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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Letters of Symmachus: Book 1
Salzman, Michele Renee
Salzman, Michele Renee and Michael Roberts, translators

Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011 pp. lxxii + 215. $34.95

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Description: This first introduction to, commentary on, and translation into English of the first book of the letters of Quintus Aurelius Symmachus shows the leading orator and statesman of the fourth-century Roman Senate deeply engaged in conversation with the leading men of the empire. The book highlights the influence of the late Roman aristocracy that flourished in the century after Constantine and demonstrates that it did not become powerless in the face of the new Christian elite. Shared goals united the late Roman elites far more than religion divided them, helping explain the relatively nonviolent and gradual conversion of the western Roman aristocracy. One hundred and seven lettersónuanced to match the recipientís personality, status, and interestódiscuss literature, religion, politics, and shared pleasures, and provide a unique window into the private lives of Romeís leaders, pagan and Christian, in late antiquity.

Subjects: Greco-Roman Literature, Literature

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Review by Timothy Pettipiece
Published 10/23/2016
Citation: Timothy Pettipiece, review of Michele Renee Salzman, The Letters of Symmachus: Book 1, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2016).


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