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Man and the Word: The Orations of Himerius

Translated, annotated, and introduced by Robert J. Penella
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: 1
Pages: 328
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  • Book Info
    Man and the Word
    Book Description:

    This fully annotated volume offers the first English translation of the orations of Himerius of Athens, a prominent teacher of rhetoric in the fourth century A.D.Man and the Wordcontains 79 surviving orations and fragments of orations in the grand tradition of imperial Greek rhetoric. The speeches, a rich source on the intellectual life of late antiquity, capture the flavor of student life in Athens, illuminate relations in the educated community, and illustrate the ongoing civic role of the sophist. This volume includes speeches given by Himerius in various cities as he traveled east to join the emperor Julian, customary declamations on imaginary topics, and a noteworthy monody on the death of his son. Extensive introductory notes and annotations place these translations in their literary and historical contexts.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93371-2
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-18)

    Himerius was a native of Bithynian Prusias (presumably Prusias ad Hypium), the son of Ameinias, whom theSudacalls a “rhetor.”¹ He himself became a sophist, a master orator and teacher of rhetoric, in fourth-century Athens, where he had studied rhetoric in his youth. At some point he received Athenian citizenship. At a later date he was made an Areopagite. He had married into a respected Athenian family, fathering a daughter as well as a prematurely deceased son, Rufinus.² Athenian citizenship was a source of pride to him. The city’s academic traditions had drawn him: “Because of [eloquence] I cast...

  6. CHAPTER 1 Himerius’s Son, Rufinus
    (pp. 19-33)

    Two orations concern Himerius’s son, Rufinus. The first,Oration7, Himerius’s plea before the Areopagus for free status for his son, survives only in a few excerpts. The second,Oration8, Himerius’s lament at the premature death of Rufinus, survives in full.

    In his brief sketch of Himerius, Eunapius mentions only the Athenian sophist’s daughter, not his prematurely departed son (Vitae phil. et soph.14.2 [494] Giangrande). She is presumably the “full sister” of Rufinus who is mentioned inOration8.12; Himerius there praises Rufinus’s love for and protection of her. The siblings’ mother belonged to a distinguished Athenian family,...

  7. CHAPTER 2 In Praise of Cities and of Men
    (pp. 34-65)

    Apparently sometime after his arrival in Constantinople on December 11, 361, the emperor Julian summoned Himerius to his court. Himerius was not the only pagan man of learning so summoned; and if the philosopher Chrysanthius begged off, the philosophers Maximus and Priscus joined the emperor. Himerius himself decided to leave his school of rhetoric in Athens and to accept Julian’s invitation. Photius’s Himerian bibliography records the title of a lost oration “To the Emperor Julian, When He [Himerius] Was About to Depart” (Orat. 52 Colonna)—apparently delivered at Athens before Himerius left the city. He traveled north, making stops at...

  8. CHAPTER 3 In and Around Himerius’s School
    (pp. 66-106)

    Many of Himerius’s orations illustrate various features of the daily life of his school. Arrivals and departures of students (and of Himerius himself) were often noted in the orations. Pieces on arrivals and departures are collected in chapter 4. Orations bearing on various other school issues are gathered here.¹

    Two of the orations presented here, 34 and 35, concern the recruitment of new students.Oration34 is addressed to the physician andcomesArcadius, who is considering enrolling his son in Himerius’s school. Himerius approves of the care Arcadius is taking in selecting a teacher for his son: many fathers...

  9. CHAPTER 4 Coming and Going in Himerius’s School
    (pp. 107-140)

    Arrivals at and departures from Himerius’s school in Athens were often occasions for oratory. There are enough examples of Himerian oratory associated with such occasions to warrant examining them here as a group.

    Four of the pieces (11, 30, 63, and 64) concern Himerius’s own comings and goings. The meager remains ofOrationII are from a “syntactic” or farewell talk that he delivered to his pupils at Athens when he was about to depart for a visit to Corinth. We have a description of a syntactic oration in Menander Rhetor 2.15. One might imagine on the basis of Menander’s...

  10. CHAPTER 5 The Epithalamium for Severus
    (pp. 141-155)

    The epithalamium for Severus,Oration9, survives in full. It was not the only epithalamium Himerius composed. Photius’s Himerian bibliography mentions another one, for a bridegroom named Panathenaeus. It has not survived, although Colonna has ascribed three consecutive, untitled Himerian fragments in the Excerpta Neapolitana to it.¹ They may be found, as the remains ofOration37, in chapter 8. There is nothing distinctively epithalamic in them. There is also an allusion to a Himerian epithalamium in the opening scholion ofOration34, but without any hint of who its addressee was.

    Severus either was a continuing student in Himerius’s...

  11. CHAPTER 6 Imaginary Orations
    (pp. 156-206)

    The height of the ancient rhetorical curriculum was themeletē, what we commonly call the declamation, an imaginary deliberative or judicial oration in which the speaker impersonated a mythical, historical, or generic character.¹Meletaiwere complete, full-blown orations; the student advanced to them after working on theprogymnasmata,preliminary exercises in various modes of discourse, which often can be found incorporated into appropriate sections of a full-blown oration.² The sophist was expected to be a master of declamation. Hismeletaiwere models for his students to emulate, and there were also eager audiences for them outside of the schoolroom. Despite...

  12. CHAPTER 7 Orations Addressed to Roman Officials
    (pp. 207-271)

    Almost half of the pieces presented here, includingOration48, the longest extant Himerian speech, address and honor proconsular governors of Greece (Achaia), the province in which Himerius taught, while they were in office.¹ I shall consider those governors first, in their order of appearance.

    Oration20 is addressed to Musonius, who is mentioned in the opening scholion ofOration39 as an ex-proconsul of Greece in 362 and apparently held the office before 356.²

    The honorand ofOration25 is Scylacius. The oration gives us information on his earlier career: he held some position in an “imperial palace,” then...

  13. CHAPTER 8 Miscellaneous Remains
    (pp. 272-278)

    Presented here are what Colonna calls the Himerian fragments. One new fragment has surfaced since the publication of Colonna’s edition; it is added to the others here as fragment 17. I have prefaced the fragments with the few remains ofOration37, which could find no home in any of the previous chapters.

    Most of the very short fragments are from Lopadiotes’Lexicon(or theLexicon Vindobonense), with the exception of fragment 2, which comes from the Homeric commentator Eustathius, the longer fragment 1, which is preserved in Photius, and fragment 3, from the Excerpta Neapolitana. Photius titles fragment 1...

  14. Arrangement of Orations and Concordance
    (pp. 279-282)
  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 283-294)
  16. Index
    (pp. 295-312)