Monday, December 11, 2023

Ganz Rhetor, ganz Philosoph – Themistios als Lobredner auf Valens: Ethik als göttliche Herrschaftslegitimation

Simone Mehr
book: Ganz Rhetor, ganz Philosoph – Themistios als Lobredner auf Valens

Themistios, a recognised philosopher of his time, is regarded as one of the most successful eulogists of the 4th century AD. For a long time, the role of a government spokesman was attributed to him and his claim that he praised the emperor as a philosopher was considered pure rhetoric. Based on the premise of the acceptance model, this work primarily examines the question of how Themistios' great success can be explained, given that he was the main speaker for four successive emperors. The textual examination of the speeches shows that Themistios, as a non-Christian philosopher, differs greatly from the Neoplatonic philosophers of his time and that they in particular denied Themistios the right to speak as a philosopher. One result of the study is that the group of non-Christian philosophers was less homogeneous than previously assumed, and that Themistios was closer to Christian ideas of domination than previously assumed. It turns out that Themistios' idea of a good ruler cannot be reconciled with that of the Neoplatonists and yet it was very popular with the majority of the elites. Themistios can therefore be regarded as one of the first political philosophers.

  • Published: December 18, 2023
  • ISBN: 9783111013244
  • Published: December 18, 2023
  • ISBN: 9783111012957


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