A Canadian View of the Second Sophistic? [Review]

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Book Review

Publication Date



Collections of articles on Imperial Greek literature may be popular in Europe and the UK, but they remain rare on the other side of the Atlantic. The appearance of this volume, originating in a 2007 conference held at Laval in Québec City, is thus welcome, and evidence that the field is thriving in Canada; each of the fourteen contributors to this volume, eight writing in French and six in English, has an academic connection, past or present, to a Canadian university (p. xi). Is it possible to identify, then, a specifically Canadian way of perceiving the Second Sophistic on display here (or perhaps better un regard Québécois; ten of the authors have ties to Montréal, Québec or nearby Ottawa)? The somewhat anodyne title suggests a certain modesty of agenda, which is reflected in the predominantly literary, text-based approach favoured by nearly all the contributors, who tend towards strictly delimited analyses of passages, imagery or terminology from one or two ancient authors. No grand theorising or sweeping statements here. Such modesty, however, is one of the volume’s virtues; the careful readings practised in the best of the essays make valuable contributions to our understanding of the complexity of Second Sophistic texts.




Cambridge University Press


Cambridge, England

Publication Information

The Classical Review