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Ancient LiteraciesThe Culture of Reading in Greece and Rome$
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William A. Johnson and Holt N. Parker

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199793983

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199793983.001.0001

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The Anecdote

The Anecdote

Exploring the Boundaries between Oral and Literate Performance in the Second Sophistic

(p.96) 5 The Anecdote
Ancient Literacies

Simon Goldhill

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on literary culture. It explores the sudden popularity of “anecdote” in the Second Sophistic and how literate practices can be situated in oral performance in distinct social settings. The anecdote as a written form is seen as symbolic of the literary culture during the Second Sophistic, a characteristic packaging of material that is best understood in relation to actual oral practices among the literary elite. As an oral form that can be written down, memorized, and recirculated orally, the anecdote became a normative means whereby bookish, highly educated elites compete in the symposium and other contexts.

Keywords:   literary culture, anecdote, Second Sophistic, oral performance, literary elite, symposium

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