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By Tim Whitmarsh

The "Second Sophistic" ordinarily refers to a interval on the top of the Roman Empire's strength that witnessed a flourishing of Greek rhetoric and oratory, and because the nineteenth century it has usually been considered as a protection of Hellenic civilization opposed to the domination of Rome. This ebook proposes a really assorted version. overlaying well known fiction, poetry and Greco-Jewish fabric, it argues for a wealthy, dynamic, and various tradition, which can't be diminished to an easy version of continuity. Shining new mild on a chain of playful, imaginitive texts which are omitted of the conventional bills of Greek literature, Whitmarsh versions a extra adventurous, exploratory method of later Greek tradition. past the second one Sophistic deals not just a brand new manner of Greek literature from three hundred BCE onwards, but in addition a problem to the Eurocentric, aristocratic buildings put on the Greek background. available and energetic, it's going to entice scholars and students of Greek literature and tradition, Hellenistic Judaism, international literature, and cultural concept.

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213). Chariton and Achilles Tatius (perhaps via Chariton) seem to have picked up the phrasing in their letters of aggrieved lovers (Char. 10; Ach. Tat. 3–4). Works like these raise difficult questions. They are not plasmatic: they deal with figures and events that already existed within the broad span of traditional records of the past. Moreover, while Lucian may cite Ctesias as a liar, and Polybius may reprove Phylarchus for mixing lies and truth, there is nothing to suggest that such texts were “fictional” at the level of contract between reader and narrator.

The allure of glamorous Oriental eroticism remains evident throughout the Hellenistic period. The Ninus and Semiramis story was undoubtedly the most popular “Orientalist” narrative, but we can identify others. Particularly notable is the association between (particularly erotic) prose fiction and Semitic culture. 55. Diod. Sic. 4 = FGrH 688 T3, F 5; Diod. Sic. 5 = FGrH F 1b. On the question of the historicity of the “royal parchments” see Llewellyn-Jones 2010, 58–63; Stronk 2010, 15–25. For diphtherai as parchment books see Hdt.

It is not, however, plasmatic, like the novel or New Comedy: the stories are never presented as wholly invented. Indeed, the function of the manchettes that accompany many of Parthenius’s narratives is precisely to identify the sources of the stories. 53 To grasp the fictionality of local history, we need to resist, once again, conceptions of fiction that are shaped by the imperial period. 54 We have already discussed the multiple versions of the story of the Syrian Semiramis and the Assyrian Ninus, which (for Greeks at least) stemmed ultimately from Ctesias.

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