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Aristides’ First Admirer

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Chapter Summary

Phrynichos? discussion of Aelius Aristides is preserved in the summary of the Sophistic Preparation made by Photios in the ninth century, not in his only extant work, the Ecloge. This chapter examines what he has to say about Aristides, at least in the form mediated by Photios, and then take up three subjects: the date at which he wrote; the local and social setting in which he wrote; and the literary context, that is, what in his views of language and literature might have helped to make him the first known author to praise Aristides. Phrynichos? tastes reveal him not merely as an Atticist, as he is often labeled, but an Atticist of an especially conservative stripe, and in this respect too he and Aristides would have had much in common.

Keywords: Aelius Aristides; Ecloge; Photios; Phrynichos; Sophistic Preparation



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