The Disputes between Appion and Clement in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies: A Narrative and Rhetorical Approach to the Structure of Hom. 6


  • Benjamin De Vos



First and foremost, this contribution offers (1) a structural and rhetorical reading of the debates on the third day between Clement and Appion in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies (Hom. 6) and shows that there is a well-considered rhetorical ring structure in their disputes. Connected with this first point (2), the suggested reading will unravel how Clement and Appion use and manipulate their sophisticated rhetoric, linked to this particular structure. This is well worth considering since these debates deal with Greek paideia, which means culture and above all education, of which rhetorical education forms part. The rhetorical features will be displayed as a fine product of the rhetorical and even sophistic background in Late Antiquity. Clement, moreover, will present himself as a master in rhetoric against Appion, who is presented as a sophist and grammarian in the novel. Finally (3), the focus on the narrative structure of and the rhetorical dynamics in Hom. 6. will contribute to a better understanding of these disputes between Appion and Clement (Hom. 4-6) and their function in the novel generally.

Author Biography

Benjamin De Vos

Benjamin De Vos is a member of the Assisting Academic Staff (100%) of the Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences of Ghent University. He has an interdisciplinary Phd-project in Greek and Latin Literary Studies, and Philosophy. This project deals with the reception of Sophistic and Platonic philosophy in the late ancient, Christian Pseudo-Clementine novel. Another article by Benjamin De Vos about this novel has been published this year in Vigiliae Christianae: ’The Role of the Homilistic Disputes with Appion (Hom. 4-6)’