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By Jason Konig

In this publication Jason Konig bargains for the 1st time an available but entire account of the multi-faceted Greek literature of the Roman Empire, focusing specially at the first 3 centuries advert. He covers in flip the Greek novels of this era, the satirical writing of Lucian, rhetoric, philosophy, medical and miscellanistic writing, geography and heritage, biography and poetry, delivering a shiny creation to key texts, with huge citation in translation. The demanding situations and pleasures those texts supply to their readers have become newly preferred within the classical scholarship of the final or 3 many years. moreover there was renewed curiosity within the position performed by way of novelistic and rhetorical writing within the Greek tradition of the Roman Empire extra greatly, and within the many various ways that those texts reply to the area round them. This quantity bargains a vast advent to these intriguing developments.

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He pokes fun at allegorical representations of truth in philosophical writing. He also draws attention to the artificiality of his own first-person voice. That kind of constructedness was important for the literary and sophistic voices of this period, as we shall see in Chapter 3. Once again, however, we should not be too solemn, nor should we underestimate the degree to which Lucian revels in his status as a virtuoso exponent of precisely the systems of communication he debunks: the skills of self-fictionalisation and ingenious rewriting of tradition.

In the process he forges a new identity for himself through his pain and through his narrative of that pain, an identity founded upon his relationship with the god. But it is perhaps Dio of Prusa who goes furthest in exploring his ambivalent relationship with sophistry and rhetoric in a set of self-dramatising speeches and narratives second only to Lucian in the inventiveness and complexity of their various masks and personas. Clearly Dio was a forceful orator. Like most of Philostratus’ ‘proper’ sophists he was also a wealthy and controversial figure.

Instead it has a note of threat and instruction: Trajan, Dio implies, must be philosophical, and must follow his instruction to become so. The margins of sophistry So far, then, we have seen something of the way in which epideictic conventions – mastery of which was a central part of rhetorical education – could be put to use not just in mundane and routine social rituals, but also in more elevated and sometimes double-edged form by some of the sophistic stars of the second century. There is, however, one oddity about all three of the figures I have been focusing on here – Aristides, Favorinus and Dio – and that is the fact that all three of them seem to have had quite a marginal relationship with mainstream sophistic culture as far as we can reconstruct it (the same, in fact, goes for Lucian).

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