Volume 63, Issue 1, June 2023

Chiara Spuntarelli
Pages 131-163

Visualita e drammatizzazione
reliquie e culto dei martiri in Giovanni Crisostomo

This contribution aims to investigate how Chrysostom’s rhetoric, which is highly pedagogical, is built on the interweaving of visualization and dramatization in order to actualize and materialize what is invisible. The analysis is based in particular on his panegyrical production, which reveal how he constructs a rhetoric of images grounded in the synaesthetic relationship between sight, hearing, touch, and smell. It focuses on the notions of phantasia and enargeia, and insists on a parallelism between the cult of relics and devotion to images which makes it possible to read Chrysostom’s panegyrics, which were proclaimed on pilgrimage at local martyria, with others by him produced for use on the much longer pilgrimages to the Holy Land. The distinctive features of both are visual.