The Philosophical Orations
The Orations of Maximus of Tyre cover a range of philosophical topics - from Platonic theology to the proper attitude to pleasure, via prayer, demonology, the problem of evil, and the active and contemplative lives - in a manner calculated to appeal to an educated and literate, but philosophically unsophisticated, public. Their unique blend of Middle Platonic doctrine with a polished and lively rhetorical form opens a window on to the high culture of the second century AD: the world not only of the Second Sophistic but also of the first Christian apologists. They were subsequently read and studied by the Florentine Platonists of the second half of the fifteenth century. The introduction and notes of this translation, which is the first into any modern language since 1804, pay attention both to the Orations as a product of their own culture and to the history of their reception in the Byzantine and Renaissance periods.
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