Title: Iulianus a římští mučedníci, aneb jak i historicky absurdní legenda vzdoruje definitivnímu usvědčení z ahistoricity: tři historicko-filologické sondy
(Julian and the Martyrs of Rome: Three Historical and Philological Probes into How Even a Historically Absurd Legend May Resist Being Finally Proven Ahistorical)
Author: PRCHLÍK, Ivan
Source: Studia Historica Nitriensia, 2016, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 378-404
Abstract: The paper deals with the question of historicity of the legend of the Roman saints Gallicanus, John and Paul, which is still often presented as genuine history to the Czech reader. Henceforth, three facets of the legend are examined using philological and historical tools. Historicity of the characters featured in the legend, as well as the mutual relations among the historical ones, as portrayed by the legend, is examined, and confronted with historical fact on their actual relations. Gallicanus’ alleged battle against the Scythians at Philippopolis is checked as whether it is identifiable to any event recorded in other sources. And lastly, the question of Julian’s sojourn to Rome, which seems necessary within the plot of the legend, is tested for being ruled out for the entire time of his reign. Thus the classical method for examining the historicity of a legend is presented, while at the same time demonstrating the limitations it necessarily suffers even when as historically absurd a legend is examined. Yet, based only on these limitations, the legend cannot be presented as history.
Keywords: Historicity of a Legend; Fictitious Martyrs; Saint Gallicanus; Saints John and Paul; Rome in the 4th Century ad; Julian the Apostate;
Publication order reference: Univerzita Karlova v Prahe, Filozofická fakulta, Ústav řeckých a latinských studií, Celetná 20, Praha 110 00, email@example.com