Il riccio e la rosa. Vicende di immagini e parole dall'antico al tardoantico (a proposito di Simposio, aenig. 29 e 45)
Numerous epigrams referred to the rose are handed down either within the so-called Anthologia Latina or by other means, such as in Claudian and Ausonius. The epigram from Aenigmata Symposii, in the Anthologia Latina, differs from these in the way it reemploys images and previous texts. The ainigma should be read at two levels of meaning: the first is the literal description of the flower, and the second is the image of the virgo. After the analysis of the various literary sources present, as it were, in the watermark of the ainigma, this paper focuses on the references to the symbolic value of the flower in Christian culture, that is, the rose as emblem of martyrdom. This link to martyrdom emerges also in another aenigma by Symposius, about a hedgehog: just as the rose can recall the passion of Agnes, the hedgehog is the image of Saint Sebastian. The two examples, even if they cannot qualify the attitude of the author towards the Christian texts, testify to a particular compositional awareness and to Simposius’ vast knowledge of Christian culture, especially of the hagiographic genre.