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date: 01 December 2022

Aristides, Publius Aeliuslocked

, 117–after 181 ce

Aristides, Publius Aeliuslocked

, 117–after 181 ce
  • Erik Robertson Dodds
  •  and M. B. Trapp


Publius Aelius Aristides (117–after 181 ce), sophist (see second sophistic) and man of letters. Born at Hadrianotherae in Mysia, he was a pupil of Alexander of Cotiaeum and studied in Athens and *Pergamum. At the age of 26, he suffered the first of a long series of illnesses, which ended his hopes of a great public career and drove him to spend much of his time as a patient at the Asclepieum (see asclepius) of Pergamum. The rest of his life was passed mainly in Asia Minor, where he made his home in *Smyrna and in the intervals of illness occupied himself in writing and lecturing.His many-sided literary output (built on an intimate knowledge of the Classical literary heritage) made him a giant in his own day and, through its subsequent popularity, a ‘pivotal figure in the transmission of Hellenism’ (Bowersock). It includes addresses delivered on public and private occasions, declamations on historical themes, polemical essays, prose hymns to various gods, and six books of Sacred Discourses (Ἱεροὶ λόγοι).


  • Greek Literature

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