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The Story of a Fragment of L. Annaeus Cornutus



As testified by a fragment, which survived in the oeuvre of Charisius, a grammarian from the late Antiquity, L. Annaeus Cornutus dedicated his critical work on Virgil to Silius Italicus, the author of the epic entitled Punica, who belonged to Nero's circle of literati in his youth. Given the knowledge of the history of Nero's literary circle and the findings of a careful examination of the fragment, it can be assumed that this work of Cornutus, which might have been quoted by Pliny the Elder in his Dubius sermo, was probably written and published in the early 60s (A.D.).
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Epidrome, a handbook of allegorical interpretation of Greek gods, is attribut-ed, probably wrongly, to Cornutus, a Roman Stoic teacher from the first century AD. In this work, the gods are interpreted mostly as natural forces, densities, notions and phe-nomena, presented in accordance with the popular Stoic physics. Cosmological texts of the New Testament are far from this approach, although Stoic philosophy seems to have influenced the New Testament authors. This physical interpretation of gods could contribute to the minimal interest of the New Testament for the pagan religion. There are, however, some critical remarks on the status of the natural forces; it is reflected in Gal 4.8–9; Col 1.16; 2.15; Eph 1.21; 2.2; 6.12. In Epidrome there are also some minor common points with the New Testament, resulting from the similar milieu, as the use of terms archegos and monogenes, or destruction of the present world by fire. Pseudo-Cornutus, his religious physics and the New Testament. Available from: [accessed Nov 21 2017].
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