A late composition which tells of a banquet organized by the Eastern king Joel, with various OT and NT figures as his guests, suitably attired to partake of a rich meal. One by one, however, each guest is given a different dish than the others. At the end there is a burglary which shocks the guests; the guilty party is identified as Achan, son of Carmi as in the book of Joshua; in Chronicles, Achar. The work is certainly not by Cyprian of Carthage d. 258. The hypothesis has been rejected of a mnemonic game for learning biblical characters; it is rather thought of as a sacramentary schema marriage, reconciliation, Eucharist, extreme unction. It has a playful tone even more marked in John Immonide’s 9th-c. version perhaps suggesting a connection with the rite of risus paschalis; in the Middle Ages the Easter celebration was accompanied by performances aimed at concretely eliciting the joy of Christ’s resurrection. Irreverent jocosity, however, is almost absent from the Caena Cypriani; it is rather a game of names, a nursery rhyme with its characters evoked through biblical references. For example, the sufferings inflicted to identify the guilty party are those actually undergone by the various biblical figures Adam is expelled, Abel killed, Zechariah struck dumb with fear, John beheaded, Jesus crucified, Paul flogged etc., with biblical allusions but with no concern for chronological order. This may have contributed to the didactic value of the Caena Cypriani. CPL 1430; CPPM 2, 2148; 2, 2159; PL 4, 1007-1014; MGH Poet. Lat. IV, 2, 1, 872-898; DACL XII, 2, 2339-2343; A. Harnack, Drei wenig beachtete cyprianische Schriften : TU 19, 3, Leipzig 1899; A. LapÃ´tre, Le souper de Jean Diacre: MEFRA 21 1901 305-385; Id., La Caena Cypriani et ses nigmes: RecSR 3 1912 497-596; H. Wass, Studien zum Heptateuchdichter Cyprian , PhW 1914 517; R. Krestan: RAC 3, 477-481 Cyprianus Gallus; Quasten I, 601-602; III, 298; C. Modesto, Studien zur Cena Cypriani und zu deren Rezeption, TÃ¼bingen 1992; R.F. Glei, Ridebat de facto Sarra: Bemerkungen zur Cena Cypriani, in W. Ax – R.F. Glei eds., Literaturparodie in Antike und Mittelalter, Trier 1993, 153-170; Coena Cypriani, intr., text and It. tr., ed. A. Fontana, Sotto il Monte 1999; F. Mosetto Casaretto, Cipriano e il suo doppio: Giovanni Immonide di fronte al problema attributivo della Cena: WS 115 2002 225-250.
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