Congratulations to Oliver Gerlach, who successfully completed his PhD.
In ‘Birth, Death, and Rebirth in Nonnus’ Dionysiaca and Paraphrase’ Ollie demonstrates the enormous rewards of reading against each other two texts which although by the same author have tended to be considered in isolation from each other. Nonnus of Panopolis dates to the 5th century CE, and his two surviving works of Greek hexameters, the Dionysiaca and the Paraphrase (of the Gospel of John) are ostensibly about very different things – Dionysus and Christ. Of course, each has a rich context and tradition within the genres of mythological epic and biblical paraphrase respectively; but through the themes of birth, death and resurrection/rebirth, Ollie shows how the dynamic of reading both texts together illuminates cultural preoccupations and literary modes of generating meaning; taking in both miracle births and disturbing deaths, Ollie’s intertextual method helps to transform the way these neglected texts can be read.
The thesis was supervised by Sophie Schoess and Roger Rees, and examined by Calum McIver (Edinburgh) and Jason König.