Il volume n. 3 contiene anche gli Atti del I Convegno Il calamo della memoria. Riuso di testi e mestiere letterario nella tarda antichità (Trieste, 21-22 aprile 2004). L’incontro si prefigge di verificare e di investigare concretamente alcune ‘tendenze’ del ‘sistema letterario’ della tarda antichità, relativamente alla costruzione del testo mediante consapevole (pure se non dichiarata) utilizzazione di altri testi – antichi e contemporanei – la cui portata non è spiegabile soltanto in chiave intertestuale o allusiva in quanto sono proprio questi ad assolvere al compito di autenticazione della comunicazione letteraria. Un processo che si estende naturalmente tra cultura cosiddetta ‘pagana’ e cultura cristiana, che non sono rigidamente distinte e separabili.
A partire dal IV Convegno i contributi presentati e discussi nell’incontro biennale [vd. ancora «Incontri» n. 5 e 7] sono pubblicati in volume autonomo nella serie Polymnia. Studi di filologia classica.
On the occasion of Ferrero’s death Gigante pronounced a speech, now reprinted under the title The duty of the Master, in which he tries to represent the spirit which animates and characterizes his humanistic tradition: “Memory” means to voice the past, to include it in our thoughts and in our sensitivity. No civilization could survive without forgetting and remembering in turn. In our civilization the humanistic, historical, philosophical, literary studies carry on this function. It must be remembered now his militant philohellenism, devoted to a deep understanding of all its phases, from ancient Rome to contemporary poets, practised in his lectures, in his translations, in the attentive outline of important figure of scholars, and which he lavished on the school, on scientific societies, on centres of research, on cultural institutions.
Gigante was a philologist and a historian of ancient Philosophy at the same time: we owe him the approach, tools and method from which nowadays still the Italian scholars of ancient philosophy can take profit. Gigante adopted, ante litteram, a scientific style provided of absolute rigour and effectiveness and of disconcerting actuality: a solid, careful and intelligent philological basis; an unrelenting curiosity and hermeneutic ductility, consciousness of a basically historical perspective, concern in teamwork and the development of young researchers. The interests of Marcello Gigante in the field of ancient philosophy are very broad, and can be approximately summarized in four directions: the figure of Diogenes Laërtius, the activity connected with the edition of the papyri from Herculaneum and the interest for the Epicureanism and the intertwined philosophical schools, and finally the planning and the editorship of the collection bearing the title Plato’s school.
“If one neglects the Byzantine civilization, the Classical world risks to look as a defective and incomplete concept, while the former, if examined regardless of the Classical background on which it is established, can look –simply– incomprehensible and impervious”, so Marcello Gigante wrote in 1964. During his lifetime Gigante strove to fight against the received wisdom of what he considered to be the “official Italian Byzantinistic”, and to this purpose he examined closely areas and authors which had been neglected for a long time: for example, the literary critic and poet Theodore Metochites (beginning of XV century).
The paper goes back over the life and scientific production of Marcello Gigante: his interests stretched from Greek and Hellenistic world to Byzantium, from Latin world to the history of philology in the Modern Age. Some major works were: La costituzione degli Ateniesi. Studio sullo Pseudo-Senofonte; the monograph Νόμος βασιλεύς, the translation of the Lives of the Philosophers of Diogenes Laërtius (“the translation… is much the best version available in any language”, Long); in the field of Latin studies the articles Virgilio sotto il Vesuvio and Civiltà delle forme letterarie nell’antica Pompei. All his life mirrors what a philologist, according to his view, should be: a vir bonus vivendi peritus.
The chronology of Maximianus is still an unsolved problem, even though in his works there are precise references to autobiographical events. On the basis of the suggested connection between the main corpus and the so-called Appendix Maximiani it has been proposed to identify the poet with the senator Maximinus, who was invested with high diplomatic responsibilities under Justinian and was praetorian prefect of Italy between 540 and 543. Investigation is called for with regard to the possible parallels with Arator, a contemporary of Maximianus whose career as civil functionary developed at the same time; and also with Parthenius from Arles, who appears to have lived slightly earlier.