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Lectio (LECTIO 12)

Polemics and Networking in Graeco-Roman Antiquity

P. d'Hoine, G. Roskam, J. Verheyden, S. Schorn (eds.)
approx. 520 p., 4 b/w tables, 156 x 234 mm, 2021
ISBN: 978-2-503-59688-4
Languages: English
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This volume sprang from the ambition to study the interplay between polemics and intellectual networks from a variety of perspectives: from the Old Academy and the Hellenistic schools to the Neoplatonic commentators of Late Antiquity, from biographical literature to literary criticism, from artistic manuals to scientific treatises, and from pagans to Christians.

Disagreement, rivalry and dispute are essential to any intellectual development. This holds true for ancient cultures no less than for us today. From the classical period to the Hellenistic age and to Late Antiquity, competition and polemics have shaped the course of intellectual history in Antiquity. Polemical encounters and controversies are often linked to group identities and intellectual networks such as philosophical schools, textual traditions, artistic circles and religious communities. This collection of studies sprang from the ambition to study the interplay between polemics and intellectual networks from a variety of perspectives and disciplines.

The volume gathers fifteen case studies by leading scholars and young researchers alike. They address a wide range of topics, from the Old Academy and the Hellenistic schools to the Neoplatonic commentators of Late Antiquity, from biographical literature to literary criticism, from artistic manuals to scientific treatises, and from pagans to Christians. As multi-sided as the picture that emerges from these case studies may be, they all testify to the fact that implicit and explicit polemics are ubiquitous in ancient Greek and Roman literature and have served as triggers of intellectual progress across times and disciplinary boundaries.

Pieter d’Hoine is Associate Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven
Geert Roskam is Professor of Greek Literature at the Faculty of Arts, KU Leuven
Stefan Schorn is Associate Professor of Ancient History at the Faculty of Arts, KU Leuven
Joseph Verheyden is Full Professor of New Testament Studies at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven

Table of Contents

Polemic, Networking and Their Interplay. Some Preliminary Comments (Pieter D’Hoine, Geert Roskam, Stefan Schorn & Joseph Verheyden)

Part 1. Philosophical Schools and Traditions
Polemics in the Pseudoplatonica. The Academy’s Agenda and the Renaissance of Socratic Dialogue (Marco Donato)
Graeculus et adsentator. Philodemus’ Defence of Epicurean Friendship and Frank Speech in Roman Society (Wim Nijs)
Replying to Stoics as the Basis of True Aristotelianism. The Significance of Polemics in Alexander of Aphrodisias’ Commentaries and Treatises (Chiara Militello)

Part 2. Biographical Literature
Hermogenes’ Life. Stylistic Debates and Circles in Philostratus’ Lives of the Sophists (Olivier Demerre)
Polemic, Personality and the Iamblichan Circle in Eunapius’ Lives of Philosophers and Sophists (VPS) (Han Baltussen)
Biography as Implicit Philosophical Polemics. Porphyry’s Life of Plotinus and Iamblichus’ Pythagorean Life (Corentin Tresnie)

Part 3. Grammarians and Rhetoricians
Comparison and Competition. Cicero, Virgil and the Authority of the Interpreter (Ute Tischer)
(Mis)reading the Poet. A Networking Strategy in Ancient Criticism (Josh Smith)
Recommendation in Late Antique Epistolographers in the Context of Personal Networks. The Example of Libanius and Other Fourth-Century Letter Writers (Bruno Marien)

Part 4. Arts and Sciences
Competing (in) Art. Rivalry among Greek Artists and Its Reception in the Imperial Age (Eva Falaschi)
Rival or Ally? Competition, Controversy and Polemics in Ancient Technical Discourse. Case Studies on Ethnicity and Religious Affiliation (Thorsten Fögen)
Platonic Teachings and Astronomers’ Hypotheses in the Proemium of Proclus’ Hypotyposis Astronomicarum Positionum. Between Opposition and Agreement (Argyro Lithari)

Part 5. Christian and Anti-Christian Polemic
Subtle Battles, or: Platonic Exegesis as Polemical Strategy in Porphyry (Irmgard Männlein-Robert)
The Pseudo-Clementine Homilies and the Art of ‘Fake News’. Deceptions and Dissimulations Aimed at the ‘Gentile’ Audience (Benjamin De Vos)
Polemics and Networking in Fourth-century Trinitarian Debates. Athanasius’ Writings from His Third Exile Revisited (Peter Gemeinhardt)

Index nominum
Index locorum

Interest Classification:
Medieval & Modern (Indo-European) Languages & Literatures
Linguistics

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