By Patricia A. Rosenmeyer
This ebook deals 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 ebook demanding situations the concept 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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Extra resources for Ancient Epistolary Fictions: The Letter in Greek Literature
Doublets and variations of this epistolary moment exist in many traditions. Some emphasize the erotic component, such as David's letter to Uriah in pursuit of Bathsheba (Sam. 14±17), or Phaedra's vengeful suicide note in Euripides' play Hippolytus; others, such as the foiled epistolary plot against Hamlet, foreground the potentially murderous power of the letter. 2 Some argue that the shÂmt are 2 See A. Heubeck, Schrift (GoÈttingen 1979) 128±46. 3 Others interpret the word shÄ m as some kind of pictograph or a secret code of symbols known only to Proetus and the Lycian king.
J. B. Wace and F. H. , A Companion to Homer (London 1962) 555. 8 See R. G. Ussher, ``Letter-Writing,'' in M. Grant and R. , Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean, vol. iii (New York 1988) 1575±76. 9 Augustine to Romanianus, Ep. 15, as translated by J. H. Baxter, St. Augustine: Select Letters (Cambridge MA 1980) 13±16. A culture of letter writing 23 Augustine grumbles that the shortage of papyrus forces him to use his highly valuable ivory tablets as well as the less desirable (but still fairly high-grade) parchment for his correspondence.
6 W. V. Harris, Ancient Literacy (Cambridge MA 1989) 127±28. 22 Epistolarity: an introduction presumably e¨ected a change in education, as the curricula adapted to the requirements of ``modern'' life; so, too, schools in today's society have introduced classes in computer skills. The written nature of the letter may be seen as the only de®ning feature to survive the massive changes in epistolary technology from antiquity until now. What were some of the actual physical circumstances of writing and sending a letter in ancient Greece?
Ancient Epistolary Fictions: The Letter in Greek Literature by Patricia A. Rosenmeyer