Imperial Panegyric from Diocletian to Honorius

BookImperial Panegyric from Diocletian to Honorius

Imperial Panegyric from Diocletian to Honorius

Translated Texts for Historians, Contexts, 3


March 3rd, 2020



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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

'Across [Imperial Panegyric from Diocletian to Honorius], there is a consistently high standard, and the different analyses enrich and extend the range of approaches from the definition of panegyric as a genre to the weight given in some panegyrics to women, to Christianity and to barbarians'Marzia Fiorentini, The Classical Review

The volume... offers a good starting point for further research into late antique panegyric... It not only shows which works need to be studied in more detail and which questions are still open, but also which possibilities exist to solve these problems.Raphael Brendel, Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft

Translated from German,
'Der Band... er einen guten Ansatzpunkt für die weitere Erforschung der spätantiken Panegyrik... Er zeigt nicht nur auf, welche Werke ausführlichererund welche Fragen noch offen sind, sondern auch, welche Möglichkeiten bestehen, um diese um diese Probleme.'

'This is a very worthwhile study to read. It both instructs readers with some general outlines and encourages them to consider several interesting key details of panegyric of Late Antiquity.'
Felix Maier, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

'The anthology offers something for many, whether one wants to pursue specific individual topics or also want to gain an overall impression of late antique panegyric, beyond the much-examined collection of the Panegyrici Latini.'
Ulrich Lambrecht, Plekos

Author Information

Adrastos Omissi is Lecturer in Latin Literature at the University of Glasgow. He is the author of Emperors and Usurpers in the Later Roman Empire: Civil War, Panegyric, and the Construction of Legitimacy (OUP, 2018). Alan J. Ross is Assistant Professor of Classics at Columbia University, USA. He is the author of Ammianus’ Julian: Narrative and Genre in the Res Gestae (OUP, 2016) and the editor of Imagining Emperors in the Later Roman Empire (Brill, 2018).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
List of Contributors9
1. Imperial Panegyric from Diocletian to Honorius13
Panegyric: Theory and Practice35
2. What is a ‘panegyric’?37
3. (Not) Making Faces: Prosopopeia in Late Antique Panegyric53
4. Libanius’ Imperial Speech to Constantius II and Constans (Or. 59): Context, Tradition, and Innovation79
The Imperial Image103
5. Playing with Conventions in Julian’s Encomium to Eusebia: Does Gender Make a Difference?105
6. Julian and Claudius Mamertinus: Panegyric and Polemic in East and West129
The Orator and Oratorial Identity153
7. How to Praise a Christian Emperor: The Panegyrical Experiments of Eusebius of Caesarea155
8. Neoplatonic Philosophy in Tetrarchic and Constantinian Panegyric179
9. Roman and Gallic in the Latin Panegyrics of Symmachus and Ausonius201
Outsiders Within the Speech221
10. Civil War and the Late Roman Panegyrical Corpus223
11. Inviting the Enemy In: Assimilating Barbarians in Theodosian Panegyric245
12. The Audience in Imperial Panegyric267
Appendix: Editions, Translations, and Commentaries of Imperial Panegyrics291