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From New Latin adoxus (absurd, paradoxical) (from Ancient Greek ἄδοξος (ádoxos, obscure, ignoble), from ἀ- (a-, not) + δόξα (dóxa, expectation)) + γραφία (graphía, writing).



adoxography (usually uncountable, plural adoxographies)

  1. (rhetoric) Fine writing on a minor or trivial subject.
    • 1910, William White, Notes and Queries, London: Oxford University Press, OCLC 185440806, page 117:
      "ADOXOGRAPHY," [] The former word, with the still uglier "adoxographical," would seem to be of transatlantic origin. Some years ago I drew attention (9 S. xi. 425) to the use of the adjective in an American periodical (The American Journal of Philology, xxiii. 393).
    • 1990, Michael O. Zappala, Lucian of Samosata in the Two Hesperias: An Essay in Literary and Cultural Translation [Scripta Humanistica (series); 65], Potomac, Md.: Scripta Humanistica, →ISBN, page 7:
      Even Lucian's most playful exercises in adoxography, such as the Iudicium Vocalium or the Musica, can be rewritten and integrated into serious debate on contemporary issues.
    • 1991, Ellen D. Lokos, The Solitary Journey: Cervantes's Voyage to Parnassus [Studies on Cervantes and His Times; 1], New York, N.Y.: Peter Lang, →ISBN, page 236:
      The Voyage is kaleidoscopic composite of dream-vision, ideal journey, literary testament, adoxography, and mock epic.
    • 1997, Graham Anderson, “Athenaeus: The Sophistic Environment”, in Hildegard Temporini; Wolfgang Haase, editors, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt (ANRW) [= Rise and Decline of the Roman World]: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der neueren Forschung. Teil II: Principat. Band 34: Sprache und Literatur. 3. Teilband: Einzelne Autoren seit der hadrianischen Zeit und Allgemeines zur Literatur des 2. und 3. Jahrhunderts (Forts.), Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, →ISBN, page 2181:
      The common factor among all three authors is the indulgence in paradox: the courtesan represents a notional ‘opposite’ to the intellectual, and therefore scholarship on courtesans has an air of ‘adoxography’ about it.
    • 2008, T. Ross Leasure, “Spenser's Diabolical Orator and Milton's 'Man of Hell'”, in Christophe Tournu, editor, Milton in France, Bern: Peter Lang, →ISBN, page 169:
      The conflation of these two figures is not only made possible by virtue of Despayre's association with the "unthrifty" vice of sloth, but also, and more importantly, because he justifies that vice through the deployment of sophistical adoxography. Beyond each orator's espousal of "ease," Belial and Despayre share a "rhetorical virtuosity" in the language they use to question divine purposes and manipulate their auditors through a variety of strategies often aimed at inverting the natural relationship between the "noble" and the "ignoble" – the very definition of adoxography.
    • 2010, Paul Giles, “The Utopia Tales”, in Transatlantic Insurrections: British Culture and the Formation of American Literature, 1730–1860, Philadelphia, Pa.: University of Pennsylvania Press, →ISBN, page 24:
      In The Praise of Folly (1511), [Desiderius] Erasmus, who was one of [Alexander] Pope's favorite authors, effectively revived this classical genre of adoxography, described by Emrys Jones as a "perverse or paradoxical encomia" involving "the rhetorical praise or defence of things of doubtful value".
    • 2010, Ammon Shea, “Introduction”, in The Phone Book: The Curious History of the Book that Everyone Uses but No One Reads, New York, N.Y.: Perigee Books, →ISBN:
      Judging by the recent literature of adoxography (a sorely underused word that means “good writing on a trivial subject”), there have been many overlooked things that have changed the world.
    • 2012, Marcel van Ackeren, A Companion to Marcus Aurelius, Chichester, West Sussex; Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell, →ISBN, pages 66 and 68:
      After all it was during this period that sophists tended to rely on the most common topics to push their speeches in the realm of rhetoric (e.g. the proliferation of adoxographies during the Second Sophistic). [] Contrary to [Marcus Cornelius] Fronto's letters, which tend to contain many variants and are taken from very distinct genres (epistolary genres – consolation, greeting and health letters, recommendation – but also adoxographies, treaties, historiography, judicial and political discourses, eroticos), the princeps' letters are generally closer to traditional epistolary themes (news regarding health, greetings, day's and journey's description).

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