Alberto Rigolio: "The Syriac De virtute: Themistius, possibly Julian, and a discourse on Cynicism (or cynicism?)"

Alberto Rigolio (University of Oxford): "The Syriac De virtute: Themistius, possibly Julian, and a discourse on Cynicism (or cynicism?) "

Listen to the talk here.

The discourse De Virtute, which is lost in Greek but survives in a Syriac translation (c. fifthcentury), has only marginally figured in recent scholarship on Themistius. The first part of the paper surveys the contents of the discourse, which, perhaps unexpectedly, provides an account of Cynic philosophy and praises the moral principles that underpin it. This strikes as an unusual subject among the works by Themistius. The second part of the paper proposes a tentative historical setting by suggesting a dialogue between the De Virtute and Julianʼs Or. 7 To the Cynic Heracleius and Or. 6 To the Uneducated Cynics, and puts forward the hypothesis that the De Virtute was pronounced in Constantinople in the early months of 362.