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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52734
Doc. No:TL22688
Call number:‭3392959‬
Main Entry:Geoffrey Mark Maturen
Title & Author:Making pepaideumenoi: Lucianic reflections on second century Greek cultureGeoffrey Mark Maturen
College:University of Michigan
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:401
Abstract:This dissertation discusses Lucian as a cultural critic. More than just another sophist, using his knowledge of Greek letters to compete for status in the second-century Roman empire, Lucian is better understood as a cultural critic, one who stands apart from the social order in various ways, and whose critical interventions constitute an enlightenment project aimed at extricating Greek culture, and those involved in it, from the symbolic economies which structure Helleno-Roman social life. One way to understand Lucian's text is as a series of "critical interventions," of which Lucian's didactic and theoretical text on historiography, How to Write History , provides an example. Drawing on Platonic critiques of poetry and rhetoric, Lucian argues that by catering to audiences' pleasure historians are unconsciously drawn into reproducing the symbolic order. More than just concerned with how history is produced, Lucian uses the example of contemporary historiography to articulate the critical position, and imagine a kind of cultural production that operates outside of the prevailing symbolic economies. Lucian's project of critique also draws on the Cynic tradition. Despite Lucian's ambivalence toward existing Cynics, Cynicism provides Lucian with an example of philosophy as symbolic warfare, aimed at standing outside of and undermining structures of symbolic domination. In the same way, Syrian identity provides Lucian with an outsider position, from which to explore the meaning of Greekness in the second century. It is also possible to see in Lucian's texts a thorough understanding of symbolic power--that is, of the structures of domination that function smoothly because they are collectively misrecognized as legitimate. Lucianic criticism challenges these structures by laying bare how they function. Understanding Lucian as a cultural critic, I argue, requires a reassessment of our understanding of the social life of second century Greek culture. The most persuasive accounts of Greek culture's social life--as a tool for reproducing and legitimating hierarchies--must, I argue, be rethought in light of Lucian's cultural criticism, which uses Greek culture to reveal and undermine symbolic power structures rather than attain status within them.
Subject:Language, literature and linguistics; Lucian, of Samosata; Ancient Greek literature; Pepaideumenoi; Second century; Greek; Culture; Classical studies; 0294:Classical studies
Added Entry:S. L. Ahbel-Rappe
Added Entry:University of Michigan