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date: 22 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that certain traits associated with the Second Sophistic have attracted a disproportionate amount of scholarly attention in recent years: preoccupation with the past, Greekness, and the quirky performance of multiple identities. It emphasizes that these traits coexist with articulations of being and belonging that appeal less to early twenty-first-century sentiment, such as common descent, heredity, and “purity.” Finally, it focuses on the Second Sophistic not as a broad cultural or literary phenomenon reaching far beyond the individuals named by Philostratus, but as a group constructed by Philostratus, a variation on the proliferating contemporary groups in the Roman Empire that appealed to traditional modes of articulating being and belonging despite not being based primarily on fatherland, family descent, or place of residence.

Keywords: ethnicity, identity, Greekness, race, kinship, descent

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