Libanios was born with Antioche from Syria, metropolis of the East during the late Antiquité. At the fourteen years age, it decides to dedicate its life being studied and the practice of the literature and the art of public speaking. After studies with Athens, it tries to find a post of professor with Constantinople, but its rivals benefit from the riots and the repression of 342 to drive out it city. Libanios takes refuge then with Nicomédie, on the other side of the straits, where he becomes a character famous for his art of the Rhétorique. Recalled to Constantinople by the emperor Constancy II, it is displeased and ends there up returning in its birthplace of Antioche, from where it hardly seems to have moved until his death, whose date remains the subject of debate.
Although it was pagan and large admiror of the emperor Julien, the Christian authors of the next century (Socrate of Constantinople, Sozomène) allotted to him for pupils Jean Chrysostome, Basile Large the, Gregoire de Naziance and Gregoire de Nysse.
True glutton for work, he is the author of an immense work, which made the admiration of its contemporaries and which was used as model during all the history of Byzance. Its notoriety was large also in Europe during the Renaissance. After a passage to the “purgatory”, it makes more and more speak about him at the end of the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21e.
The modern edition of works of him which arrived until our time includes/understands twelve volumes of 600 pages: an about sixty speech, declamations, models of exercises, arguments prepared for the speeches of Démosthène, more than thousand five hundred letters.
- Libanios Center, Research and Study Center on the Ancient Ages of the Mediterranean (CERCAM), University Paul Valéry - Montpellier III
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