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Aelius Aristides’ Reception At Byzantium: The Case Of Arethas

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Chapter Summary

In addition to providing much interesting material for the history of religion and rhetoric, the Sacred Tales of Aelius Aristides offer a starting point for understanding the success of the author among his contemporaries. Even a fourth-century papyrus, containing a rhetorician?s funeral oration, celebrates Aristides as Smyrna?s second son after Homer. The fame achieved in these centuries, sealed by Eunapius, allowed Aristides and his orations to acquire first-class authority with lexicographers, the authors of rhetorical manuals, commentators, and erudite schools from the sixth century through the Byzantine period. Despite Arethas?s ironic and contemptuous comments, Aelius Aristides retains his favored position in Byzantium. For the eastern Renaissance, which first develops in this period, Aelius Aristides has definitively become one of the classics of Greek literature.

Keywords: Aelius Aristides reception; Arethas?s ironic comments; Byzantium; eastern Renaissance; fourth-century papyrus; Greek literature; Sacred Tales



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