Reading (from) the Table Talk in Aulus Gellius' Attic Nights
The Conclusion discusses the earliest episode in the Table Talk's history of reception as a way of tracing its influence and its readership. In the late second century CE, the Roman miscellanist Aulus Gellius excerpted from the Table Talk for the purpose of composing his own miscellany, Attic Nights (Noctes Atticae). Gellius used various strategies of citation – paraphrase, summary, verbatim quotation – to distil and condense Plutarch's text, and his project of translation is suggestive of Table Talk's initial cultural reach. The Conclusion ends by noting that in intervening centuries, Table Talk's appeal to readers has not been continuous; but with interest growing in encyclopaedic and miscellanistic literature, that may soon change.
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