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What is the Second Sophistic?

The Second Sophistic was a Greek rhetorical movement dating back to the 1st century AD. It originated to fill the vacuum left by the decline of tragedy, comedy and political oratory. Compared to the First Rhetoric, it lacked the strictly philosophical component, and posed its emphasis on a demonstrative kind of rhetoric. The Sophists of the Second movement did not use their art to discover the truth through philosophical disquisition, rather they taught to master the art of words through the discussion of absurd theses. 
Their prose was extremely chiselled, fluid and Actic (ie. structured neatly and simply, with the use of concise words).
At the time, the word Sophist acquired an ambivalent meaning; the profession of the Sophist used to be a prestigious one. It was well-paid and therefore accessible mostly to the aristocracy. However, in addition to this, many did not consider moral that the Sohists taught how to bend the truth employing words; although their "playing the devil's advocate" was for purely didactical purposes, most believed that this practice, disconnected from philosophy and its quest for the truth, could only yield negative and immoral results.

Giulia F. A Level Classical Greek tutor, A Level Latin tutor, A Level...

1 year ago

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Phoebe W.

Degree: Classics (Bachelors) - Bristol University

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“Hello!! I am a 2nd year student reading Classics at Bristol University. I have always loved studying these languages and hope that I can inspire you to continue on this epic journey that mirrors Odysseus' - long and difficult at times...”

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Degree: Classics (Bachelors) - Exeter University

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“Hi! I am in my first year at the University of Exeter where I study Classics. I am very passionate about languages especially Latin and Classical Greek. I have grown up in Brussels and completed my secondary education in French. While ...”

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Kim N.

Degree: Classics (Bachelors) - Durham University

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“ABOUT ME: Hello! I'm Kim and am currently doing Classics at Durham. I was always interested in languages and the culture and history behind it, which means even now I'm trying to learn new languages and their culture! Ancient Greece a...”

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Giulia F.

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Degree: International Relations with History of Art (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: Classical Greek, Philosophy+ 2 more

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“A bit about me...My name is Giulia and I am a third year International Relations with Art History student at the University of Exeter. My high school Diploma was Humanities-oriented, since I've always had a great fondness for subjects...”

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