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Vario formata decore: reminiscenze classiche e autori cristiani nelle dediche metriche delle basiliche tardo-antiche

Gabriele Masaro    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



The paper concerns the analysis of three verse inscriptions, in order to point out the common elements and the poetic and linguistic references to literary tradition of pagan and Christian culture: first of all, the apsidal epigraph of the Euphrasian basilica in Porec (InscrIt, 10 [2], 81, commissioned by the bishop Euphrasius in the first half of the sixth century; then the inscription situated in Grado, in the central nave of the basilica of Saint Euphemia (ILCV, 1756), written a few years later and probably inspired by the previous and by a poem by Pope Symmachus; finally the inscription that the bishop Cresconius placed in the basilica of Cuicul (Djemila) in Africa (ILAlg, 8299), which is almost identic to the admixture between CLE, 1808 and CLE, 1837: the dating of this third epigraph is controversial, but the text seems to refer to the religious conflict arise in the fifth century between Catholics and Donatists. The study of these inscriptions and the comparison with others, found in various religious buildings in Rome, Spain, France and Dalmatia, shows the existence of a literary topos characterized by the iteration of formulas and recurring concepts: words related to the semantic field of light, the contrast between the old and the new, the dedication of the restoration to God, to Christ or to the patron saints, and the praise of the intellectual and moral virtues of the priest who dealt with the work.


Keywords: GradoLiterary traditionPorecReligious buildingsVerse inscriptions

Copyright: © 2015 Gabriele Masaro. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.