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

By Patricia A. Rosenmeyer

This booklet deals the 1st finished examine using imaginary letters in Greek literature from Homer to Philostratus. via imaginary letters, it skill 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 e-book demanding situations the suggestion 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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A sophist in Synesius Letter 138c takes the argument even further: the letter is clearly so indispensable to human life that no mere mortal man could have 15 For the Greek tragic fragments, I use Nauck's 2nd edition. The Euripides fragment is discussed in Harvey (1966) 616. Evidence for Palamedes as the inventor appears also in Stesichorus PMG 213, Gorgias 82b 11a30 DK. Cf. Aeschylus PV 460±61, who says that Prometheus is the prwÄtov euÇreth v. 58±61) champions the view that Cadmus brought it from the Phoenicians.

36 This practice was meant to train students in rhetoric, but it may also have o¨ered inspiration for the forging of ``letters from famous people,'' a topic which we will discuss in detail in a later chapter. In presenting these details of ``real'' letters from Greek antiq35 Deissmann (1927) 203, note 5. 36 Malherbe (1988) 7 and White (1986) 189±90. A culture of letter writing 35 uity, I have attempted to lay the groundwork for the main focus of the remaining chapters, namely the use of letters as a literary device in almost every genre of ancient Greek literature.

Epistolary ®ctions frequently allude to the physical nature of the letter itself, and the di½culties of ensuring a safe delivery, as if such references could invest their letters with the sort of concreteness found only in the material world. Thus writers of ®ctional letters apologize for their shaky handwriting, mention tears shed on the page, or worry about the next boat leaving for Athens. An understanding of the situation of ``real'' letters will deepen our appreciation of the ®ctional recreations of these circumstances.

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