Libanius's Progymnasmata: Model Exercises in Greek Prose Composition and Rhetoric

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Society of Biblical Lit, 2008 - Foreign Language Study - 572 pages
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This volume presents the original text and the first English translation of the largest surviving ancient collection of preliminary exercises used to teach young men how to compose their own prose, a crucial step toward public speaking and a career worthy of the educated elite. Graded in difficulty, the exercises range from simple fables and narratives to discussions of wise sayings, speeches of praise and blame, impersonations of figures from myth, descriptions of statues and paintings, and essays on general propositions (e.g., should one marry?). It provides a unique glimpse into the schoolrooms of the ancient Mediterranean from the Hellenistic period to the Byzantine Empire, vividly illustrating how ancient educators used myth, history, and popular ethics to shape their students characters as they sharpened their ability to think, write, and speak.
  

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Contents

The Exercise in Fable
1
The Wolves and the sheep
3
The Jackdaw and the beauty Contest
5
The Exercise in narration
9
on Deianira
11
on Pitys
13
on Hephaestus
15
on Capaneus
17
Diogenes upon seeing a child misbehaving struck his pedagogue adding Why do you teach such things?
55
isocrates said that the root of education is bitter but that its fruits are sweet
65
Theophrastus upon being asked what love is said the passion of an idle soul
79
The Exercise in Maxim
87
a man who is a counselor should not sleep all night
89
The same maxim in a different way
95
There is need of money and without it none of our necessities can exist
101
The Exercises in Refutation and Confirmation
107

on Polycrates
19
on simonides
21
on Candaules
23
on Procne and Philomela
25
on Marsyas and the Flute
27
on Heracles
29
on alectryon
31
on icarius
33
on Pitys
35
on Cepheus and Perseus
37
on the aloads and on Elate
39
on Danae
41
The Exercise in anecdote
43
alexander upon being asked by someone where he kept his treasures pointed to his friends
45
The Exercise in Refutation
109
The Exercise in Common Topics
141
141
187
The Exercise in Encomium and invective
197
achilles
209
The Exercise in speech in Character
355
The Exercise in Description
427
The Exercise in Thesis
509
The Exercise in introduction of a Law
527
bibliography
533
Wealth
541
index of Passages Cited
549
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Craig A. Gibson, Ph.D. (1995) in Classical Studies, Duke University, is Associate Professor of Classics at The University of Iowa. He is the author of Interpreting a Classic: Demosthenes and his Ancient Commentators (University of California Press).

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