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Durham University

Research & business

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Miss Kristine Weeks

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Research Project: Satirical Depictions of Intellectuals in Gellius and Lucian

My research investigates satirical depictions of intellectuals and intellectual life in the Second Sophistic. I will use case studies of contemporaries Aulus Gellius, a Roman miscellanist, and the Greek writer Lucian, to explore the ways in which they satirise figures such as Favorinus of Arles, Herodes Atticus, and Peregrinus. Research into the Second Sophistic traditionally focusses on the perspective of the Greeks, and there is a lack of focus in scholarship on the Roman view. The existence of a separate ‘Latin Second Sophistic’ is still debatable, nonetheless the Roman perspective of the Second Sophistic remains largely unexplored. Both Lucian and Gellius satirise public figures, in particular philosophers/ sophists, and accuse them of being ‘false intellectuals’. However, the manner in which they do this, and the figures that they use to prove their point vary. My research aims to explore how and why these authors presented similar figures in such different ways.

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