Aelius Aristides’ rhetoric is all in Asclepius’ name. Aristides considers this god his personal healer, his patron and protector, his spiritual guide, and (perhaps more surprisingly) his teacher of rhetoric. As it is clear from the Sacred tales (orr. 47-52 Keil), Aristides’ personal relation with Asclepius lies above all on a complex net of signs, messages, and symbols, often revealed through the medium of dreams or of other divine (and more or less discreet) epiphanies. Although presented by the rhetorician as exclusive and personal, however, the relation with Ascelpius implies on the contrary a very ‘structured’ context. Aristides often performed his declamations among followers of Asclepius, who shared with him the same devotion to this god. Several studies, after all, have accurately analysed the context of the Asclepieion of Pergamon, where Aristides performed several declamations and spent several periods in his life. More articulated is the second major context of Aristides’ activity, Smyrna, where his public may well have been more heterogeneous, but where so notwithstanding it is possible to recognize a more or less extended group of followers of Asclepius that constituted the core of Aristides’ listeners. Starting from passages from the Sacred tales, the sacred hymns (37-46 Keil) and the ‘polemic’ speeches (esp. 28, 33, 34 Keil), this paper will focus on how from the works of Aelius Aristides is possible to draw pieces of information about Pergamon and Smyrna as contexts of rhetoric, and more in particular as centres where the cult of Asclepius involved urban milieus which constituted specific groups often opposites to others, and to whose identity the practice of declamations largely contributed.

Elio Aristide tra Smirne e Pergamo: contesti di eloquenza e fedeli di Asclepio. Aelius Aristides between Smyrna and Pergamon: rhetorical contexts and followers of Asclepius

MILETTI, LORENZO
2015

Abstract

Aelius Aristides’ rhetoric is all in Asclepius’ name. Aristides considers this god his personal healer, his patron and protector, his spiritual guide, and (perhaps more surprisingly) his teacher of rhetoric. As it is clear from the Sacred tales (orr. 47-52 Keil), Aristides’ personal relation with Asclepius lies above all on a complex net of signs, messages, and symbols, often revealed through the medium of dreams or of other divine (and more or less discreet) epiphanies. Although presented by the rhetorician as exclusive and personal, however, the relation with Ascelpius implies on the contrary a very ‘structured’ context. Aristides often performed his declamations among followers of Asclepius, who shared with him the same devotion to this god. Several studies, after all, have accurately analysed the context of the Asclepieion of Pergamon, where Aristides performed several declamations and spent several periods in his life. More articulated is the second major context of Aristides’ activity, Smyrna, where his public may well have been more heterogeneous, but where so notwithstanding it is possible to recognize a more or less extended group of followers of Asclepius that constituted the core of Aristides’ listeners. Starting from passages from the Sacred tales, the sacred hymns (37-46 Keil) and the ‘polemic’ speeches (esp. 28, 33, 34 Keil), this paper will focus on how from the works of Aelius Aristides is possible to draw pieces of information about Pergamon and Smyrna as contexts of rhetoric, and more in particular as centres where the cult of Asclepius involved urban milieus which constituted specific groups often opposites to others, and to whose identity the practice of declamations largely contributed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/598170
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