Reading the Future, Writing the Present. A literary and interpretive commentary on Sidonius Apollinaris Letter 8.11
The thesis is an interpretive commentary on letter 8.11 by Sidonius Apollinaris, a bishop in 5th-century Gaul, in which the murder of his friend Lampridius is described. The commentary consists of two parts: an introduction, and the commentary proper. The commentary part pays attention to themes and structures within the text, and attempts to explain linguistical difficulties. The introduction, in which the results of the close reading of the commentary are summarized and interpreted, addresses several topics (date, addressees, intertextuality and models), but especially deals with the interpretation of the letter. It does so in two ways: firstly, the letter is analyzed in the context of book 8. It is showed that qua themes and position the letter fits well in the overall structure of book 8. Secondly, the letter is interpreted on its own. The main conclusion is that by this letter Sidonius urgently warns Lupus for the dangerous field of astrology, and uses the death of Lampridius as a cautionary example.
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