GK 383 • Studies in Classical Greek Literature
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
This seminar is designed as an introduction to the literature of the Second Sophistic (the Greek prose writings of the High Roman Empire (ca.50-250 CE)). To this end, we will be reading several works by two of the period's most important authors: the satirist Lucian of Samosata (c.120-180 CE) and the philosopher, essayist, and biographer Plutarch of Chaeronea (c.50-120 CE). The theme of the seminar will be the 'staging of the past' in the Second Sophistic - that is, the imaginative depiction of archaic and classical Greek culture in such texts as Plutarch's Banquet of the Seven Sages and On Socrates' Daimonion, and Lucian's The Scythian, A Conversation with Hesiod, selected Dialogues of the Courtesans, and Herodotus, among others (they're short!). In addition, to gain broader knowledge of the Second Sophistic as a whole, we will read general secondary material (e.g., Whitmarsh, Greek Literature and the Roman Empire; Goldhill (ed.) Being Greek Under Rome) and relevant ancient texts, such as Philostratus' Lives of the Sophists, in translation.
Luciani Opera, vol. III. M.D. MacLeod (ed.) Oxford. Philostratus & Eunapius, Lives of the Sophists. W.C. Wright (tr.) Loeb Classical Library. R. Lamberton (2002) Plutarch. Yale University Press.