The Art of Biography in Antiquity
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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Aesop Agesilaus Agricola Alexander Alexander’s ancient biography anecdotes Antigonus Apollonius appearance Aristoxenus Athens Atticus Augustus beginning birth Caesar century character characterization childhood Christian chronological Cicero collection contemporary critical edition Cyropaedia Cyrus death deeds Demonax Demosthenes detailed Dihle Diogenes Laertius discussion earlier emperor encomiastic encomium English translation Eunapius Euripides Evagoras fact father FGrHist fragments genre gospels Greek Hellenistic Hermippus hero hero’s historian historical Homer Iamblichus ideal Isocrates Jesus kaª kind king literary Lucian Luke modern Momigliano mother narrative narrator Nepos Nero Nero’s Nicolaus ofAesop ofJesus ofthe Parallel Lives Peregrinus philosophical Philostratus Plato Plotinus Plutarch poets political Porphyry Porphyry’s praise present proem Pythagoras Pythagorean quotations quoted readers recent reference rhetorical Roman Rome Satyrus says scene scholarly Socrates sophist sources speech Stadter story structure style Suetonius Tacitus told topic tradition typical words writing Xanthus Xenophon