Un grammatico greco a Roma: Epafrodito (fr. 49 Billerbeck-Braswell) e il ferro del Norico
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The grammarian Epaphroditus of Chaeronea lived and was a successful teacher in Rome during the last quarter of the I c. A.D.; we may find trace of his stay in Rome in fr. 49 B.-B. In order to explain νῶροψ, the Homeric epithet of bronze (Hom. Il. II 578 etc.), Epaphroditus probably mentioned the Norican iron, celebrated in Rome, but less known in the Eastern part of the Empire. Apparently, Epaphroditus took the current etymology (the bronze is so shining that «it does not permit to look at it», i.e. νη- + ὁράω) and also interpreted the epithet as an ethnic (‘Noropian’). The alleged Noropians (Νώροπες) should live in Pannonia, being addicted to work bronze and iron. Geography and etymology are contaminated in the same explanation.
keywordsEpaphroditus of Chaeronea, Norakos, Noricum, Norican iron
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