Eumenius' Panegyric for the Restoration of the Schools (9/4), delivered at Autun or Lyon in 297/298 CE, stands out against the other Latin Panegyrics as a "pedagogical" speech. Eumenius urges the emperors to rebuild the once flourishing rhetoric schools, known as Maenianae, ruined during the sack of the city in 270; focusing on the "cultural" and "political" message involved in the restoration of the school buildings, the panegyrist puts forward a pedagogical program, based on the reassertion of the primary role of rhetoric and literature in the educational training of Gaul's ruling elite. This paper explores Eumenius' project as it is envisaged in the panegyric and argues that the rhetorician heralds a revival of education in which declamation, epideictic rhetoric, and historical and geographical knowledge play a crucial role. By advocating a new golden age of education, supported and endowed by the imperial favor, Eumenius aims at re-establishing the conditions for the renaissance of eloquence, at the same time fostering and perpetuating the cultural values of the Roman aristocratic elite in third-century Gaul.


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pp. 300-315
Launched on MUSE
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