A professor of Greek rhetoric, frequent letter writer and influential social figure, Libanius (AD 314-393) is a key author for anybody interested in Late Antiquity, ancient rhetoric, ancient epistolography and ancient biography. Nevertheless, he remains understudied because it is such a daunting task to access his large and only partially translated oeuvre. This volume, which is the first comprehensive study of Libanius, offers a critical introduction to the man, his texts, their context and reception. Clear presentations of the orations, progymnasmata, declamations and letters unlock the corpus, and a survey of all available translations is provided. At the same time, the volume explores new interpretative approaches of the texts from a variety of angles. Written by a team of established as well as upcoming experts in the field, it substantially reassesses works such as the Autobiography, the Julianic speeches and letters, and Oration 30 For the Temples.
Lieve Van Hoof is a postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University, Belgium. Trained as a classicist, historian and political scientist, she studies the interplay between literature and politics, culture and power. After publishing Plutarch's Practical Ethics: The Social Dynamics of Philosophy (2010) and a range of articles on the Second Sophistic, she turned her attention to Late Antiquity. She has published several articles on Greek literature in the fourth century AD, and is currently preparing a monograph on the letters of Libanius.
Introduction. Libanius at the margins Lieve van Hoof; 1. Libanius' Life and life Lieve Van Hoof; 2. The historical context: the rhetorical use of suffering in Libanius' Monodies, Letters and Autobiography Edward Watts; 3. The rhetorical context: traditions and opportunities Raffaella Cribiore; 4. Libanius' Orations Pierre-Louis Malosse; 5. Libanius' Declamations Robert J. Penella; 6. Libanius' Progymnasmata Craig A. Gibson; 7. Libanius' Letters Bernadette Cabouret; 8. The reception of Libanius: from Pagan friend of Julian to (almost) Christian saint and back Heinz-Gunther Nesselrath and Lieve Van Hoof; 9. Emperors and Empire in Libanius Hans-Ulrich Wiemer; 10. Libanius' networks Scott Bradbury; 11. Libanius and the literary tradition Heinz-Gunther Nesselrath; 12. Libanius and the 'game' of Hellenism Jan R. Stenger; 13. Not the last Pagan: Libanius between elite rhetoric and religion Peter Van Nuffelen; Epilogue. Libanius at the centre; Appendices. Survey of (translations of) Libanius' works: A. Hypotheseis; B. Progymnasmata; C. Declamations; D. Orations; E. Letters.
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