The Second Sophistic: A Cultural Phenomenon in the Roman by Graham Anderson

By Graham Anderson

Sophism was once the one most vital move in moment century literature: prose of that interval got here to be written as leisure instead of restricted to ancient topics. Graham Anderson exhibits how the Greek sophists' abilities in public talking enabled them to accomplish successfully throughout various actions. As he offers the sophists' roles as civic celebrities side-by-side with their roles as transmitters of Hellenic tradition and literary artists, a co-ordinated view of the second one Sophistic as a posh phenomenon emerges.

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But the image of the professional sophist could still include the element of training for political success—in however limited a form. Libanius was not alone in the fourth century in surviving in bulk. 205 The strong philosophic colouring of both Themistius and Julian serves as a reminder that this aspect of a sophist’s equipment could still be summoned to the fore;206 and the social eminence of sophists showed no signs of abating, even if their capacity to influence local events in a more totalitarian system could have been much lessened.

141 Other interpretations are also possible. Certainly Caracalla was not lacking in resourcefulness in raising money, as the case of the Constitutio Antoniniana shows. But here Philostratus does at least hint at other considerations. The fact that Philiscus obtains the Athenian chair from the Emperor’s own mother after he was already in dispute with the Thessalians suggests a patent ploy; and the sophist’s apparently arrogant conduct in the Emperor’s hearing speaks for itself. So does the fact that the information in this case comes as clearly as any from a source very close to Philostratus himself.

44 Such camaraderie could also have an ominous aspect: the pupils of Hadrian were responsible for the death of a drunken pupil of Chrestus of Byzantium. 47 Again, individual pupils no less than teachers can be driven by the urge to excel. e. 53 We are in a familiar world. 24 THE SECOND SOPHISTIC SOPHISTS AND CITIES Philostratus dilates on the advantages to a city of aristocratic young men from elsewhere: So, then, [Heraclides] filled Smyrna with a brilliant company, and helped her too in even more ways besides, as I shall show.

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