Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire: A Study of Elite Communities

Hardcover | May 21, 2010

byWilliam A. Johnson

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In Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire, William Johnson examines the system and culture of reading among the elite in second-century Rome. The investigation proceeds in case-study fashion using the principal surviving witnesses, beginning with the communities of Pliny andTacitus (with a look at Pliny's teacher, Quintilian) from the time of the emperor Trajan. Johnson then moves on to explore elite reading during the era of the Antonines, including the medical community around Galen, the philological community around Gellius and Fronto (with a look at the curiousreading habits of Fronto's pupil Marcus Aurelius), and the intellectual communities lampooned by the satirist Lucian. Along the way, evidence from the papyri is deployed to help to understand better and more concretely both the mechanics of reading, and the social interactions that surrounded theancient book. The result is a rich cultural history of individual reading communities that differentiate themselves in interesting ways even while in aggregate showing a coherent reading culture with fascinating similarities and contrasts to the reading culture of today.

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In Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire, William Johnson examines the system and culture of reading among the elite in second-century Rome. The investigation proceeds in case-study fashion using the principal surviving witnesses, beginning with the communities of Pliny andTacitus (with a look at Pliny's teacher, Quintil...

William A. Johnson is Associate Professor of Classical Studies at Duke University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 inPublished:May 21, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195176405

ISBN - 13:9780195176407

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations1. Reading as a Sociocultural System2. The Pragmatics of Reading3. Pliny and the Construction of Literary Culture4. Pliny, Tacitus, and the Dialogus de oratoribus5. Doctors and Intellectuals: Galen's Reading Community6. Aulus Gellius: The Life of the Litteratus7. Fronto and Aurelius: Contubernium and Solitary Reader8. Lucian's Insufficient Intellectual9. The Papyri: Scholars and Reading Communities in Graeco-Roman Egypt10. Conclusion