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Title: The culture and political world of the fourth century AD : Julian, paideia and education
Authors: Hughes, Victoria Elizabeth
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis examines the role of education and paideia in the political and cultural landscape of the mid-fourth century, focusing on the Greek East and the reign of Julian, particularly his educational measures. Julian’s edict and rescript on education are often understood (not least in light of the invectives of Gregory of Nazianzus) as marking an attempt on his part to ban Christians from teaching and, by extension, from engaging in elite public life. They have been used by some scholars as evidence to support the hypothesis that Julian, a committed pagan, implemented an anti-Christian persecution. This thesis reconsiders that hypothesis: it re-evaluates the reign of Julian and his educational measures, and considers the political role of paideia as the culmination and public expression of rhetorical education. Chapter one introduces the topic and provides a brief ‘literature review’ of the key items for a study of Julian and education in the fourth century. Chapter two addresses rhetorical education in the fourth century: it offers a survey of its methods and content, and explores the idea of a ‘typical’ student in contrast with ‘culture heroes’. Chapter three investigates the long-standing Christian debate on the compatibility of a traditional Greek education with Christian belief, and considers the role of Julian in this connection. Chapter four discusses the enhanced status of Latin and of law studies in light of the enlarged imperial administration in the fourth century, and considers the extent to which this development worked to the detriment of rhetorical studies. On the basis of the preceding chapters’ discussions, chapters five and six closely discuss two key topics. Chapter five closely examines Julian’s edict and rescript: their details and specific contexts; the relationship between them and the broader debate on morality in education; how they relate to Julian’s religious ideology and Hellenism. Chapter six offers a discussion of paideia, considering its potential range of lexical and cultural meanings, and assessing its influence on Julian’s thought and action. The chapter argues for the importance of paideia in political relationships in the fourth century and re-evaluates the invectives of Gregory in this context. A brief concluding chapter closes the thesis.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of History, Classics and Archaeology

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