Cover of Libanius: Ten Mythological and Historical Declamations

Libanius: Ten Mythological and Historical Declamations

Introduction, Translation, and Notes

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Cambridge University Press


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This book offers translations of ten rhetorical declamations of the fourth-century AD sophist Libanius of Antioch and some related texts, almost all appearing for the first time in a modern language. In these works the declaimer impersonates such mythological or historical figures as Poseidon, Paris, Achilles, and Orestes, either in court (as prosecutor or defendant) or by trying to persuade his audience to take a course of action. The texts illustrate the sophist's eloquence and had an educational purpose in the schools, but were also delivered before adult audiences. They also put the Hellenic past on display for audiences of the Greek East in the Roman Empire. The annotated translations are accompanied by analyses of their themes, structure, and argumentation.

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