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date: 22 February 2024

Eunapiuslocked

, Greek sophist and historian

Eunapiuslocked

, Greek sophist and historian
  • John F. Matthews

Extract

Eunapius, Greek sophist and historian, was born at *Sardisc.345 ce and studied there under Chrysanthius, and later in Athens under *Prohaeresius. When he returned to Sardis he entered the circle of local *Neoplatonists, learned theurgy and medicine (he is sometimes described as an ‘iatrosophist’), and mainly taught rhetoric. A fervent admirer of the emperor *Julian and a convinced opponent of Christianity, he wrote to defend his old faith. His History is now lost except for fragments, though much of its character can be recovered from later writers who used it (see below). It continued the work of *Herennius Dexippus, and went in fourteen books from ce 270 to 404; it was finally concluded in about 414. A first edition had however appeared many years earlier, since the work is referred to in the Lives of the Sophists of c.396, and since traces of its influence can be detected in *Ammianus Marcellinus' account of Julian's Persian campaign; some scholars however ascribe the resemblances to Ammianus' direct use of one of Eunapius' sources, Julian's doctor *Oribasius.

Subjects

  • Late Antiquity

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