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Classics Lecture Series: Alain Gowing, University of Washington: "A Shining City Upon the Hills: Rome in Aelius Aristides"

Event Type
Lecture
Sponsor
Department of the Classics
Location
4080A Foreign Languages Building
Date
Apr 14, 2017   2:00 pm  
Speaker
Alain Gowing, University of Washington
Cost
Free and open to the public.
Views
6
Originating Calendar
School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics Calendar

Abstract: In late AD 155 Aelius Aristides delivered in Rome the so-called ‘Roman Oration’ (‘To Rome’ or ΕΙΣ ΡΩΜΗΝ), most likely before an audience that included the emperor Antoninus Pius. As scholars have noted, the oration bears the marks of a ‘praise of a city’ speech described in a variety of rhetorical treatises (such as Menander Rhetor). Yet in neither the comparatively short but powerful section in which Aristides describes the city (2-10) nor elsewhere in the speech, does he make specific reference to any of the famed monuments and buildings that constitute Rome itself. In this talk I explore Aristides’ relationship with the city…and why in an oration whose purpose is seemingly to praise Rome, he largely opts not to mention the very structures and landmarks that rendered it so famous.

 

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