This introductory chapter provides a description of the origins, early life, and works of Himerius. He became a sophist, a master orator, and teacher of rhetoric in fourth century Athens, where he had studied rhetoric in his youth. At some point he received Athenian citizenship, and at a later date he was made an Areopagite. He married into a respected Athenian family, fathering a daughter; Athenian citizenship was a source of pride to him. The Himerian corpus that has survived is hardly in ideal condition. It does contain some orations preserved in full. In other cases, where a continuous chunk of text survives, it is not always easy to decide whether a whole oration (a short dialexis) is present or not. For many of the orations, only a series of discrete excerpts is preserved. Finally, there is some text, preserved in only one damaged manuscript that is the lacunose. Himerius comes to us partly in a direct tradition of his own, partly through excerptors and a lexicographer who culled material from his orations. Himerius's stories from Greek myth or history allow for numerous flattering comparisons of Himerius himself and his addressees to figures from the past. Almost all of Himerius's orations have a poetic tone to them.
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