De zwembroek van de apostel Petrus | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
2004
Volume 55 Number 3
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573

Abstract

Abstract

The present article shows how in late antique literature Christianity and classical culture are intertwined like grapevines, by offering a literary comparison between Nonnus of Panopolis’ and his . It gives an example of the way in which Nonnus’ spirit is present in both works, the former a biblical epic dictated by the rules of the paraphrase, the latter an exuberant free-flowing creative work on the pagan god Dionysus. After a brief sketch of the cultural context and the paraphrasing technique, I analyse Nonnus’ metaphors, relating them to the Gospel of John on the one hand and to the on the other. I then demonstrate how Nonnus turns a simple remark about the apostle Peter jumping into the water (John 21:7-8) into a full-blown and vivid epic narration ( 21.35-54). The swimming trunks of Peter show that the same writer’s blood pulses through both the and the .

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