The Philosopher's Banquet: Plutarch's Table Talk in the Intellectual Culture of the Roman Empire

The Philosopher's Banquet is the 1st sustained research of Plutarch's Table Talk, a Greek prose textual content that is a mix of philosophical discussion (in the fashion of Plato's Symposium) and miscellany. the shape of Table Talk was once imitated through numerous later Greek and Roman imperial authors (such as Aulus Gellius, Athenaeus, and Macrobius), making it an integral part of the early Roman Empire's literary and cultural historical past. equally, the good number of its contents hyperlinks it with a broader imperial cultural development, that of systematizing wisdom, which positive factors more and more prominently as a subject matter of scholarly research in either classics and the background of technological know-how. The participants to The Philosopher's Banquet supply a variety of methodologically leading edge and complex readings of Table Talk's literary shape, subject matters, cultural heritage, and influence.

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Sixty nine Gellius’ case permits us to appreciate that Plutarch’s fabric teems with strength, yet for this strength to be learned the reader needs to be seriously engaged continually. within the lengthy background of readers’ responses to the desk Talk’s quaestiones, Gellius’ during this specific example stands for a completely neglected chance. end i've got argued in favour of adopting a wide socio-cultural viewpoint at the position Peripatetic wisdom performs within the desk speak. A vast interpretative lens guarantees that we achieve a fuller realizing of its worth as culturally-valorized wisdom in the textual content. as a result, I explored key scenes in the desk speak, which draw consciousness to the highbrow and social tactics that keep watch over the sharing of Peripatetic wisdom. those narratives communicate of a desirable scene of oral transmission, during which reminiscence interacts with social and highbrow pressures in a fashion that renders Peripatetic wisdom the typical estate of a hugely advanced and various community of highbrow groups. additionally they, i've got urged, eventually reflect again at the desk speak itself, as a textual content whose difficult shape and multi-disciplinary content material solid it in a Peripatetic mold. notwithstanding real looking, or fictional and idealized they're, those scenes do underline a huge (and, as we all know good, salient) function of historic wisdom transmission. within the majority of circumstances, it concerned no longer complete texts, yet fragments and tidbits of information that have been culled from texts, and to that end reused in thoroughly new contexts. The desk speak is exclusive in that it bargains us an surprisingly shiny glimpse of the function key cultural associations corresponding to the symposium, and the oral trajectories of transmission that operated in them, performed during this procedure. sixty nine according to hercle rem mirandam Aristoteles in septimo Problematorum et Plutarchus in eightvo Symposiacorum dicit. ‘Si tremendous palmae’ inquiunt ‘arboris lignum magna pondera inponas ac tam graviter urgeas oneresque, ut magnitudo oneris sustineri non queat, non deorsum palma cedit nec intra flectitur, sed adversus pondus resurgit et sursum nititur recurvaturque’; ‘propterea’ inquit Plutarchus ‘in certaminibus palmam signum esse placuit victoriae, quoniam ingenium ligni eiusmodi est, ut urgentibus opprimentibusque non cedat’ (NA three. 6). one hundred thirty Katerina Oikonomopoulou below the Roman empire, symposia have been occasions that inspired the exhibit of paideia within the kind of realized citations extracted from authoritative resources. yet symposia additionally served as loci the place paideia can be dynamically revitalized. For these willing to exhibit it didn't easily mirror it blindly, yet, working less than consistent peer scrutiny, successfully remodeled it into new wisdom, by means of embellishing it with new aspect, enriching it with new insights, occasionally additionally exploring it from new angles. The notable susceptibility of Peripatetic polymathy to such transmission through the desk speak therefore creates a paradigm for the dynamic reappropriation of paideia.

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