Chapter

Himerius's Son, Rufinus

Robert J. Penella

in Man and the Word

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780520250932
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933712 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520250932.003.0002
Himerius's Son, Rufinus

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This chapter presents the two orations by Himerius dealing with his son, Rufinus; these are Oration 7 which has survived only in a few excerpts and oration 8 which survives in full. In Oration 7, Himerius pleas before the Areopagus for the free status for his son, while in the second, Oration 8, Himerius laments at the premature death of Rufinus. Himerius praises his son's virtues and rhetorical skill, underscoring his precocity. When Rufinus was almost three years old and Himerius brought him before the Areopagites, the boy astounded them with his seriousness. Oration 8 is a monody which tells of hopes raised and then dashed to the ground, complaining against the divine powers and the injustice of fate. Himerius's loss was made especially bitter because he was not with his son during the latter's last days, death, and funeral. Oration 8 has a strong tragic coloration and is influenced by the master monodist, Aelius Aristides.

Keywords: Himerius; Rufinus; orations; Aelius Aristides; classical era

Chapter.  7254 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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