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Wandering Poets and Other Essays on Late Greek Literature and Philosophy$
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Alan Cameron

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190268947

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190268947.001.0001

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The Poet, the Bishop, and the Harlot

The Poet, the Bishop, and the Harlot

(p.81) 3 The Poet, the Bishop, and the Harlot
Wandering Poets and Other Essays on Late Greek Literature and Philosophy

Alan Cameron

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the date and identity of the poet Nonnus. It rejects the theory of E. Livrea that he was Nonnus, bishop of Edessa, though it does attempt to answer the vexed question of whether Nonnus’s two principal surviving works, the Dionysiaca and the Paraphrase of St. John’s Gospel, represent a journey between paganism and Christianity and, if so, in which direction. Evidence of the relationship between biographical information and written work of several near contemporaries is brought to bear on the claims that have been made about Nonnus. The chapter also discusses the life of the transvestite nun Saint Pelagia, supposed by some to have been brought to repentance by Nonnus.

Keywords:   Nonnus, Dionysiaca, Paraphrase of St. John’s Gospel, Saint Pelagia, Edessa

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