The chapter shows how despite being an unsystematic miscellany, the Attic Nights can be seen as an educational and ethical text. Taken as a whole, Gellius' collection of pieces of knowledge and anecdotes presents education as worth having, enjoyable, social, useful, and moral in a world in which belonging to a group is one of the prime rewards of education. In particular, grammar, rhetoric, philosophy, and law are all socially functional and worth having because they make good citizens in both public and private life. Using intuitions of modern Practical Ethics, the chapter shows how a collection of stories, exempla, etc., can exhibit a set of values, some of which are more prominent than others, and a general concept of ethics in which being good means being good of one's kind, the kind being defined by belonging to three main groups: Roman state, friends, and family.
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