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.