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date: 07 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes the how various intellectuals active in the Second Sophistic conceived of the unity of the human community, a problem with philosophical, social, political, and, perhaps most importantly, ethnic implications. Intellectuals of the period inherited a rich conceptual vocabulary with which to think about human unity; ironically, fifth- and fourth-century Athenian rejections of aristocratic privilege provided a means for later intellectuals to debunk the importance of ethnic birth. As well, the Hellenistic Stoic idea of oikeiôsis is developed by intellectuals of the Second Sophistic as the basis of a philosophically oriented cosmopolitanism. The chapter discusses late Stoic cosmopolitan thought and rhetorical constructions of the Roman oikoumenê (inhabited world) as a single polis, and then turns to the figure of the exile as peculiarly suited to inhabit the world as if it were a single city.

Keywords: cosmopolitanism, Stoicism, Aelius Aristides, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Exile, Zeno, Chrysippus, Musonius Rufus, Favorinus

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