Friday, 24 May 2019
Alessandro De Blasi: Gregory Nazianzen's poem I 1, 12: On the Genuine Books of the Holy Scripture
Amongst Gregory Nazianzen's wide poetic production, there is a specific group of poems, the so-called Gedichtgruppe III, where the Holy Scripture does not represent a literary background, but the very subject of Gregory's verses. The group of fifteen poems opens with carmen I 1, 12 (περὶ τῶν γνησίων βιβλίων τῆς θεοπνεύστου γραφῆς), which deserves particular attention. Here Gregory lists his catalogue of scriptural canon. His pedagogic purposes, revealed by the use of various metres, make the poem an interesting and rare example of its kind. This paper aims at shedding more light on Gregory's choices and omissions of the holy books, thanks also to the comparison with a similar poetic list, contained in Amphilochius' Iambi ad Seleucum (vv. 251-319), a poem often attached to I 1, 12 and wrongly ascribed to Gregory himself in manuscript tradition.