Luca Marulli, «A Letter of Recommendation? A Closer look at Third John’s “rhetorical” Argumentation», Vol. 90 (2009) 203-223
Previous studies argue that the Elder composed the letter to recommend Demetrius to Gaius, and that Third John therefore falls into the “letter of recommendation” genre. After assessing the differences between common letters of recommendation and Third John, this study examines the rhetoric of Third John in an attempt to show that it is not a letter of recommendation, but rather an epideictic rhetorical attempt to restore the Elder’s honor (discredited by Diotrephes) in Gaius’ eyes and persuade him to detach himself from Diotrephes’ reprehensible behavior by extending hospitality to the Elder’s envoys.