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THE QUESTION OF GENRE IN PLUTARCH'S MAXIME CVM PRINCIPIBVS PHILOSOPHO ESSE DISSERENDVM

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In his book on Plutarch's Maxime cum principibus philosopho esse disserendum from 2009, Geert Roskam takes up the question of the genre of the work. Few scholars have approached this question and they have had little to say. Hence, Roskam's treatment of the question is much appreciated. Among the suggestions previously put forth is the suggestion by F.H. Sandbach, who argued that the work should be regarded as a treatise, while H.N. Fowler stated in the 'Introduction' to the Loeb Classical Library translation that the work is an essay. Other suggestions regarding the genre of Maxime cum principibus include the notion that it is a diatribe and a parva disputatio e magisterio orta. Of course, although all four suggestions have something to say for themselves, they are rather imprecise and not actual genres in a specific sense. The diatribe often surfaces as a convenient label for ancient philosophical discourses, but it is a misleading label, since what it picks out was not recognized as a distinctive form or stylistic level in antiquity. In addition, the technical and literary uses of the Greek word were entirely different.

Translated title of the contributionSpørgsmålet om Genre i Plutarchs 'Maxime cum Principibus'
Original languageEnglish
JournalClassical Quarterly
Volume69
Issue2
Pages (from-to)815-824
Number of pages10
ISSN0009-8388
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

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