Eric MacPhail , The Sophistic Renaissance (Geneva: Droz, 2011). 155 pp. ISBN 978-2-600-01467-0.

Eric MacPhail , The Sophistic Renaissance (Geneva: Droz, 2011). 155 pp. ISBN 978-2-600-01467-0. The Sophistic Renaissance makes a learned and suggestive contribution to the literature on Renaissance genres. With Erasmus and Montaigne as focal points, and moving with ease between NeoLatin and vernacular works, Eric MacPhail traces some literary bypaths, including the adage, letter, and essay, to a sophistic tradition. In the process, he introduces some critical terms that complement and perhaps extend critical terms drawn from the liberal arts, especially classical rhetoric. In Part 1, entitled “The Fortune of the Sophists,” MacPhail painstakingly reconstructs the fragmentary tradition and reception of six sophists (Protagoras, Gorgias, Prodicus, Hippias, Thrasymachus, Antiphon, and Critias). Despite the influence and persistence of Plato’s philosophical critique, and the fragmentary condition of these sophists’ writings, the elements of a sophistic theory of speech survived largely in the form of critique and doxography. Testimonies from Cicero, Quintilian, Seneca, and Aulus Gellius reflect an occasional interest of Latin writers in the sophists, while the Greeks were more voluble. In the Table Talk , Plutarch implicated Protagoras in the philosophical origins of skepticism, a genealogy seemingly confirmed by Diogenes Laertius in his early third century Lives of the Philosophers . In the contemporary Lives of the Sophists , however, Philostratus of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png ERSY Brill

Eric MacPhail , The Sophistic Renaissance (Geneva: Droz, 2011). 155 pp. ISBN 978-2-600-01467-0.

ERSY , Volume 33 (1): 94 – Jan 1, 2013

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0276-2854
eISSN
1874-9275
D.O.I.
10.1163/18749275-13330111
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Sophistic Renaissance makes a learned and suggestive contribution to the literature on Renaissance genres. With Erasmus and Montaigne as focal points, and moving with ease between NeoLatin and vernacular works, Eric MacPhail traces some literary bypaths, including the adage, letter, and essay, to a sophistic tradition. In the process, he introduces some critical terms that complement and perhaps extend critical terms drawn from the liberal arts, especially classical rhetoric. In Part 1, entitled “The Fortune of the Sophists,” MacPhail painstakingly reconstructs the fragmentary tradition and reception of six sophists (Protagoras, Gorgias, Prodicus, Hippias, Thrasymachus, Antiphon, and Critias). Despite the influence and persistence of Plato’s philosophical critique, and the fragmentary condition of these sophists’ writings, the elements of a sophistic theory of speech survived largely in the form of critique and doxography. Testimonies from Cicero, Quintilian, Seneca, and Aulus Gellius reflect an occasional interest of Latin writers in the sophists, while the Greeks were more voluble. In the Table Talk , Plutarch implicated Protagoras in the philosophical origins of skepticism, a genealogy seemingly confirmed by Diogenes Laertius in his early third century Lives of the Philosophers . In the contemporary Lives of the Sophists , however, Philostratus of

Journal

ERSYBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2013

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