The Letters of Libanius from the Age of Theodosius

BookThe Letters of Libanius from the Age of Theodosius

The Letters of Libanius from the Age of Theodosius

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Libanius of Antioch (AD 314-93), teacher, rhetorician and eloquent exponent of Greek paideia, was one of the most prolific letter writers of late antiquity with more than 1500 surviving letters from an even greater total. This volume contains the first English-language translation of all the letters written between 388 and 393, which provide insights both into his professional and personal circumstances and the changes taking place in the political, religious and social environment of the late fourth century. The letters while fulfilling many of the usual functions of late antique correspondence as vehicles in creating or maintaining friendship networks, promoting relationships with men in power, supporting rhetoric and Hellenic learning and seeking favours for friends, students and protégés, also reveal Libanius’ reaction to his circumstances at the end of his life – his waning influence as a teacher, the hostility directed towards him by factions in Antioch and in Constantinople, the loss of friends and loved ones, in particular his son, and his ill health and impending mortality.

Author Information

Scott Bradbury is Professor Emeritus of Classical Languages and Literatures, Smith College, USA. His previous publications include Selected Letters of Libanius from the Age of Constantius and Julian (Translated Texts for Historians, Liverpool University Press 2004). David Moncur is an independent scholar; his previous publications include (with Peter Heather)Politics, Philosophy and Empire: Select Orations of Themistius (Translated Texts for Historians, Liverpool University Press, 2001).