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mgr Agata Ignatowicz-Bocian

On Thursday 19 October (4.45 Warsaw time): Lieve Van Hoof (University of Edinburgh) will present a paper Libanius’ Oration for the Prisoners: A plea against social injustice.

We are meeting in person in Room 203 at the Faculty of Law and Administration (UW) but you can join us on Zoom.  For a link, please contact Robert Wiśniewski.


In A.D. 386, the orator Libanius composed a speech “For the prisoners” (Oration 45), in which he drew the emperor Theodosius’ attention to the appalling circumstances in which prisoners were being kept in Antioch. Whilst a few scholars have discussed this text, this paper is the first to explore the text’s contributions to, as well as limitations in, pleading against social injustice. It does so by offering an analysis of the text as well as by placing it against the context of Libanius’ life and of Greek rhetoric in Late Antiquity. Finally, the paper also discusses the reasons why Libanius decided to take up the cause of the prisoners in this extraordinary way.