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Lydia as a Rhetorical Construct in Acts
Alexandra Gruca Macaulay
Publication Date
August 2016


A new sociorhetorical study of Acts

In Lydia as a Rhetorical Construct in Acts, Gruca-Macaulay explores the sociorhetorical function of the story of Lydia, a named Lydian woman ancient interpreters would have associated with cultural stereotypes of Lydians. As a rhetorical figure, Lydia both influenced and was influenced by the ideology of the surrounding text in Acts 16, as well as the approach Luke–Acts as a whole takes to people who are somehow like Lydia.


  • Displays the rhetorical-cultural portrayal of women in Luke-Acts from the perspective of a first-century Mediterranean audience as compared with the history of scholarship, specifically through a sociorhetorical interpretation of the role of Lydia in Acts
  • Investigates the rhetorical function of Mediterranean social-cultural topoi in qualitative argumentation, with a focus on Greco-Roman physiognomy generally, and Lydian ethnography especially
  • Introduces the rhetorical use of conceptual blending, particularly its application for gaining insight into the function of military discourse in developing the rhetorical force of the Lydia episode in Acts

Alexandra Gruca-Macaulay is instructor at Saint Paul University, Ottawa.