In The Web of Athenaeus, Christian Jacob produces a completely fresh and unique reading of Athenaeus’s Sophists at Dinner (ca. 200 ce). Jacob provides the reader with a map and a compass to navigate the unfathomable number of intersecting paths in this enormous work: the books, the quotations, the diners, the dishes served, and—above all—the wordplay, all within the simulacrum of an ancient Greek library. A text long mined merely for its testimonies to lost classical poets, the Sophists at Dinner has now received a full literary re-imagining by Jacob, who connects the world of Hellenistic erudition with its legacy among Hellenized Romans. The Web of Athenaeus simultaneously offers a literary history of the rarest and finest of Greek culture along with a creative anthropology of a Roman imperial world obsessed with the Greek past.
About the Author
Arietta Papaconstantinou is a Reader in Ancient History in the Department of Classics at the University of Reading.
Scott Fitzgerald Johnson is Dumbarton Oaks Teaching Fellow in Postclassical and Byzantine Greek in the Classics Department at Georgetown University.
Table of Contents
1 On the Art of Planting Cabbage 1
2 Banquet, Symposium, Library 5
3 "Athenaeus is the Father of this Book" 9
4 Banquet and Sumposion 13
5 An Art of Conviviality: Plutarch and Athenaeus 15
6 Larensius' Circle 19
7 Writing the Symposium 27
8 Forms of Collection 31
9 Accumulation and Structure 33
10 Serving the Dishes, Quoting the Texts: The Unfolding of the Banquet 41
11 How to Speak at Table? 47
12 Libraries and Bibliophiles 55
13 Scholars' Practices 71
14 Words and Things 85
15 The Deipnosophists as a Text: Genesis, Uses 95
16 The Web of Athenaeus: The Art of Weaving Links 103
17 The Epitome of the World 109
18 When a Culture Reflects on Itself 113
Works Cited 121