By Patricia A. Rosenmeyer
The 1st referenece to letter writing happens within the first textual content of western literature, Homer's Iliad. From the very starting, Greeks have been enthusiastic letter writers, and letter writing turned a different literary style. Letters have been incorporated within the works of historians yet in addition they shaped the foundation of works of fiction, and the formal substructure for lots of different types of poem. Patricia Rosenmeyer, an expert at the heritage of the Greek letter, assembles during this booklet a consultant collection of such 'literary letters', from Aelian and Alciphron to Philostrartus and the intended letters of Themistocles. The e-book could be important for all scholars of Greek literature particularly these learning Greek (and Latin) letter.
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Extra resources for Ancient Greek Literary Letters: Selections in Translation (Routledge Classical Translations)
Anacreontea” Anacr. 15 Where, pretty dove, tell me where are you ﬂying from? Why do you rush through the air, sprinkling and wafting out so much perfume? Who are you? What are doing? “Anacreon sent me to his boyfriend, Bathyllus, lord and master of all right now. Aphrodite sold me to Anacreon for a small song, so I serve him in such ways. You should see these letters I’m carrying for him today. And he says he’ll set me free very soon. 27 HELLENISTIC LITERARY LETTERS 1111 2 3 4 5111 6 7 8 9 10111 11 2 3111 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40111 1 21111 folio But even if he does, I’ll stay by his side as a slave.
The three passages selected below, from Chariton, Achilles Tatius, and the anonymous author of Apollonius King of Tyre, all share the same popular slant as Phlegon’s work: they are pleasure reading, like a modern paperback tucked into a beach bag, although the well-educated could certainly ﬁnd much in them to challenge their intellects. Embedded letters in the novels, much as they were in Athenian tragedy, are devices employed to vary the narrative rhythm, impart crucial information, and heighten tension as the plot unfolds.
Charito was persuaded to calm down, but she warned him not to break his promise to her. Night fell, and it was time for Philinnion’s customary visit. Everyone in the household was watching, eager to learn of her arrival; and she came. She arrived at the usual time and sat down on the bed, but Machates pretended nothing was wrong, since he wanted to discover the truth of the whole unbelievable situation: could this person he was spending time with, who always arrived punctually at the same time, really be a corpse?
Ancient Greek Literary Letters: Selections in Translation (Routledge Classical Translations) by Patricia A. Rosenmeyer