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Late Antique Letter CollectionsA Critical Introduction and Reference Guide$
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Cristiana Sogno, Bradley K. Storin, and Edward J. Watts

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520281448

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520281448.001.0001

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The Letter Collection of Gregory of Nazianzus

The Letter Collection of Gregory of Nazianzus

(p.81) Five The Letter Collection of Gregory of Nazianzus
Late Antique Letter Collections

Bradley K. Storin

University of California Press

In Ep. 53, Gregory notes that the purpose of his self-made epistolary collection is to aid his grandnephew Nicobulus in pursuing eloquence. In Ep. 52, he describes the collection as consisting of Basil’s letters followed by his own. By keeping these two insights at the forefront, we can posit estimations at the original contents of the collection and then account for why Gregory developed this collection. In short, the collection highlights Gregory’s mastery of paideia and his authority within elite culture while allowing this grandnephew to participate in that culture by association with him. This chapter will attend to the collection’s organizational logic, the social situation that it addresses, and the way that critical editions of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries have distorted both.

Keywords:   Bradley K. Storin, Gregory of Nazianzus, Greek letters, Congregation of St. Maur, Basil of Caesarea, paideia, eloquence, philosophy

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