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Headword: Λιβάνιος
Adler number: lambda,486
Translated headword: Libanius, Libanios
Vetting Status: high
Sophist, of Antioch, in the time of the emperor Julian and down to the elder Theodosius. His father was Phasganius; he was a pupil of Diophantus.[1] His innumerable writings include an Encomium to the emperor Constantius; another to Julian; rhetorical declamations; and letters. This man was a contemporary of Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian.[2]
Julian the Apostate,[3] despite being engaged in such important matters, was reaching for distinction in rhetoric. He expressed especial admiration for the sophist of Antioch, named Libanius - partly, perhaps, in genuine praise of him, but also to cause distress to the great sophist Prohaeresius by giving someone else more honour.[4] At any rate, a certain Acacius,[5] someone who was eloquent in rhetoric, and Tuscianus of Phrygia, constantly criticised him for this and found fault with his judgments.[6]
Greek Original:
Λιβάνιος, σοφιστής, Ἀντιοχεύς, τῶν ἐπὶ Ἰουλιανοῦ τοῦ βασιλέως χρόνων καὶ μέχρι Θεοδοσίου τοῦ πρεσβύτου, Φασγανίου πατρός, μαθητῆς Διοφάντου. ἔγραψεν ἄπειρα: ἐν οἷς Ἐγκώμιον εἰς Κωνστάντιον τὸν βασιλέα, ἕτερον εἰς Ἰουλιανόν, Μελέτας ῥητορικάς, καὶ ἐπιστολάς. οὗτος ἐπὶ τῶν χρόνων ἦν Βασιλείου τοῦ μεγάλου καὶ Γρηγορίου τοῦ θεολόγου. ὁ δὲ Ἰουλιανὸς ὁ Παραβάτης καίπερ τοσούτοις ἐμβεβηκὼς τῆς τε περὶ λόγους ἥπτετο φιλοτιμίας καὶ τὸν τῆς Ἀντιοχείας σοφιστήν, ᾧ Λιβάνιος ὄνομα, διαφερόντως ἐθαύμασε, τὰ μὲν ἴσως ἐπαινῶν, τὰ δέ, ὅπως λυποίη τὸν μέγαν σοφιστὴν Προαιρέσιον, προτιμῶν ἕτερον. Ἀκάκιος γοῦν τις αὐτῷ τῶν περὶ ῥητορικὴν δεινῶν καὶ ὁ ἐκ Φρυγίας Τουσκιανὸς ἀεὶ πρὸς ταῦτα ἐπεκάλουν καὶ διεμέμφοντο τὰς κρίσεις.
C4 AD. See generally RE Libanios; OCD4 Libanius; PLRE I Libanius; Eunapius, Lives of the Sophists 495-6.
[1] RE Diophantos(10); PLRE II Diophantus(1).
[2] [beta 150] Basil of Caesarea; [gamma 450] Gregory of Nazianzus.
[3] [iota 437] Julian. This section of the entry has been identified as Eunapius fr. 25 FHG (4.24), Blockley, Eunapius fr.26.[2], though Bernhardy rejected the attribution.
[4] [pi 2375] Prohaeresius.
[5] [alpha 784] Acacius.
[6] [tau 835] Tuscianus.
Blockley, R.C. The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire: Eunapius, Olympiodorus, Priscus and Malchus. Vol. II. Liverpool: Francis Cairns, 1983.
A.F. Norman, Libanius' Autobiography (Oxford 1965)
B. Schouler, La tradition Hellenique chez Libanius (Paris 1984)
Keywords: biography; Christianity; chronology; ethics; geography; philosophy; rhetoric
Translated by: Malcolm Heath on 25 February 2000@15:51:48.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added keywords; cosmetics) on 25 May 2001@06:17:57.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 9 February 2003@10:37:06.
Catharine Roth (expanded note 3, added keyword) on 3 November 2008@01:11:41.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 18 April 2013@07:06:04.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 2 August 2014@07:31:41.
Aaron Baker (Modified translation; added Blockley citation.) on 28 September 2014@17:48:42.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 28 September 2014@19:54:02.


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