Sunday, 3 May 2015

Marco Rizzi: Clement of Alexandria and the protreptic literature of the II-III centuries

Generally speaking, scholars have read Clement's Protreptic as a ring of the chain of the philosophical protreptic literature started by Aristotle and continued by Epicurus, Cicero and so on.
Indeed, to understand the aim and the intended audience of Clement's Protreptic, it is necessary to place it within the broader context of protreptic literature of the II-III centuries, as exemplified by Galen, Apuleius, Maximus of Tyre, among others.
Two are the main features of such literary production which the paper focuses on: the intermingling between philosophy and rhetoric and its function as a form of self-advertising and promotion of intellectual and scholastic activities.
By adopting this literary genre, Clement can present Christianity as an up-to-date way of philosophical life and his own school as an intellectual milieu on the same level of the best philosophers of his days.

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