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Comparative judgments in greek sites of memory

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Chapter Summary

Gellius appears to pay homage to the celebrated aspects of Herodes Atticus, representing himself as one of the Roman pupils who were attracted by Herodes brilliant Greek eloquence, and were invited to his villa at Cephisia. This villa can be viewed as a site of memory, remembering its visitors of Herodes significant aristocratic lineage. In Gellius ideological perspective, the villa becomes a symbol of Herodes seductive eloquence. Gellius reader is continually challenged to weigh different types of intellectuals against each other, and Herodes own authority as judge is no exception to this pattern. This chapter looks at Herodes role of scrutiniser of professed philosophical authority. Evidence of architectural and sculptural elements from historical context may help to reanimate and enrich the visual and monumental dimensions of Gellius literary representation of Herodes Atticus, a representation which is shaped and informed by Roman traditions, and reflects ideology of Gellius Roman cultural programme.

Keywords: Aulus Gellius; Greek sites; Herodes; judgments; memory; philosophical authority; Roman cultural programme; Roman traditions; villa at Cephisia



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