Second Sophistic

The Second Sophistic is a literary-historical term referring to the Greek writers who flourished from the reign of Nero until c.230 AD and who were catalogued and celebrated by Philostratus in his Lives of the Sophists (481). However, some recent research has indicated that this Second Sophistic, which was previously thought to have very suddenly and abruptly appeared in the late first century, actually had its roots in the early first century. It was followed in the fifth century by the philosophy of Byzantine rhetoric

Writers known as members of the Second Sophistic include Aelius Aristides, Dio Chrysostom, Herodes Atticus, Philostratus, and Polemon of Laodicea.

See also


  • Jaap-Jan Flinterman, Power, paideia & pythagoreanism. Greek identity, conceptions of the relationship between philosophers and monarchs and political ideas in Philostratus' Life of Apollonius (1995 Amsterdam)
  • Maud Gleason, Making men. Sophists and Self-Presentation in Ancient Rome (1995)
  • Simon Swain, Hellenism and Empire. Language, Classicism and Power in the Greek World, AD 50-250 (1996 Oxford)
  • Tim Whitmarsh, The Second Sophistic (2005 Oxford)
  • Tim Whitmarsh, Greek Literature and the Roman Empire (2001 Oxford)


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