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Los honores y el discurso de agradecimiento de Apuleyo

Rodríguez Neila Juan Francisco
Articolo Immagine
Rivista Storica dell’Antichità
Rivista Storica dell'Antichità N.XLVI/2016

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The municipal elites of the Roman Empire deeply assimilated the code of civic values and forms of social conduct of the aristocracies of Rome, such as the philotimia or desire to be publicly honored. While numerous honorific inscriptions erected in the public spaces of the cities document this pursuit, the phenomenon is scantily reflected in literary sources. An exception to this absence is the speech delivered by Apuleius of Madaura, writer and philosopher of the 2nd century AD, to show gratitude for the official honors conferred to him by the ordo decurionum of Carthago, included in Apuleius’ work Florida. This article compares this oratorical piece with the epigraphic information in order to reconstruct the official process of concession of public honors by local senates and explore what such distinctions, conferred to the famous intellectual in the African metropolis and in other communities, could have meant in his life. 

Keywords: Roman Empire, Apuleius of Madaura, municipal aristocracies, local senates, official honors, public statues.