Imperial Panegyric from Diocletian
to Honorius examines one of the most important
literatures of the late Roman period – speeches of praise addressed to the reigning
emperor – and the panegyrical culture of the late Roman world more generally. Unlike
much previous work on this topic, Imperial Panegyric takes a consciously comparative
approach, especially between eastern and western, Greek and Latin texts.
Each contributor draws upon evidence taken from multiple authors or from different kinds of panegyric in order to explore both the communal and the particular in this most idiosyncratic of media. The volume investigates to what extent there was a unified concept of imperial panegyric, and how local circumstances shaped individual speeches. It also considers the ways in which traditional forms of praise-giving respond to fourth-century phenomena such as the expansion of Christianity, collegial rulership, and the decline of Rome as the political centre of the empire. Its contributors include a roster of some of the most important names in the field of panegyric studies, both established researchers and the rising stars of the new generation.
‘The questions of how late-antique panegyric was interpreted, and should be interpreted, remain at the heart of our understanding of late-antique political culture.’
Richard Flower, Acta Classica