University. She published numerous articles on Greek imperial literature and the genre of dialogue. She is currently working on the monograph Greek Dialogue in Antiquity: Post-Platonic Transformations (contracted with Oxford University Press).

Contributors are: Domenico Accorinti, Benjamin Acosta-Hughes, Gianfranco Agosti, Cosetta Cadau, Katerina Carvounis, Gennaro D’Ippolito, Margherita Maria Di Nino, Nestan Egetashvili, Roberta Franchi, Laura Franco, Camille Geisz, Fotini Hadjittofi, David Hernández de la Fuente, Nicole Kröll, Anna Lefteratou, Jane Lucy Lightfoot, Enrico Magnelli, Laura Miguélez-Cavero, Ewa Osek, Marta Otlewska-Jung, Sophia Papaioannou, Michael Paschalis, A. Sophie Schoess, Fabian Sieber, Konstantinos Spanoudakis, Berenice Verhelst, Mary Whitby, Maria Ypsilanti.
"The Nonnus of Panopolis in Context series has been, for a number of years, the largest gathering of interesting perspectives and ideas on Nonnus and his works, and this third volume continues that tradition while setting out directions for the future. With this volume, the field of Nonnian scholarship finally feels like a fully mature, confident academic space, rather than the more hesitant area of study striving for legitimacy and attention that it has been until recently. None of the hesitation or acknowledgement of older, extremely questionable theories and questions of minimal value that have been so prevalent in Nonnian scholarship can be found in this collection, which instead approaches the poems with fresh eyes and exciting ideas. The volume serves as an excellent overview of where the field stands in 2021 and sets out clear aspirations of where we should go next." Oliver Gerlach, The Classical Review 71.2 379–381.

"In sum, this collection, which is accompanied by, inter alia, a wide bibliography and useful indices, marks another step forward in the studies on Nonnus' poetry and, at the same time, demonstrates once again how deep and complex it is by providing many starting points for further research." Arianna Magnolo in BMCR 2022.03.11
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Solved and Still Unsolved Issues about Nonnus and His Works
Gennaro D’Ippolito

Part 1 Nonnus and the Literary Tradition

1 “Breaking the Fourth Wall”: On Literariness and Metalepsis in Nonnus’ Dionysiaca
Berenice Verhelst

2 Junctures of Epic and Encomium in the Dionysiaca: The Episode of Staphylos
Laura Miguélez-Cavero

3 Aura’s Metamorphosis in the Dionysiaca of Nonnus: A Tale of Classical Resonances and Christian Imagery
Anna Lefteratou

4 I Had Only an Untimely Love: The Ephebic ‘Epyllia’ of Dionysiaka 10–11
Benjamin Acosta-Hughes

5 Nonnus’ Dionysiaca and the Latin Tradition: The Episode of Ampelus
Katerina Carvounis and Sophia Papaioannou

6 Nonnus and Coptic Literature: Further Explorations
Gianfranco Agosti

Part 2 Literary Structure and Motifs in the Dionysiaca

7 Visualizing Actaeon: The Motif of Recognition in Nonnus’ Treatment of the Metamorphosis
A. Sophie Schoess

8 Structure and Meaning through Analogy: Remarks on the Use of Spatial Form in the Dionysiaca
Camille Geisz

9 Some Aspects of Nonnus’ Poetics: Antitypical Poetry in the Dionysiaca
Nestan Egetashvili

10 Ἁρμονίη κόσμου and ἁρμονίη ἀνδρῶν: On the Different Concepts of Harmony in the Dionysiaca of Nonnus
Marta Otlewska-Jung

11 The Awakening of Ariadne in Nonnus: A Deliberate Metaphor
David Hernández de la Fuente

12 Female Characterization and Gender Reversal in Nonnus and Colluthus
Cosetta Cadau

13 Empowered Effeminacy? The Inversion of Gender Norms in the Episodes of Europa and Cadmus
Fotini Hadjittofi

Part 3 Exegesis through Paraphrase

14 Ἀληθείῃ καὶ πνεύματι (Par. 4.114): Some Doctrinal Issues in Nonnus’ Paraphrase and Their Theological Implications
Roberta Franchi

15 Nonnus and the Book
Jane Lucy Lightfoot

16 Shepherding the Past: Nonnus’ Parable of the Good Shepherd between Pagan Models and Christian Exegesis
Margherita Maria di Nino and Maria Ypsilanti

17 Amplification in Juvencus’ Evangeliorum Libri iv and in Nonnus’ Μεταβολὴ τοῦ κατὰ Ιωάννην ἁγίου εὐαγγελίου
Michael Paschalis

18 Presentation of Biblical Figures in Poetic Paraphrase: John the Baptist and Pontius Pilate in Nonnus’ Paraphrase of St. John’s Gospel
Laura Franco and Maria Ypsilanti

Part 4 Nonnus and Late Antique Culture

19 Sacrificing a Serpent: Nonnus’ Dionysiaca 2.671–679 and the Orphic Lithica 736–744
Ewa Osek

20 The Mystic Reception of Theocritus in Late Antiquity
Konstantinos Spanoudakis

21 Sites and Cities in Late Antique Literature: Athens, Berytus, and Cultural Self-Identification in the Dionysiaca of Nonnus of Panopolis
Nicole Kröll

Part 5 Reception of Nonnus

22 An Unknown “Nonnian” Poet: John of Memphis
Enrico Magnelli

23 Nonnus, Christodorus, and the Epigrams of George of Pisidia
Mary Whitby

24 Photius, the Suda, and Eustathius: Eloquent Silences and Omissions in the Reception of Nonnus’ Work in Byzantine Literature
Domenico Accorinti

25 Boom Years of Nonnian Studies? On the Reception of Nonnus in Germany (1880–1976)
Fabian Sieber

All interested in Nonnus of Panopolis, epic poetry, Greek mythology and religion, early Christianity, patristics, as well as scholars and students of classical antiquity and late antique world.
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