The Art of Biography in Antiquity

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9781107016699: The Art of Biography in Antiquity
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Greek and Roman biography embraces much more than Plutarch, Suetonius and their lost Hellenistic antecedents. In this book Professor Hägg explores the whole range and diversity of ancient biography, from its Socratic beginnings to the Christian acquisition of the form in late antiquity. He shows how creative writers developed the lives of popular heroes like Homer, Aesop and Alexander and how the Christian gospels grew from bare sayings to full lives. In imperial Rome biography flourished in the works of Greek writers: Lucian's satire, Philostratus' full sophistic orchestration, Porphyry's intellectual portrait of Plotinus. Perhaps surprisingly, it is not political biography or the lives of poets that provide the main artery of ancient biography, but various kinds of philosophical, spiritual and ethical lives. Applying a consistent biographical reading to a representative set of surviving texts, this book opens up the manifold but often neglected art of biography in classical antiquity.

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Book Description:

Explores the whole range and diversity of ancient biography, from its Socratic beginnings to the Christian acquisition of the form in late antiquity. It reveals the surprising variety and intrinsic value of Greek and Roman biographical writing, which explores the virtues and vices of philosophers, statesmen and poets.

About the Author:

Tomas Hägg is Emeritus Professor of Classics at the University of Bergen. His previous publications include The Novel in Antiquity (1983) and The Virgin and her Lover (2003).

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Book Description CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Greek and Roman biography embraces much more than Plutarch, Suetonius and their lost Hellenistic antecedents. In this book Professor Hagg explores the whole range and diversity of ancient biography, from its Socratic beginnings to the Christian acquisition of the form in late antiquity. He shows how creative writers developed the lives of popular heroes like Homer, Aesop and Alexander and how the Christian gospels grew from bare sayings to full lives. In imperial Rome biography flourished in the works of Greek writers: Lucian's satire, Philostratus' full sophistic orchestration, Porphyry's intellectual portrait of Plotinus. Perhaps surprisingly, it is not political biography or the lives of poets that provide the main artery of ancient biography, but various kinds of philosophical, spiritual and ethical lives. Applying a consistent biographical reading to a representative set of surviving texts, this book opens up the manifold but often neglected art of biography in classical antiquity. Seller Inventory # APC9781107016699

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