The Second Sophistic traditionally refers to a period at the height of the Roman Empire's power that witnessed a flourishing of Greek rhetoric and oratory, and since the nineteenth century it has often been viewed as a defense of Hellenic civilization against the domination of Rome. This book proposes a very different model. Covering popular fiction, poetry, and Greco-Jewish material, it argues for a rich, dynamic, and diverse culture that cannot be reduced to a simple model of continuity. Shining new light on a series of playful, imaginative texts that are left out of the traditional accounts of Greek literature, Whitmarsh advances a more adventurous, exploratory approach to later Greek culture. Beyond the Second Sophistic offers not only a new way of looking at Greek literature from 300 BCE onward but also a challenge to the Eurocentric, aristocratic constructions placed on the Greek heritage. Accessible and lively, it will appeal to students and scholars of Greek literature and culture, Hellenistic Judaism, world literature, and cultural theory.