Accepting the omen: external reference in Greek declamation

William Guast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Traditional accounts of Greek declamation paint this important imperial genre as a flight from the alleged impotence of Greek cities under Roman rule into a nostalgic fantasy of the autonomy of the Classical past. But there is clear evidence of declaimers using their works to refer to the world outside the fiction, often to the immediate performance context, and above all to themselves. This paper examines examples from Aelius Aristides, Philostratus’ Lives of the Sophists, and Polemo, and shows that such a practice facilitated vigorous and eloquent communication, while also allowing for any external message to be plausibly denied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-102
Number of pages21
JournalCambridge Classical Journal
Early online date17 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Structured keywords

  • Institute of Greece, Rome, and the Classical Tradition


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