Long a source for quotations, fragments, and factoids, the Noctes Atticae of Aulus Gellius offers hundreds of brief but vivid glimpses of Roman intellectual life. In this book Joseph Howley demonstrates how the work may be read as a literary text in its own right, and discusses the rich evidence it provides for the ancient history of reading, thought, and intellectual culture. He argues that Gellius is in close conversation with predecessors both Greek and Latin, such as Plutarch and Pliny the Elder, and also offers new ways of making sense of the text's 'miscellaneous' qualities, like its disorder and its table of contents. Dealing with topics ranging from the framing of literary quotations to the treatment of contemporary celebrities who appear in its pages, this book offers a new way to learn from the Noctes about the world of Roman reading and thought.
Joseph A. Howley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Classics at Columbia University, New York.
Introduction; 1. How to read the Noctes Atticae; 2. Gellius in the history of writing about reading; 3. Gellius on Pliny: fashioning the miscellanist and his readerly lifestyle; 4. Encounters with tradition in Gellian research; 5. Favorinus, fiction, and dialogue at the limits of expertise; Conclusion.