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Proper Pleasures: Bathing And Oratory In Aelius Aristides’ Hieros Logos I And Oration 33

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Chapter Summary

Aelius Aristides begins the first of his Hieroi Logoi (HL) with what purports to be a diary of illness and therapy. This chapter examines that at HL I.19?21 Aristides? narrative has a deliberate rhetorical aim that can be understood, first, in the context of the broader theme of bathing and alousia in HL I and, second, with reference to Aristides? professional polemic in Oration 33. The first Logos and Or. 33 both give moral weight to the motifs of bathing and abstention from baths, and in both texts Aristides alludes to Socrates as a model. In Or. 33, Aristides? vocation as an orator?and specifically his professional engagement during the epidemic crisis of the 160s CE?is linked to Socratic concern for the soul. In the HL, Aristides has Socrates? example in mind again, but in HL I he uses it to claim a certain kind of liberty in his physical pursuits.

Keywords: Aelius Aristides; alousia; bathing; Hieroi Logoi (HL); Oration 33; socratic tradition



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