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Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire: A Study of Elite Communities (William A Johnson) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 2010) 9780195176407
Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire: A Study of Elite Communities (William A Johnson) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 2010) 9780195176407
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Title: Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire: A Study of Elite Communities

Author: Johnson, William A

Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 2010

Hardcover; ISBN: 9780195176407

Volumes: 1; Pages: 288

List Price in Cloth: $65.00 Our price: $52.99

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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 and Tacitus (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 curious reading 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 the ancient 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.Table of ContentsAbbreviations1. 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 Egypt
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