Doxographical texts and their excessive usage of quotations and paraphrases of knowledge which is not preserved in its primary context has prompted a scholarly discussion centred mainly around the complex interdependency of these texts and their sources, both primary texts and other doxographical writings. Although recent studies (cf. the works of Mansfeld/Runia) have evaluated doxographical texts more seriously as philosophical or scientific texts in their own right, they have not yet considered these interrelations a literary phenomenon. In my paper, I will therefore analyse the multiple interdependencies in doxographical writings in terms of intertextuality in order to read them as a specific literary strategy.
First, I will use the framework of structuralist intertextuality to describe, analyse, and systematise the various forms of references and relations in doxographical texts. As has long been noted, the complexity of such writings, namely, their consisting of dozens of different textual layers (cf. the case of Diogenes Laërtius), defies simplifying conceptions of ‘sources’ or of ‘primary’ vs. ‘seconda- ry’ texts. Besides ‘proper’ quotations and paraphrases of primary texts, we o en nd references to and verbal borrowings of other doxographical texts. These, whether marked or unmarked, can be considered second-, third-, or even higher grade quotations. Second, I will explore the aesthetics of doxographical writings by comparing them to similar, explicitly literary types of ‘derivative’ genres, such as the cento or collages, and by distinguishing them from similar forms of compilatory literature, such as anthologies or encyclopaedias. These genres will serve as a model to show that doxography is an independent literary form of philosophico-scientific re-writing within the larger context of imperial Greek literature.