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Practical Ethics for Roman GentlemenThe Work of Valerius Maximus$
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Clive Skidmore

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780859894777

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780859894777.001.0001

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Chreiai, Apophthegmata and other Compilations

Chreiai, Apophthegmata and other Compilations

(p.35) 5 Chreiai, Apophthegmata and other Compilations
Practical Ethics for Roman Gentlemen

Clive Skidmore

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the forms of Hellenistic compilations. Among these were the many books of Chreiai or Sayings, which originally consisted of anecdotes or remarks attributed to a particular philosopher. The nature of the collections of chreiai in the Hellenistic age may be confirmed by examining a later work, the Apophthegmata of Plutarch, which is a form of the same kind of literature. Another form of compilation consists of a brief programmatic introduction followed by a series of illustrative historical examples. The earliest of these handbooks to survive is probably Book II of the Economics of pseudo-Aristotle, which consists for the most part of examples illustrative of a point in Aristotle's doctrine.

Keywords:   Greek literature, collections, historical examples, anecdotes, Plutarch, handbooks

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