The Upright Man: Favorinus, his Statue, and the Audience that Brought it Low

Artemis Brod

Abstract


This article analyzes the performative strategies employed by Favorinus in his Corinthian Oration. Previous scholarship has focused on two aspects of this speech: on the ways in which Favorinus agonistically alludes to Corinthian history, thereby challenging the city’s authority to dismantle his statue; and second, on his insistence that identity is constructed by paideia, a claim that is representative of second century Greek elite culture. I follow the general line of interpretation elaborated in these readings but draw out an aspect of Favorinus’ rhetorical strategy that has been overlooked. Inspired by recent feminist critiques of rectitude and straightness, I argue that Favorinus relies on an orientating rhetoric in order to both resurrect his statue and assert his masculinity against imputations of effeminacy.

Artemis Brod is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Classical Studies department at Indiana University, Bloomington.  Currently, she is working on a book project called Recognition and Performance in Greek Imperial Oratory in which she investigates techniques of self-presentation used by sophists to gain recognition—aesthetic and social—from their audiences.  More broadly, she is interested in representations of the body and narrative form in second century CE literature.  She received her PhD from Stanford University in 2016.  


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