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Aristides And Plutarch On Self-Praise

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concerns the two longest and most elaborate discussions of self-praise that survive from Greco-Roman antiquity, Plutarch?s On Inoffensive Self-Praise and Aristides? On an Incidental Remark. It has been commonly observed that self-praise, or periautologia, is a concern that appears frequently in texts of the Roman imperial period, though, as has also been demonstrated, interest in this topic originates earlier. The chapter addresses the question: what use Plutarch and Aristides in particular make of this theme and what this tells one about how each author envisioned the role of the prominent man in relation to his society. It also addresses the question of what this preoccupation with praising oneself means more broadly during this era. To stress even more emphatically the importance of the god in sanctioning self-promotion, Aristides goes so far as to use divine involvement to trump the other arguments he himself is making.

Keywords: Aristides? On an Incidental Remark; divine sanction; Plutarch?s On Inoffensive Self-Praise; Roman imperial period; self-praise



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