Three discourses of Aelius Aristides (or. 30–32 K.) set a model of the “young rhetor” built up with opposite instances of dynamism and stasis: on the one hand, the orator confirms his noble origins and education in appearing identical to his biological and cultural fathers; on the other one, as he undergoes a personal evolution, he tries to be better than them. Aristides, he himself a singular figure of master without ‘fathers’, cannot be surpassed, due to the favour which Asclepius has granted to him; however, the “young rhetores” of his time might have a chance to surpass the ‘fathers’ (i.e. rhetores) of classical Athens, provided that they receive the divine gift of rhetorics, which is superior to human arts.

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