Unity and Parody, or how to read a Menippean Satire: On Martianus’ De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii


  • Julieta Cardigni



The present paper aims to propose the study of Martianus Capella’s De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii from a literary perspective, combining Theory of Genres and Functionalist Discourse Analysis. In order to disarticulate previous opinions on the work—which reduce menippean molds to a minimum, considering De nuptiis a didactic text—we state two main categories that work as axes in our interpretation: the unity of the work, and the presence of parody as the dominant register and unifying bond. In this framework, De nuptiis is no longer a failed encyclopedia, but a perfect Menippean satire.

Author Biography

Julieta Cardigni

Julieta Cardigni is Adjunct Researcher at the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET, Argentina) and Lecturer in the Department of Classical Languages and Literatures at Universidad de Buenos Aires. Her actual research concerns Late Latin Encyclopedic Literature from a literary and discursive perspective, departing from a functionalist conception of literary genre. She also works on Projects related to Medieval Philosophy. Her last book, De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii o la farsa del discurso. Una lectura literaria de Marciano Capela, is forthcoming in 2019 (Facultad de FiIosofía y Letras, Buenos Aires).