Libanius of Antioch was a rhetorician of rare skill and
eloquence. So renowned was he in the fourth century that his school
of rhetoric in Roman Syria became among the most prestigious in the
Eastern Empire. In this book, Raffaella Cribiore draws on her
unique knowledge of the entire body of Libanius's vast literary
output-including 64 orations, 1,544 letters, and exercises for his
students-to offer the fullest intellectual portrait yet of this
remarkable figure whom John Chrystostom called "the sophist of the
Libanius (314-ca. 393) lived at a time when Christianity was
celebrating its triumph but paganism tried to resist. Although
himself a pagan, Libanius cultivated friendships within Antioch's
Christian community and taught leaders of the Church including
Chrysostom and Basil of Caesarea. Cribiore calls him a "gray pagan"
who did not share the fanaticism of the Emperor Julian. Cribiore
considers the role that a major intellectual of Libanius's caliber
played in this religiously diverse society and culture. When he
wrote a letter or delivered an oration, who was he addressing and
what did he hope to accomplish? One thing that stands out in
Libanius's speeches is the startling amount of invective against
his enemies. How common was character assassination of this sort?
What was the subtext to these speeches and how would they have been
received? Adapted from the Townsend Lectures that Cribiore
delivered at Cornell University in 2010, this book brilliantly
restores Libanius to his rightful place in the rich and culturally
complex world of Late Antiquity.
Subjects: History, Religion, Language & Literature
Table of Contents
You are viewing the table of contents
You do not have access to this
on JSTOR. Try logging in through your institution for access.