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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims to make readers of the Attic Nights more sensible to Gellius satirical voice. Cultural theory will help to bring out Gellius role as cultural authority, which was not a static role, but a dynamic one. In the Attic Nights, this socio-dynamic aspect of culture is reflected in competitive dialogues between Roman cultural authorities and people who followed Hellenic culture. Gellius follows an ideological tradition of underlining the autonomy of Latin identity that goes back to Cicero. Cultural authority in Gellius Attic Nights can be viewed as an empowering strategy, training Romans to go Greek and be Roman at the same time, and, if the occasion arises, to beat the Greeks at their own game. Gellius subtly refreshes his readers memory of the recent and less recent past, drawing the attention to the distinctive value of the Latin texts that form the basis of his Roman cultural platform.

Keywords: Attic Nights; Cicero; Gellius; Greek; Hellenic; Latin; Roman

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