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Aulus GelliusAn Antonine Scholar and his Achievement$
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Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199263196

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199263196.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Aulus Gellius

Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter sketches the cultural background against which Gellius wrote. The character of the second century is considered, and in particular that of its literature, both Greek and Latin. Whereas in Greek the return to the glorious Athenian past had encouraged declaimers of the Second Sophistic to attempt composition in classical Attic, in Latin, rejection of Julio-Claudian modernism and Flavian neoclassicism brought about not the wholesale imitation of Republican Latin implied by the term ‘archaism’, but a mannerism of style that concentrated on finding the most striking individual words, often indeed taken from writers of the Republican period. These writers were coming back into fashion to replace the Silver Latin authors who had fallen from favour, a development that was fostered but not created by the personal tastes of the Emperor Hadrian.

Keywords:   archaism, Attic, Hadrian, mannerism, Republican Latin, second Sophistic, Silver Latin

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