Cameron, Averil. 2014. Dialoguing in Late Antiquity. Hellenic Studies Series 65. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_CameronA.Dialoguing_in_Late_Antiquity.2014.
Over and above their theological content Christian dialogues raise questions of literarity and intertextuality. Yet while no one can now question the centrality of rhetoric in late antique education and culture, the works of the rhetorical writers do not lay down rules for dialogue. No rhetorical treatise focuses directly on dialogue, or on oral debate for that matter, and the Socratic background to later dialogues included a traditional opposition between rhetoric and the Socratic discourse.  A few hints from the second century onwards suggest that dialogue was thought of as being different from rhetoric, as being less formal and more conversational.  In Lucian’s dialogue known as the “Twice-accused” or “Double Indictment” (Bis accusatus), Rhetoric complains that he has deserted her for dialogue:
The defense put forward by the “Syrian,” i.e. Lucian, is that rhetoric had become corrupted with over-embellishment, and that he had therefore decided to retire from the hurly-burly of the law-courts “to the walks of the Academy or the Lyceum, there to enjoy, in the delightful society of Dialogue, that tranquil discourse which aims not at noisy acclamations.”