The 'Carmina XII sapientum' is a corpus of inscriptions from late classical antiquity which was widely received in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; it consists of twelve cycles of twelve poems, each cycle with a different theme. The titles of the manuscripts name twelve scholars as the authors.
The present study provides the first detailed critical commentary on the individual elements of the corpus, dealing with all its textual, linguistic, stylistic and content-related aspects. The commentary on each cycle is preceded by a historical treatment of the motifs.
In the process, the author reaches a completely new interpretation of this collection of epigrams. She presents it as a jocular work in the ancient literary tradition of the symposium; it was produced at the turn of the 4th century AD by a rhetorically skilled author already versed in Christian discourses, probably by the rhetor and later Christian apologist Lactantius.
Die Autorin ist Preisträgerin des Bruno-Snell-Preises 2001.