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Aelius Aristides And Rhodes: Concord And Consolation

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Chapter Summary

The prosperous civic life of the Greek East under Roman rule may be seen as the most complete development of Greek civilization in antiquity. Having examined the Smyrnean Orations elsewhere, this chapter focuses on two speeches about the ancient city of Rhodes that are included in the Aristidean corpus. In modern critical editions of Aelius Aristides? works, the sequence of the two Rhodian speeches reverses their chronology: Oration 24, To the Rhodians on Concord, was apparently delivered more or less five years after Oration 25, the Rhodiakos. In order to examine those texts from a historical point-of-view, it is expedient to observe their proper chronological order by considering the Rhodiakos first. Oration 25 was delivered in Rhodes some time after a tremendous earthquake, which razed the city in 142AD. The horrific evocation of the earthquake constitutes the negative side of speech, which in the end tends towards consolation and exhortation.

Keywords: Aelius Aristides; earthquake; Greek civilization; Rhodiakos; Roman rule; To the Rhodians on Concord



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