Description - The Second Sophistic by Timothy Whitmarsh
The 'Second Sophistic' is arguably the fastest-growing area in contemporary classical scholarship. In this short, accessible account Tim Whitmarsh explores the various ways in which modern scholarship has approached one of the most extraordinary literary phenomena of antiquity: the dazzling oratorical culture of the early imperial period. Marshalling the latest thinking in the field, he locates the sophistry of the period within the contemporary culture of elite competition and the struggles for identity at the levels of class, gender and culture. Successive chapters deal with historical and cultural background; sophistic perpformance; technical treatises (including the issue of Atticism and Asianism); the concept of identity; and, the wider impact of sophistic performance on major authors of the time including Plutarch, Lucian and the Greek novelists. In emphasising the central role of the competitive forum for performance this book claims that sophistry was a radically distinctive form of literary production: sophists produced texts that were inherently plural and 'many voiced', always operating in immediate dialogue with their demanding audiences.
This phenomenon had a lasting effect on the way in which Greek literature was conceived in the Roman empire.
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(234mm x 156mm x 9mm)
Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Book Reviews - The Second Sophistic by Timothy Whitmarsh