Guardians of Language: The Grammarian and Society in Late by Robert A. Kaster

By Robert A. Kaster

What did it suggest to be a certified instructor within the prestigious "liberal schools"--the colleges of grammar and rhetoric--in past due antiquity? How will we account for the abiding status of those faculties, which remained considerably unchanged of their equipment and status regardless of the political and non secular alterations that had taken position round them?The grammarian was once a pivotal determine within the lives of the trained higher periods of past due antiquity. Introducing his scholars to right language and to the literature esteemed by way of lengthy culture, he begun the schooling that proven his scholars' status in a narrowly outlined elite. His career hence contributed to the social in addition to cultural continuity of the Empire. The grammarian obtained honor--and feedback; the occupation gave the grammarian a company feel of cultural authority but additionally positioned him ready of genteel subordination in the elite.Robert A. Kaster offers the 1st thorough learn of where and serve as of those very important yet ambiguous figures. He additionally provides a close prosopography of the grammarians, and of the opposite "teachers of letters" under the extent of rhetoric, from the center of the 3rd in the course of the heart of the 6th century, in order to supply a invaluable study software for different scholars of late-antique schooling.

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In this exchange, Creon suggests that justice will necessarily be effected upon the conspirators; the threat of punishment that immediately follows links this retribution directly to the torture that those will suffer who choose the profits of conspiracy over bending to the king’s authority. As he exclaims in threatening fury to the citizen chorus and guard, “If you do not find the author of this burial and reveal him to my eyes, a single Hades shall not suffice for you, before all have been strung up alive to expose this insolence [.

With the torture he inflicts, Creon addresses the transgressive thought or idea by means of the body; he inscribes punishment, vengeance, or, in other words, justice, in visible marks that will endure, along with the body, even after death. The physical presence of the body lends the certainty of its physical permanence to the intangible idea inscribed upon it. Used in this way, the material body is set apart from itself, objectified; its physical elements, which, in their presence seem unchanging, offer themselves as materials upon which the invisible workings of a permanent spiritual antidote might be demonstrated.

This concern with the body as proof—that is, with the resolution of uncertain knowledge in bodily terms—arises with even more urgency in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. Chapter 2 THE POLITICAL BODY Pain and Punishment in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus The formulation of the body as proof appears with renewed urgency in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex (c. 430–420 BCE); the physical body here arises as a locus of certainty in the midst of a fog of ambiguity that otherwise clouds events and knowledge in this play.

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