Choricius of Gaza

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Choricius, of Gaza (Greek: Χορίκιος), Greek sophist and rhetorician, flourished in the time of Anastasius I (AD 491-518).

He was the pupil of Procopius of Gaza, who must be distinguished from Procopius of Caesarea, the historian. A number of his declamations and descriptive treatises have been preserved. The declamations, which are in many cases accompanied by explanatory commentaries, chiefly consist of panegyrics, funeral orations and the stock themes of the rhetorical schools. The wedding speeches, wishing prosperity to the bride and bridegroom, strike out a new line.

Choricius was also the author of descriptions of works of art after the manner of Philostratus. The moral maxims, which were a constant feature of his writings, were largely drawn upon by Macanus Chrysocephalas, metropolitan of Philadelphia (middle of the 14th century), in his Rodonia (rose-garden), a voluminous collection of ethical sayings.

The style of Choricius is praised by Photius as pure and elegant, but he is censured for lack of naturalness. A special feature of his style is the persistent avoidance of hiatus, peculiar to what is called the school of Gaza.


Further reading

  • Richard Förster and Eberhard Richtsteig, Choricii Gazaei opera, Leipzig, Teubner, 1929 (repr. Stuttgart, 1972).
  • Fotios K. Litsas, Choricius of Gaza: An Approach to His Work. Introduction, translation, commentary, University of Chicago dissertation, 1980.
  • Robert J. Penella (ed.), Rhetorical Exercises from Late Antiquity: A Translation of Choricius of Gaza's Preliminary Talks and Declamations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • Catherine Saliou (ed.), Gaza dans l'Antiquité Tardive: Archéologie, rhétorique et histoire. Salerno: Helios, 2005.

External links

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