Quotation into Narrative: Athenaeus and his followers

5:00pm - 6:30pm / Tuesday 24th October 2017 / Venue: Walbank Lecture Theatre Abercromby SQ (south)
Type: Lecture / Category: Department / Series: Classics and Ancient History Seminar Series
  • Suitable for: Anybody interested in the topic, including university staff and students and members of the public.
  • Admission: This event is free and open to all. No registration neccessary, for further information please contact Georgia Petridou: petridou@liverpool.ac.uk
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Dr Ben Cartlidge, University of Liverpool

This paper explores the relationship between quotation and narrative, primarily in Athenaeus of Naucratis. Athenaeus’ only surviving work, The Deipnosophists or Dinner-Experts, is a lengthy dialogue recounting the dinner conversation of a group of third century A.D. intellectuals.

As they dine, they entertain each other with quotations drawn from every department of ancient literature. These quotations are conventionally seen as the major interest of the work; in this paper, however, Ben is examining Athenaeus’ status as an independent writer by exploring his reception history.

Ranging from Latin late antiquity, through the medieval Arabic world and early modern Germany, to nineteenth-century Ireland, Ben will explore (aspects of) four distinct texts - Macrobius, al-Azdī’s Ḥikāya, Alsted’s Encyclopedia, and Kenealy’s Brallaghan - to reveal aspects of Athenaeus’ work, his reasons for writing - and, most important of all, something about the audiences who have wanted, or needed, to read Athenaeus over the centuries.