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Hellenism and Empire explores Greek identity, politics, and culture in the first three centuries AD, the period known as the second sophistic. The sources of this identity were the words and deeds of the classical Greeks, and the emphasis placed on Greekness and the Greek heritage was far greater then than at any other time. Yet this period is often seen as one of happy consensualism between the Greek and Roman halves of the Roman Empire. The first part of
the book shows that Greek identity came before any loyalty to Rome (and was indeed partly a reaction to Rome), while the views of the major authors of the period, which are studied in the second part, confirm and restate the prior claims of Hellenism.