„Lost in translation“? La notion de frontière appliquée à l’hymnographie grecque produite à l’abbaye de Grottaferrata (980–1050)
Abstract Among the tendencies of recent historiography, that of applying the lexicon of the frontier to anything that may be identified with a situation of contact or exchange between cultural spheres has produced damaging excesses in terms of both intellectual laziness and an overvaluation of the relevance of cultural exchanges and transfers. This chapter seeks to „test“, in an almost experimental way, the notion of frontier as it might be applied to liturgical production, that of Byzantine hymns composed by ItaloGreek
monks from the circle of Nilus of Rossano, between the end of the tenth and the beginning of the eleventh century. Part of an important migratory movement from the 980s onwards, during which Greekspeaking
populations from Sicily and Southern Calabria moved further north, the settlement of Nilus and his disciples near Rome and the foundation of Grottaferrata Abbey saw Rome’s return as a geographical zone of contact between Latin West and Byzantine Christianity. This situation is reflected in certain hymns composed in the Nilian environment to worship of Western saints, in this case St. Benedict and St. Martin. These liturgical texts will therefore be examined to see whether they can be considered as typical productions of frontier spaces and whether or not they draw a cultural landscape of limes, enclave, and support the crossbreeding of medieval Greek culture in Southern Italy.