Conferencia: Sulpicius Severus’ Vita Martini. The Divided Cloak: Biblical Stylization and Hagiographical Intertextuality

Tipo de evento: 
Propio del instituto
Fecha: 
Lun, 08/04/2019 - 19:00

conferencia
Sulpicius Severus’ Vita Martini.
The Divided Cloak: Biblical Stylization and Hagiographical Intertextuality

Danny Praet
(Ghent University, Bélgica)

lunes 8 de abril - 19:00 hs
Instituto de Filología Clásica, oficina 457
Puan 480 - 4to piso

 

The Vita Martini by Sulpicius Severus (363 – 425 AD) was a major model for all later Latin hagiographical works. This converted aristocrat created an oeuvre that could live up to the high standards of classical prose. The Vita is a highly intertextual work with countless references to the Greek and the Latin Classics, to earlier hagiographical works and to the Bible. Sulpicius constructed Martin’s “imitatio Christi” in such a way that he almost presented him as a second Christ. The Life was also clearly apologetic: Martin was highly controversial in his own time, amongst other things because he was baptized as a soldier and should therefore not have been ordained as a cleric. This chapter focusses on the Biblical stylization of the iconic scene of the division of the cloak (capa / capella) including the scorn Martin suffered for wearing half a cloak, and the ensuing apparition of Christ in the beggar’s half. It connects Martin’s charity to both the “imitatio Christi” and the “Apologia Martini”. Sulpicius constructed the whole scene as an inversion of what the Roman soldiers in the passion narrative had done unto Jesus. Martin’s “redemptio militiae” was earned by doing unto one of the least the opposite of what the Romans had done unto Christ. As such he had always been the perfect “miles Christi”. 

Danny Praet is professor of Ancient Philosophy and of History of Christianity at Ghent University in Belgium. He is a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Sciences and the Arts of Belgium. His research is on the crossroads between philosophy, religion and literature. He is co-editor of the Bibliotheca Cumontiana-series in which the work of Franz Cumont, the specialist of ancient mystery cults, is re-edited with historiographical and methodological introductions. He has published on Philostratus, The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, and on Latin lives of the saints and passions of the martyrs. Recently, a book was published about the philosophy of war and peace, which was also the theme of the International Philosophy Olympiad in Ghent 2016, at which 40 countries, including Argentina, were represented. Next June, a collective volume in French and English will appear on the Ghent Altarpiece by the brothers Van Eyck.

Sulpicio Severo

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