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Roman ReflectionsStudies in Latin Philosophy$
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Gareth D. Williams and Katharina Volk

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199999767

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199999767.001.0001

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Philosophy and philosophi

Philosophy and philosophi

From Cicero to Apuleius

(p.13) 1 Philosophy and philosophi
Roman Reflections

Harry Hine

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the history of the use of the Greek loan-word philosophus in Latin from the late Republic down to the age of Aulus Gellius and Apuleius in the second century CE. Traditional Roman attitudes that were suspicious of or hostile to philosophy are related by this chapter to the derogatory associations of the term philosophus. Apuleius is the first Latin writer who straightforwardly and openly terms himself a philosophus—a shift of usage, the chapter argues, that reflects the different status of philosophi in the second century compared with previous centuries, and that coincides with the emergent habit of giving familiar intellectual figures, past and present, specific labels such as, for example, philosophus, grammaticus, rhetor, and medicus.

Keywords:   philosophus, Apuleius, Cicero, Seneca, Aulus Gellius

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