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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers how Latin authors roughly contemporaneous with the Greek Second Sophistic sought to differentiate themselves from the practices of Greek intellectuals even as they adopted many of them. Pliny the Younger’s accounts of declamation, Aulus Gellius’s performance of erudition, and Fronto’s self-presentation opposed (explicitly or implicitly) the conduct of “Greek” intellectuals such as Isaeus and Favorinus. With their emphasis on the utility of their knowledge, the importance of writing at the expense of live performance, and the ethical nature of their self-presentation, Latin authors constructed a model of Roman intellectual behavior that was subtly opposed to that of Greeks. Only among Latin writers distant from the imperial center spatially (Apuleius) or temporally (Ausonius and his fellow fourth-century Gallic professors) do we encounter the sense of displacement or belatedness that characterizes the Greek Second Sophistic, as well as the overt deployment of sophistic literary, linguistic, and performative practices.

Keywords: Pliny the Younger, Aulus Gellius, Fronto, Apuleius, Isaeus, Favorinus, Ausonius, declamation, displacement, belatedness

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