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LIBANIUS (A.D. 314-393), Greek sophist and rhetorician, was born at Antioch, the capital of Syria. He studied at Athens, and spent most of his earlier manhood in Constantinople and Nicomedia. His private classes at Constantinople were much more popular than those of the public professors, who had him expelled in 346 (or earlier) on the charge of studying magic.

no intolerance. Among his pupils he numbered John Chrysostom, Basil (bishop of Caesarea) and Ammianus Marcellinus. His works, consisting chiefly of orations (including his autobiography), declamations on set topics, letters, life of Demosthenes, and arguments to all his orations are voluminous. He devoted much time to the classical Greek writers, and had a thorough contempt for Rome and all things Roman. His speeches and letters throw considerable light on the political and literary history of the age. The letters number 1607 in the Greek original; with these were formerly included some 400 in Latin, purporting to be a translation, but now proved to be a forgery by the Italian humanist F. Zambeccari (15th century).

Editions: Orations and declamations, J. J. Reiske (1791- 1797); letters, J. C. Wolf (1738); two additional declamations, R. Forster (Hermes, ix. 22, xii. 217), who in 1903 began the publication of a complete edition; Apologia Socratis, Y. H. Rogge (1891). See also E. Monnier, Histoire de Libanius (1866); L. Petit, Essai sur la vie el la correspondence du sophists Libanius (1866); G. R. Sievers, Das Leben des Libanius (1868) ; R. Forster, F . Zambeccari und die Briefe des Libanius (1878). Some letters from the emperor Julian to Libanius will be found in R. Hercher, Epistolographi Graeci (1873). Sixteen letters to Julian have been translated by J. Duncombe (The Works of the Emperor Julian, i. 303-332, 3rd ed., London, 1798). The oration on the emperor Julian is translated by C. W. King (in Bohn's " Classical Library/' London, 1888), and that in Defence of the Temples of the Heathen by Dr Lardner (in a volume of translations by Thomas Taylor, from Celsus and others, 1830). See further J. E. Sandys, Hist, of Classical Scholarship, i. (1906), and A. Harrent, Les Efoles d' Antioche (1898).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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