Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Who's Who of Antioch in the mid-Fourth Century

Libanius was extraordinarily well positioned in Antiochene society. He was a renowned rhetorician, well-connected to the imperial family in Constantinople and came from a powerful  local family with strong political connections in the Bouleterion. As a result he was connected with a veritable "Who's Who" of the city and the empire. Not shy at touting his connections and name-dropping he was constantly naming names in his letters and orations. 

Paul Petit, the French scholar who died in 1981, wrote a work which attempted to quantify the prosography of Libanius's milieu. This encyclopedic work:

Les fonctionnaires dans l'œuvre de Libanius : analyse prosopographique. Préface de André Chastagnol et de Jean Martin. Besançon : Université de Franche-Comté, 1994. 288 p. (Annales littéraires de l'Université de Besançon, 541) 

is now available online in its entirety at the site here .

I have not worked out how to download it but it can at least be read online for the moment. 

It would be interesting for someone to take the names dropped by Libanius and convert it into a network diagram. 

1 comment:

Judith Weingarten said...

It would be more than 'interesting' to attempt a social network analysis of all his names, but this is no easy matter. It's not enough to connect Libanius to these people but all of their connections to him and to each other. If it isn't a 'thick' net, it's probably not worth doing.