A Factory of Magnificence: Themistius, Thucydides, and Constantinople

Simone Rendina
2022 Electrum  
In Themistius'orations there are many clear and direct references to the Greek literature of the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. However, there are also more subtle references to these classical texts. In this paper, two references to classical Greek historiography are identified in Themistius'Oration 18. As we shall see, in order to praise the refashioning of Constantinople by Theodosius the Great, Themistius subtly quoted a passage by Xenophon. In order to highlight the splendour of the city of
more » ... stantinople, he also used as a reference one of the most eminent classical encomia of cities, that is, Pericles'funeral oration from the second book of Thucydides' History. Both references served to enhance Themistius'already good relations with Theodosius I, who had recently renovated Constantinople with new monuments. This research thus stresses the relevance of quotations in Themistius'orations when studying his political agenda, including quotations that are less obvious and less easily identifiable.
doi:10.4467/20800909el.22.017.15787 fatcat:f46xdj4vszcefc5rgzlhzqk6fe