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 unique literary style. Letters have been integrated within the works of historians yet additionally they shaped the root of works of fiction, and the formal substructure for plenty of varieties of poem.
Patricia Rosenmeyer, an expert at the historical past of the Greek letter, assembles during this ebook a consultant number of such 'literary letters', from Aelian and Alciphron to Philostrartus and the intended letters of Themistocles.
The publication might be worthwhile for all scholars of Greek literature specially these learning Greek (and Latin) letter.
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Additional resources for Ancient Greek Literary Letters: Selections in Translation
Apollonius answered her, “Mistress, you aren’t even a woman yet, and you still take offense! ” So the girl unsealed the letter and read it, but after reading it through, she didn’t ﬁnd the particular name she expected, that of the man she loved. ” Then she answered the letter, sealed it with her ring, and gave it to the young man. Apollonius took it to the forum and handed it over to the king. The king took the letter, unsealed it, and opened it; his daughter had written back as follows: Good king and best of fathers, since you are kind and indulgent enough to let me speak, I will reply.
The collection is certainly entertaining in its sensationalism. Our selection is a ghost story retold in a letter, presumably sent by an eyewitness to a curious friend. The story survives at the beginning of a single damaged manuscript, with the result that the letter begins in the middle of a sentence; we may posit an initial epistolary greeting, since the letter follows closing conventions at the end. But the outline of the story is clear enough, as we meet a young girl Philinnion, who returns from the dead to spend several nights in the company of a man who is visiting her parents’ house.
The letters embedded in the Greek novels offer equally lurid and emotionally charged scenes. These novels are notoriously difﬁcult to date precisely, but for current purposes we can place them between the ﬁrst and third centuries CE (Reardon 1989: 5). 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.