The Miscellany and Plutarch

Teresa Morgan

in The Philosopher's Banquet

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199588954
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191728907 | DOI:
The Miscellany and Plutarch

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This chapter begins by asking whether it is appropriate and useful to regard ‘miscellany’ as a genre, argues that it is, and proposes a wide definition of the term. It considers why classicists have been reluctant to recognize the miscellany as an important genre in the Roman Empire, and traces an answer in the history of European university teaching. By recognizing the importance of the miscellany as a genre, it suggests, we may come to value some imperial writers – notably Plutarch – more justly. After some reflections on the use of miscellanies by other authors, including Plutarch, it considers Plutarch's own large and diverse contribution to the genre, and the place of Table Talk within it.

Keywords: definition; miscellany; university teaching; genre; imperial writers

Chapter.  10700 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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