The aim of this learned and enterprising book is to elucidate the structure and intention of Clement's Stromateis by comparing it with pagan texts from the first and second centuries of our era which belong, as we might now say, to the same genre. This term, which is chaperoned by quotation marks on p. 15, has proved itself heuristically indispensable, but has no closer equivalent in ancient Greek than genos, which is as likely to denote the style or metre of a work as its place in a critical taxonomy. Strict conventions governed versification and the composition of speeches for given occasions, but it is we who have all but invented the epyllion and coined our own names for the novel, the autobiography and the didactic poem. While Heath proposes on p. 138 to render Stromateis as ‘layout’, ‘miscellany’ is the term that is now most commonly applied to this and other ancient texts whose amorphous character seems to resist taxonomy. As Heath observes, however (p. 24), there are all too many specimens of Greek and Latin writing which are in some sense miscellaneous: she might have quoted the thesis of her namesake, Malcolm Heath, that abrupt transitions, divagations and surprises were not aberrations from the classical norm, but calculated devices to heighten the pleasure or whet the interest of the reader, both in poetry and in prose. The culture of ubiquitous imitation was also a culture of unceasing improvisation, and both practices are amply illustrated in Heath's comparison of the Stromateis with four books from the second century to which it bears an obvious resemblance: the Natural history of Pliny the Elder, the Convivial questions of Plutarch, the Attic nights of Aulus Gellius and the Deipnosophistae of Athenaeus.