This paper analyses an early Christian martyrological text, the Passio Sancti Felicis Episcopi, with special regard to its later versions differing in the localization of the bishopis martyrdom. In the first part of the paper, the manuscript tradition is introduced and accompanied by a translation into Italian. The text depicts the martyrdom of St. Felix who suffered death in 303 in North Africa during the persecution under Diocletian, and it served as a basis for later editors who followed their own aims with newly modified versions of this narrative. The core of the paper consists of the analysis of the 'Nachleben' of the original text in context of South Italian hagiography, and it focuses on differencies between the two reworkings of the North African passio originating from Campanian Nola (the version N) and Apulian Venosa (the version V). The alterations and conscious manipulations of the original text are explained in detail, pointing out different narrative strategies used in each of the versions. Initially, the North African passio was an account of the martyr bishop who steadily refuses to deny his faith, he does not give over the Christian books and becomes an example for other members of North African church; the local versions, then, establish the saint in the Apennine Peninsula which was probably due to the translation of his relics from Carthage to Italy; finally, the late reworkings of the text set St. Felix into the context of Medieval hagiography.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.