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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The historiographical writings of Arrian, Appian, Herodian, and Cassius Dio pose interesting challenges to how we characterize Second Sophistic literature. With its ostensible goal of telling the truth about the past, imperial Greek historiography seems incompatible with the large bulk of imperial Greek writing that is more obviously inspired by declamation and whose main goal is the virtuosic display of erudition, or paideia. Furthermore, inasmuch as this historiography focuses primarily on Roman history, it hardly fulfills the stereotype of Second Sophistic literature as thematically Hellenocentric, even if it is similarly characterized by linguistic Atticism. This chapter therefore argues for an expanded definition of the Second Sophistic that can meaningfully accommodate the peculiarly hybrid nature of historiography on the levels of both genre and cultural politics—as “earnest” history somewhat dominated by rhetoric, and as work better described as “Greco-Roman” than as essentially “Greek.”

Keywords: Arrian, Appian, Herodian, Cassius Dio, Second Sophistic, historiography, Roman history, Atticism, rhetoric, Greco-Roman

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