The Philosopher's Banquet

Book Details

Publisher  Oxford University Press
Publication Date   August 15, 2011
ISBN  0199588953
Pages  288

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The Philosopher's Banquet is the first sustained study of Plutarch's Table Talk, a Greek prose text which is a combination of philosophical dialogue (in the style of Plato's Symposium) and miscellany. The form of Table Talk was imitated by several later Greek and Roman imperial authors (such as Aulus Gellius, Athenaeus, and Macrobius), making it a vital part of the early Roman Empire's literary and cultural history. Similarly, the great variety of its contents links it with a broader imperial cultural trend, that of systematizing knowledge, which features increasingly prominently as a subject of scholarly study in both classics and the history of science. The contributors to The Philosopher's Banquet offer a range of methodologically innovative and sophisticated readings of Table Talk's literary form, themes, cultural background, and influence.

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