The Good King and the Second Sophistic: an ideological bargain

Lazar Maric

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The issue of particular interest to this discussion will be the intimate relationship of the Second Sophistic with the Good King ideology. To be more precise, its relationship with an aspect of the Good King ideology which demanded a 'Good King' to act as a benefactor. The role sophists and their oratory played in embassies requesting various benefactions from the Roman emperor was crucial, and this fact is often noted by modern scholars. Nevertheless, this issue will be readdressed as I believe that the true significance of these embassies has been largely missed in modern scholarship. In this paper I intend to examine the impact the sophists of the Second Sophistic had on the emperor's role as benefactor of Greek cities, and the emperors' influence on the sophists' role as benefactors of these same cities. I hope to suggest that the relationship of the emperors and the sophists can perhaps be best understood in terms of ideological exchange, where both sides helped elevate each other's ideological concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-152
Number of pages16
JournalAncient history : resources for teachers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher version archived with the permission of the Editor, Ancient History : resources for Teachers, Macquarie Ancient History Association, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia. This copy is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission to reprint/republish this version for other uses must be obtained from the publisher.

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