Promoting a New Kind of Education: Greek and Roman Philosophical Protreptic


Authors of Greek and Roman philosophical protreptics imitate a kind of exhortation initially associated with Socrates, creating a thread of typically protreptic intertextuality that classifies protreptic as a genre of philosophical literature. Tracing this intertextuality from the Socratic authors to Boethius, the book shows how Greek and Roman protreptics define philosophy as a revisionary form of education, articulate the ultimate goals of this education, and associate their authors and audiences with philosophy as a new discursive practice and a new way of living. These texts constitute the first chapter in the history of educational revision and thus offer thoughts that continue to inform every debate on educational goals.

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Daniel Markovich, Ph.D. in Classical Philology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2006), is an Associate Professor in Classics at the University of Cincinnati. He has published on Greco-Roman rhetorical theory, Roman Epicureanism (including a monograph on The Rhetoric of Explanation in Lucretius’ De rerum natura, Brill 2008), and Roman reception of Empedocles.
Preface and Acknowledgments

1 Introduction: A New Way of Living
 1 From Socratic Protreptic to Philosophical Protreptic
 2 Philosophical Protreptic as a Form of Deliberation
 3 Reading Philosophical Protreptic

2 Entering the Dialogue: Socrates and the Socratic Authors
 1 Aeschines of Sphettos
 2 Plato
 3 Xenophon
 4 Conclusions

3 Philosophy as Theoretical Observation: Aristotle’s Protreptic
 1 The Reconstruction of Aristotle’s Protreptic
 2 The Content of Aristotle’s Protreptic
 3 Aristotle’s Dialogue with Plato
 4 Aristotle and Isocrates
 5 Aristotle and His Audiences
 6 Conclusions

4 Philosophy as Therapy: Hellenistic Authors
 1 Expanding the Audience
 2 Epicurus: Happiness for Everyone
 3 Early and Middle Stoic Authors
 4 The New Academy: Philo of Larissa
 5 Middle Platonism: Eudorus of Alexandria
 6 Conclusions

5 Philosophy and Politics: Roman Paideia
 1 Greek Philosophy in Rome
 2 Lucretius: A View from Above
 3 Cicero: Platonic Politics
 4 Seneca: A Fellow Convalescent
 5 Conclusions

6 Socrates in Rome: Greek Authors of the Empire
 1 Being a Philosopher in the Period of the Second Sophistic
 2 Musonius Rufus: Lucius’s Socrates
 3 Epictetus: Arrian’s Socrates
 4 Dio of Prusa: Socrates in Exile
 5 Lucian of Samosata: Protreptic under a Comic and Satirical Mask
 6 Excursus: Exhortations to Medicine and to Christianity
 7 Conclusions

7 The Unity of Philosophy Reclaimed: Neoplatonism
 1 Neoplatonic Tendencies
 2 Iamblichus: A Protreptic Anthology
 3 Themistius: Philosophy and Rhetoric Reconciled
 4 Boethius: A Protreptic to Himself
 5 Conclusions

 1 Typical Arguments
 2 The Protreptic Worldview and The Philosophy of Education
 3 Rhetorical Strategies
 4 Rhetorical Goals
 5 Philosophical Protreptic and Other Types of Philosophical Literature


Appendix: Examples of Philosophical Protreptic
Editions, Commentaries, and Translations
Secondary Bibliography
Scholars interested in Greek and Roman literature, philosophy, rhetoric, education and educational theory.