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Gellius the roman educationalist

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Chapter Summary

The chapter in which Gellius formulates his authority is the Praefatio, and he presents himself in his role of author and elucidates his cultural and educational programme to the reader. Reading between the lines of his affected modesty in the Praefatio, can see the emphasis on the long-term and structural nature of his cultural activities; this structural solidity of his intellectual toils endorses his unmistaken claim to durable cultural authority. The image used by Gellius for his writing activities is that of the burning of the midnight oil, or lucubrations. Through the image of the study pursued by lamplight, Gellius connects his educational programme with Greek and Roman literary traditions. The most conspicuous group of cultural rivals attacked by him is formed by the grammatici, schoolmasters. Reading Gellius Noctes Atticae shows Roman citizens the way toward exemplary education, providing them, the entre to the intellectual aristocracy of Antonine Rome.

Keywords: Gellius; grammatici; Greek; lucubrations; Noctes Atticae ; Praefatio; Roman cultural programme



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