By Ruth Morello, A. D. Morrison
The surviving physique of old letters bargains the reader a gorgeous number of fabric, starting from the typical letters preserved one of the Oxyrhynchus papyri to imperial rescripts, New testomony Epistles, fictional or pseudepigraphical letters and a wealth of missives on nearly each achieveable topic. they provide us a distinct perception into historical practices within the fields of politics, literature, philosophy, drugs and plenty of different parts. This assortment offers a chain of case experiences in historical letters, asking how every one letter author manipulates the epistolary culture, why he selected the letter shape over the other, and what impression the book of volumes of amassed letters may have had upon a reader's engagement with epistolary works. This quantity is the 1st of its style on historic letters in any language, and it brings jointly either well-established and promising younger students at present operating within the fields of historical literature, historical past, philosophy and medication to have interaction in a shared debate approximately this so much adaptable and 'interdisciplinary' of genres.
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Extra resources for Ancient Letters: Classical and Late Antique Epistolography
See also Ko¨nig in this volume. Funerary verse inscriptions form a striking example of a body of Greek material which as a whole should form the basis for considering the related Latin material even of the 1st cent. bc. There, though, we have to do with direct and extensive imitation; this will be illustrated elsewhere. Fig. 1. POxy. 2190 (1st–2nd cent. ad) Down among the Documents 19 opens with major new fragments of Aeschylus, Alcaeus, Callimachus, and Hipponax; it essentially ends with an account of bricks.
Not that the only thread leading from POxy. 2190 is rhetorical: the use of language to build up a positive image of the writer can be pursued in regions far from urgent persuasion to a speciWc end, or from anything that seems connected to literature. 58–64). The father’s apparently practical mention of the amount, to ensure intact delivery, turns out to show his understated lavishness; father and son go through a nuanced and written ritual. We may note further that the son’s letters to others will evidently add something to the presents, though these would seem a proof of benevolence in themselves.
X 679 (2nd cent. ad), originally in at least three columns, much thinner than these. As often, this letter closes with practicalities, and as often the lines are squeezed together to Wt into the remaining space. But these are not the writer’s main concern. We can hardly avoid the question whether the writer had a strategy. The document clearly has a pragmatic function, which we need to relate to its form; and, as with oratory, any persuasive shaping of the text would scarcely be separable from the text itself.
Ancient Letters: Classical and Late Antique Epistolography by Ruth Morello, A. D. Morrison