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Abstract

The Epistle of Barnabas, usually included in the works of the Apostolic Fathers, is an anonymous text written in koiné Greek. It was probably composed between the end of the First and the beginning of the Second Century in an Egyptian or Syro-Palestinian setting. The text is made up of two parts: the first one has an anti-Judaic apologetic nature; the second one is instructive and paraenetical. The Latin version of the Epistle (L), which is useful in the constitutio textus of the original too, concerns the first of the two parts. An analysis of the language and of the technique of translation allows asserting that L was probably compiled in Rome between the end of the Second and the beginning of the Third Century. Moreover, its main features may be identified in the literality and in the linguistic and stylistic popularity. The literality is both quantitative and distributional: the changes are usually narrow (except expressions which introduce Biblical quotations) and concern parts which may be considered accessory by a semantic point of view. The popular style is due to the attention the translator pays to the needs of the sociocultural situation of the readers and is confirmed by the presence of rhetorical figures as alliteration. These two characteristics, which are typical of Latin translations of Greek Patristic texts compiled between the end of the Second and the beginning of the Third Century, are due to stylistic choices which are homogeneously and congruently applied. Moreover, in L these characteristics are strictly bound, because the sermo humilis characterizes the Greek text too.
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