Maximus of Tyre: The Philosophical Orations
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Trapp offers a new annotated translation of the philosophical orations of Maximus of Tyre. These orations cover a range of topics from Platonic theology to the proper attitude to pleasure. They open a window onto the second century's world of the Second Sophistic and Christian apologists, as well as on to that of the Florentine Platonists of the later fifteenth century who read, studied, and imitated the orations.
an opinion,?' clarify and illustrate a line of argument/ 5 or simply add an extra layer of elegance to the literary finish. Collectively, they serve to establish the impeccable cultural credentials of both the author and his subject-matter. This is a man who is as comfortably at home with educated culture in general as he is with philosophical learning, and philosophical learning itself is characterized at the same time as an integral part of the great Greek tradition. Most frequently quarried,
excessively odd to an audience of native Latin-speakers. More generally, one can suggest that a Greek orator performing in Rome might be prized as much for his uncompromising Greekness as for his readiness to accommodate local tastes and local interests; in which case failure to mention Roman history, or reflect details of the Roman scene, would not cause any discomfort either. It is no doubt likely that some or all of the Orations we have were performed in cities of the Eastern Empire too,
shepherd, soldier, and athlete underscore the status Maximus claims both as star performer, commanding his audience's rapt attention, and as committed professional, dedicated to the betterment of those with whom he comes into contact. All the facets of the persona constructed in the introductory oration can be seen again in the remainder of the collection. Throughout, Maximus underscores his comprehensive expertise and authOrity, both as a cultivated rhetorical virtuoso and as philosopher: the
circumstances of those who stand in need of it, and the varying situations in which they find themselves. Philosophy and the philosophical teacher, like good Life, Works, and Context xix actors, will adapt themselves to the circumstances of the moment, meeting their audience half-way (Or. I. 1-3); it would be untrue to the variety both of life and of the characters of philosophers themselves to expect them all to conform to a single appearance and style of teaching (Or. I. 9- 10). We may read
controlled, and it is this fire that serves them as their shrine and image. 25 The Phrygians who live about Celaenae honour two rivers, the Marsyas and the Maeander. I have seen these rivers; they rise from a single spring, which flows down to the hill, disappears beneath the back of the city, and then issues forth again on the other Side, having divided its waters into two rivers with separate names. One of them, the Maeander, flows on to Lydia; the other expends itself there on the plain. The