Vol. 12 (2023)
Condizioni di Possibilità

Pietro e Simon Mago sul confine tra miracolo e magia nelle omelie in inglese antico

Carla Riviello
Università di Roma Tre

Published 2023-12-23


  • Magic,
  • Miracle,
  • Old English Homilies,
  • Simon Magus


In the Old English homiletic tradition, the apocryphal material relating to the struggle between Peter and Simon Magus offers a useful paradigm for representing the boundary between miracle and magic. Drawing mainly from the codification proposed in the Passio sanctorum apostolorum Petri et Pauli, the anonymous author of the Blickling Homily XV, Ælfric and Wulfstan exploit the unstable fluidity of a narrative that can be expanded or narrowed infinitely through additions and subtractions of episodes and dialogues, in rewriting their homilies. The article aims to identify the significant elements useful to highlight the different attitudes assumed by the three homileticians with respect to the subject matter, from the “simple” translation of the Blickling Homily to Ælfric’s reworking to Wulfstan’s exemplum.


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