Parenthetical verbs as elements of diatribe in John the Exarch’s Hexaemeron
Greek continuities and Slavic innovations
Pages 238 - 267
The ‘diatribe’ is a rhetorical mode of exposition that is characterized by the enactment of dialogical exchanges with a fictitious opponent. This article investigates the reception of this Greek diatribal style in John the Exarch’s Hexaemeron. The presence of some of the major diatribal formulae indeed allows us to analyse his Hexaemeron along the lines of the diatribe. The main focus is on the use of parenthetical phēsi(n) ‘says (he)’ as a core diatribal strategy used to identify the fictitious opponent’s voice. This Greek verb form functions as a quotative particle and is most often translated as reče. However, the Exarch frequently uses alternative parenthetical verb forms, such as rečeši or glagoljǫtъ. These innovative forms are more telling about his understanding of the structure of diatribal dialogue than a ‘mechanical’ use of reče. The article provides a building block for a comprehensive investigation into the reception of the diatribe in translated literature in medieval Slavia orthodoxa.
This article is written in English.