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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Fronto, the great orator of the second century and teacher of Latin rhetoric to the future emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, while not fitting Philostratus’s definition of a sophist, did practice some sophistic genres and shares with his Greek homologues an epideictic vision of rhetoric, a love for archaisms and an interest in similar themes. This chapter attempts to show the connections that Fronto maintains with the sophists whom he knows, as seen in the Correspondence (Herodes Atticus, Favorinus, Polemon), and those whom he encounters, as shown in Aulus Gellius’s Attic Nights, and to illustrate the commonality of thought and literary style between the Roman orator and the Greek sophists. Attitudes to Greek and political power are analyzed to show the strategies adopted by Fronto to define his relations with the imperial family and to situate himself in the cultural geography of his time.

Keywords: Fronto, eloquence, power, attitudes to Greek language, cultural circle

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