Hellenism and Empire: Language, Classicism, and Power in the Greek World, AD 50-250

By Simon Swain | Go to book overview

8
Aristides

INTRODUCTION

Aelius Aristides enjoyed enormous popularity for his rhetorical prowess in his own lifetime and thereafter. His canonization as a model of atticist style in antiquity itself and his popularity in the Byzantine period have ensured that very many of his works survive.1 Undoubtedly the most singular side of his character was his devotion to the healing god Asclepius and his long struggle to be well. I have already had occasion to say something about Aristides' obsession with his health in the course of discussing the modern conception of the second sophistic period as an 'age of anxiety'. Aristides' recollections of his struggle were also famous in antiquity. 'He himself speaks of the nature of his disease . . . in the Sacred Books, and these form some sort of diary for him, and such diaries are excellent teachers of how to speak well on any subject.'2. The six Sacred Tales ( Orr.xlvii-lii), as they are normally called, are certainly one of the most interesting works to have come down to us from this period.3 They are records not so much of Aristides' disease as of the treatments suggested for it by Asclepius. The title

____________________
1
See Schmid 1887-97: ii. 7 n. 14, 14, id. RE ii ( 1896) 892; Boulanger 1923: 452- 7. On his reputation note the contemporary verdicts of Phrynichus, Sophist's Stock- in-Trade, in Photius, Library cod. 158, 101a, and Hermogenes, On Ideas 353. 24 ff. Rabe (comparability with Demosthenes), and the 3rd-c. views of Longinus Excerpts 6, 12 (214. 6, 215. 10 Sp.-H.) and Philostratus, VS581-5.

Aristides is cited here by the text of Lenz and Behr ( 1976-80) for works i-xvi and by the incomplete edition of Keil ( 1898) for the rest.

2
Philostratus, VS581.
3
Behr 1968a is fundamental to understanding the background and structure of the Sacred Tales, see also Misch 1949-62: i(2). 505-17; Dodds 1951: 109-10, 113-16, id. 1965: 40-5; Festugière 1954: 85-104; Kee 1982: 129-34; Gourevitch 1984: 17-71; Smith 1984; Bompaire 1989; Temkin 1991: 184-7. Useful notes are appended to the translations by Nicosia 1984, Festugière 1986 ( Saffrey), Schröder 1986, and Behr 1981-86: ii. 425 ff.

-254-

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Hellenism and Empire: Language, Classicism, and Power in the Greek World, AD 50-250
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vii
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One - Greeks 15
  • 1 - Language and Identity 17
  • 2 - The Practice of Purism 43
  • 3 - Past and Present 65
  • 4 - The Greek Novel and Greek Identity 101
  • Part Two - Greeks and Rome 133
  • 5 - Plutarch 135
  • 6 - Dio of Prusa 187
  • 7 - Arrian and Appian 242
  • 8 - Aristides 254
  • 9 - Lucian 298
  • 10 - Pausanias 330
  • II - Galen 357
  • 12 - Philostratus 380
  • 13 - Cassius Dio 401
  • Conclusion 409
  • APPENDIX A The Dating of the Greek Novels 423
  • APPENDIX B Sosius Senecio's Alleged Eastern Origin 426
  • APPENDIX C The Dating of Dio of Prusa's Rhodian and Alexandrian Orations 428
  • APPENDIX D Galen's On Theriac to Piso 430
  • Bibliography 433
  • Index 475
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