Friday, 1 May 2015

Isabella D'Auria: Polemiche antipagane: Ambrogio (epist. 10, 73, 8) e Prudenzio (c. Symm. 2, 773-909) contro Simmaco (rel. 3, 10)

In epist. 10, 73, 8 the bishop of Milan Ambrose refutes the argumentations of Praefectus Urbi Symmachus, who invokes the principles of the oneness of the Divine and the plurality of ways to reach it in support of the request, addressed to Valentinian II, to replace the statue and the altar of the goddess Victoria, symbols of traditional religion, in the Roman Curia. Almost twenty years later Prudentius, drawing motifs and themes from both Classic and Christian production, versifies in the second book of the Contra Symmachum the texts of the debate de ara Victoriae: in particular, in c. Symmach. 2, 773-909, the symmachian image of the complexity of ways to reach the divine mystery is refuted by the Spanish poet, describing the many trails in the branched way of paganism, of which the only guide is the devil. The paper aims at analyzing in a comparative perspective the ambrosian refutation and the prudentian one of the above mentioned passage of the Relatio 3, highlighting on the one hand the complex cultural background of the controversialists’ texts, on the other hand the differences and analogies between the conceptions expressed and the aspects to which they give prominence in order to plead the Christian cause.

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