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Aelius Aristides’ Sacred Tales: A Study of the Creation of the “Narrative about Asclepius”

Tagliabue, Aldo

In: Classical Antiquity, 35 (April 2016), Nr. 1. pp. 126-146. ISSN 0278-6656(p); 1067-8344(e)

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Abstract

Aelius Aristides’ Sacred Tales is a complex literary text, and its first book—the diary—puzzles scholars, as it has no parallel in the entire work. This paper offers a justification for this section by arguing for a deliberate contrast between the diary and Books 2–6 of the Sacred Tales, as a result of which the latter section is crafted as a narrative about Asclepius. I will first identify a large series of shifts in the ST: starting with Book 2, change concerns the protagonist, which from Aristides’ abdomen turns to Asclepius, the narrator, dream interpretation, genre, and arrangement of the events. Secondly, I discuss the impact of these shifts upon the readers’ response: while the diary invites the readers to relive the everyday tension between known past and unknown future, the spatial form of Books 2–6 creates the opposite effect, turning the readers’ attention away from the human flow of time towards Asclepius, and leading them to perceive features of his divine time.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Classical Antiquity
Volume: 35
Number: 1
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2016 08:42
Date: April 2016
ISSN: 0278-6656(p); 1067-8344(e)
Page Range: pp. 126-146
Faculties / Institutes: Philosophische Fakultät > Seminar für klassische Philologie
Subjects: 800 Literature and rhetoric
880 Hellenic literatures Classical Greek
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