Herodes Atticus Reflected in Occasional Poetry of Antonine Athens

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The occasional poetry of the Antonine period relating to the wealthy sophist and important second century AD political personality in Athens, Herodes Atticus, is studied. Some of the functions of poetry are illustrated, as it is used by one of the leading personalities of the Second Sophistic. This study differs from previous research in focusing totally on verse inscriptions connected with Herodes Atticus found in two different regions of the Roman Empire. Earlier studies treated these inscriptions almost exclusively as sources for Herodes? biography. In this study, the texts are also regarded as illustrations of the applications of occasional poetry in the contemporary society and of the manner in which Herodes exploited the poetic medium in order to enhance his own person, family and endeavours. All the compositions discussed are poetic creations indited on particular occasions and carved on stone for public display; they have common characteristics, especially of style and language. Diverse aspects of Herodes? character are identified, as are various roles he adopted during his life: patron, husband and father. The authorship of the poems remains unresolved; however, it is argued that Herodes was deeply involved in their creation, whether as the sole originator, or as the commissioner in full control of the details. Herodes aim was to glorify his own position in Athenian society, to honour loved ones, or to express mourning. All the works convey the image Herodes had of himself, together with that he wished to portray to others.


  • Foteini Skenteri
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature


  • Grekiska språket, Greek language, Humaniora, Humanities, ancient rhetoric, Menandros Rhetor, Kephisia, Avlona, Marathon, Triopion, epigraphy, inscriptions, occasional poetry, Antonine Athens, Herodes Atticus, Second Sophistic, Greek literature, Grekisk litteratur
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2005 Dec 17
  • Almqvist & Wiksell International
Print ISBNs91-22-02137-X
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2005-12-17 Time: 10:15 Place: Humanisthusets hörsal, Språk- och litteraturcentrum, Helgonabacken 12, Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Sironen, Erkki Title: docent Affiliation: Helsingfors universitet ---