Reggio come Samo. Una traccia dei Florida di Apuleio nelle Variae di Cassiodoro
In the letters of Cassiodorus, place descriptions are found which are so detailed as to be in themselves examples of fully fledged topothesiai: one of these is the description of Regium (12,14). The etymology of the city’s name is followed by the description of the territory of Regium and its products. In addition to frequent use of etymology and to the re-employment of Virgilian material, a striking feature is the reuse of a passage from Apuleius’ Florida. Cassiodorus’ knowledge of this work was not previously recognized, and more generally the Florida are never mentioned before the 11th century, when the Cassinese monk Guaiferius uses them in his Vita S. Secundini and in Vita S. Lucii papae et martyris. Regium and Samos are thus described in parallel with regard to their similar agricultural characteristics, and some of Cassiodorus’ sentences actually rewrite with a slight uariatio the Apuleian text. Such a textual mirroring appears even more startling given the lack of references to Apuleius in Cassiodorus’ works; it thus certainly deserves further accurate study.