Classics > About Us > Events > event-reader

The War of Words: Atticism and Lexica in Imperial Greece

11-05-2013 - 12-05-2013

11th May 2013

A one-day colloquium on the use and promotion of Atticism of language during the Second Sophistic.

Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College, Oxford


In the second century AD Atticism of style had long led to Atticism of language. Purity of language became important to those who used language in an official capacity – as teachers, orators, politicians, lawyers, ambassadors, etc. Despite having no bodies of authority which might have been able to unify and regulate the Greek language, there still was an urge for purification, standardization and codification. It was widely agreed that prose should imitate Attic as it had been spoken and written by the authors of the fifth and fourth century. Nevertheless, we find different interpretations of what usage of language is correct and what is not. This investigation of how some of the authors of the later second century AD perceived this development hopes to demonstrate their linguistic awareness, their critical approach towards Atticism, the need for lexicographers, such as Phrynichus, Pollux, and Moeris, and their reception in the writing of their contemporaries.

This topic is of interest to linguists interested in the development of language, and to anyone working in the Second Sophistic. Seven scholars will present their views in this one-day-colloquium on 11th May 2013.

Confirmed speakers: Prof. Richard Hunter (Cambridge), Prof. Eleanor Dickey (Exeter), Prof. Lawrence Kim (Trinity,Texas), Dr. Philomen Probert (Wolfson College, Oxford), Dr. Jason Koenig (St. Andrews), Dr. Pavlos Avlamis (Trinity College, Oxford), Dr. Thorsten Fögen (Durham).

Supported by the Corpus Christi College Centre for the Study of Greek and Roman Antiquity, the Jowett Trust, and the Derby Fund and the ICS.



Conference fee: £15 (£12 for graduate students) to cover the cost of coffee, sandwich lunch and tea, payable in cheques made out to ‘Corpus Christi College’ and sent with an indication that you wish to attend to Prof. E. L. Bowie at Corpus Christi College, Oxford OX1 4JF; there is no charge for Oxford graduate students, but these too should please register by emailing Dr. C. Strobel (, as we need to know numbers for food planning.

Please reply by Friday 26th April 2013.

For more information and for electronic registration contact Dr. C. Strobel (

Go back