Man and the Word: The Orations of Himerius

By Himerius; Robert J. Penella | Go to book overview

Introduction

Himerius was a native of Bithynian Prusias (presumably Prusias ad Hypium), the son of Ameinias, whom the Suda calls a “rhetor.”1 He himself became a sophist, a master orator and teacher of rhetoric, in fourth-century Athens, where he had studied rhetoric in his youth. At some point he received Athenian citizenship. At a later date he was made an Areopagite. He had married into a respected Athenian family, fathering a daughter as well as a prematurely deceased son, Rufinus.2 Athenian citizenship was a source of pride to him. The city’s academic traditions had drawn him: “Because of [eloquence] I cast aside the blessed happiness of my native land and have taken up residence by the mystic banks of the Ilissus” (Orat. 10.20). When orating outside of Athens, Himerius’s Hellenism readily took on an Attic tinge.3 Yet he did not forget his native land. When he addressed Prusian students at Athens, he called them

1. Suda I 348 Adler, which gives his native city; Eunapius (Vitae phil. et soph. 14 [494] Giangrande) calls him a Bithynian. Schenkl’s error “Prusa” in RE 8, 2 (1913): 1622 was corrected in RE Suppl. 3 (1918): 1151. For the other Bithynian city known for a while as Prusias, see Ruge, “Kios 1,” RE 11, 1 (1921): 486–87. Wernsdorff believed that Himerius was from this Prusias/Cius rather than from Prusias ad Hypium (Himerii sophistae quae reperiri potuerunt, xl).

2. Rufinus (see chapter 1) was clearly on his way, at the time of his death, to following in the learned footsteps of his father and grandfather.

3. Study at Athens: Orat. 41.2. For education at Athens in the Roman Empire, see now Watts, City and School, esp. 24–78. Athenian citizen: Orat. 7.2–3; cf. Orat. 30. Areopagite: Orat. 25, opening scholion. Marriage: p. 19 below. His daughter: Eunap. Vitae phil. et soph. 14 [494]; cf. Him. Orat. 8.12. Orating abroad: p. 38 below.

-1-

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Man and the Word: The Orations of Himerius
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Transformation of the Classical Heritage ii
  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • The Orations 17
  • Chapter 1 - Himerius’s Son, Rufinus 19
  • Chapter 2 - In Praise of Cities and of Men 34
  • Chapter 3 - In and around Himerius’s School 66
  • Chapter 4 - Coming and Going in Himerius’s School 107
  • Chapter 5 - The Epithalamium for Severus 141
  • Chapter 6 - Imaginary Orations 156
  • Chapter 7 - Orations Addressed to Roman Officials 207
  • Chapter 8 - Miscellaneous Remains 272
  • Arrangement of Orations and Concordance 279
  • Bibliography 283
  • Index 295
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