Zakład Historii Starożytnej
serdecznie zaprasza na referat
Late Latin Hagiography of North Africa: some methodological issues
Université Montpelier III
Referat zostanie wygłoszony w ramach seminarium późnoantycznego
w czwartek, 28 kwietnia, o godz. 16.45
w Bibliotece Zakładu Papirologii, w budynku Wydziału Prawa (Collegium Iuridicum I)
na terenie głównym UW
In a 1994 paper, Guy Philippart de Foy, one of the best specialists of hagiology and the saints’ history defines hagiography as ‘stricto sensu, everything related to history of sainthood, from the Bible to a simple note in a dictionary’. This extensive definition includes narrative texts but also documentary (epigraphical, iconographical and archaeological material) evidence related to the cult of saints. However, the researchers usually focus on narrative sources, that is to say acta martyrum (‘official reports’), passiones (narratives shaping of the reports), uitae (texts relating the whole life of the saint and not only his death), and collections of miracles. These texts cause several methodological problems: they are often anonymous, uneasy to date and sometimes even their origin remains uncertain. It is also difficult to put into light the historical background of the narrative, especially when the hagiographical text has been written decades or centuries after the facts.
I will discuss some of these issues in a specific context of the hagiographical corpus of Roman North Africa. This corpus contains thirty texts dated from the end of the second century to the end of the fifth century. It relates the martyrdom of Christians put to death by pagan or Christian authorities in the Roman provinces from Mauretania Tingitana to Byzacena. This corpus offers some good examples of the complex relations between history and hagiography (from authenticity to mere fiction), and its generic diversity underlines the specificities of the hagiographical genre which relies on a selective and oriented speech.