Lucian's Hermotimus.
: Essays about Philosophy and Satire in Greek Literature of the Roman Empire

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This dissertation considers the interaction between philosophy and satire in Greek literature of the Roman Empire through a detailed study of Lucian's Hermotimus. The argument is divided into three parts. Chapters 1, 2 and 3 show that recent studies of the dialogue value it according to two distinct ethic and aesthetic scholarly traditions (developmentalist and unitarian) which find themselves in opposition when defining the value of scepticism in Lucianic literature. Chapters 4 and 5 address the form of the Hermotimus, and argue that despite its aporetic tendencies its main character, Lycinus, gives a moral message. Chapters 6 and 7 examine the ways in which the Hermotimus is a parody of protreptic literature and invites its readers not to live in any particular way, but to think about the rhetoric of other protrepic and aporetic philosophical texts of the second century AD. In the dissertation’s conclusion some guidelines to reading the Hermotimus as a destabilizing aischrologic text are presented.
Date of Award2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorMichael Trapp (Supervisor) & Shaul Tor (Supervisor)

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