Patricia A. Rosenmeyer's Ancient Epistolary Fictions: The Letter in Greek Literature PDF

By Patricia A. Rosenmeyer

ISBN-10: 0511017774

ISBN-13: 9780511017773

ISBN-10: 0521800048

ISBN-13: 9780521800044

This ebook bargains the 1st accomplished examine using imaginary letters in Greek literature from Homer to Philostratus. through imaginary letters, it capability letters written within the voice of one other, and both inserted right into a narrative (epic, historiography, tragedy, the novel), or comprising a free-standing assortment (e.g. the Greek love letter collections of the Imperial Roman period). The publication demanding situations the thought that Ovid "invented" the fictitious letter shape within the Heroides, and considers a wealth of Greek antecedents for the later eu epistolary novel culture.

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12±241 In the previous chapters we attempted to de®ne the letter, described its form and function in antiquity, and explored its myths of origin. The material discussed above will guide us now in closer study of the ®ctive letters themselves: the topic of the following four chapters will be epistolary ®ctions from the archaic to the Hellenistic period in Greece. In tracing letters in literature from Homer to Callimachus, we begin with yet another ``myth'' of origin. Homer, the undisputed ``father of literature,'' reveals himself also as the ``father of letters,'' the site of the ®rst epistolary exchange.

Jackel, Menandrii Sententiae (Leipzig 1964) 114: Menandri et Philistionis Disticha Parisina 1±2 ˆ Kock fr. 702. 19 Steiner (1994) 107. 28 Epistolarity: an introduction the despotism of the Oriental monarchs . . 20 Much of her thesis, which goes far beyond letter writing to include all forms of inscription and writing, rests on the assumption, with which I fully agree, that no writing is an ``unloaded tool'' whose purpose and function are merely to inform: it is always more widely referential, a re¯ection of the culture and the purpose which produce it.

Morgan, Literate Education in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds (Cambridge 1998). 33 On the conservative nature of epistolary conventions, particularly the opening address, see Koskenniemi (1956) 14±15. 34 Deissmann (1927) 201. I base my translation on B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri vol. i (London 1898) 185±86. 34 Epistolarity: an introduction the big city, and his response is an epistolary tantrum, as it were, complete with threats of never speaking to his father again, and suicide by starvation.

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Ancient Epistolary Fictions: The Letter in Greek Literature by Patricia A. Rosenmeyer


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