Saturday, 11 April 2015

Lorenzo Sciajno: Salvation behind the Web (Paul. Nol. Carm. XVI, 93-148): Connections and Echoes of a fairy-tale Theme in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages between West and East

The episode of the miraculous concealment of St. Felix to his persecutors, as it is narrated by Paulinus of Nola in Carm. XVI, 93-148, presents perhaps the oldest testimony of a delicate and charming legend, destined to spread throughout the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages: a pious hero who is saved by a small spider, a humble but wise instrument of divine Providence. My short communication, through the comparison between Jewish and Arab sources, intends to draw some lines for research in order to highlight how this legend has been from time to time re-contextualized historically and geographically, so as to be connected to protagonists of the three great monotheistic religions (i.e. David, Jesus, Muhammad). It is also hoped in this way to offer both some ideas for further research and insights not only in the field of Patristics, but also in the study of Jewish and Islamic culture.

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