The Addressees of Aelius Aristides, Orations 17 K and 21 K

Classical Quarterly 42 (02):444- (1992)

Among Aristides' extant works there are five speeches concerning the city of Smyrna, namely the first Smyrnaean oration , a monody for Smyrna , a letter to I Marcus and Commodus concerning Smyrna , a palinode for Smyrna and the second Smyrnaean oration . The historical context and purpose of Orr. 18, 19 and 20 are well known and uncontroversial. In contrast, although the dating of Orr. 17 and 21 relative to the others is not in doubt, their context and purpose have been divergently interpreted. In this note I will reargue the case that the dominant modern scholarly tradition, which conceives the speeches as invitations to the emperors Marcus and Commodus respectively to visit Smyrna, is wrong. Rather the speeches were addresses of welcome to two proconsuls, father and son, on their respective arrivals in Smyrna. Secondly, I will briefly indicate the general significance of this identification
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DOI 10.1017/S0009838800016062
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