Man and the Word: The Orations of Himerius

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

CHAPTER 2
In Praise of Cities and of Men

Apparently sometime after his arrival in Constantinople on December 11, 361, the emperor Julian summoned Himerius to his court. Himerius was not the only pagan man of learning so summoned; and if the philosopher Chrysanthius begged off, the philosophers Maximus and Priscus joined the emperor. Himerius himself decided to leave his school of rhetoric in Athens and to accept Julian’s invitation. Photius’s Himerian bibliography records the title of a lost oration “To the Emperor Julian, When He [Himerius] Was About to Depart” (Orat. 52 Colonna)—apparently delivered at Athens before Himerius left the city. He traveled north, making stops at Thessalonica and Philippi before reaching Constantinople. In each of these cities he delivered at least one public oration. These three surviving orations (39–41) are presented here along with a much earlier oration (62), delivered, like Oration 41, in Constantinople. In the interval between Oration 62 and Orations 39–41 Himerius’s hair had turned gray (62.7, 41.2).1

Himerius arrived in Constantinople some time during Julian’s stay there, from December 11, 361, until the middle of June 362.2 In Oration 41 Julian is not addressed in the second person and was not present

1. Date of Julian’s arrival in Constantinople: Amm. Marc. 22.2.4. Summons of Himerius: the opening scholia to Him. Orat. 39, 40, and 41; Eunap. Vitae phil. et soph. 14.1 [494] Giangrande. Chrysanthius, Maximus, and Priscus: see Penella, Greek Philosophers, 68–69, 119–20.

2. For Julian’s departure, see Bidez, La vie, 274; Bowersock, Julian, 83–85.

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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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