This article seeks to demonstrate that, already at the end of the fifth century BCE, the style of the tragedian Agathon was described in terms that would also be used for what is later called Asianism in the first century BCE. This is accomplished by relating the characterization of the Asiatic style, as provided by Cicero, to the descriptions of Agathon's style. Both Agathon's style and the later Asiatic style are conceptualized as ‘Asiatic-barbaric.’ Consequently, the Atticists of the first century BCE were not the first to vilify their opponents by situating specific stylistics and rhetoric within Asia since Agathon's critics had already used similar strategies to mark his style as exotic and extravagant.

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