Ancient Medieval Literature

Download e-book for kindle: Ancient Greek letter writing : a cultural history, 600 BC- by Paola Ceccarelli

By Paola Ceccarelli

ISBN-10: 0199675597

ISBN-13: 9780199675593

During this quantity, Ceccarelli bargains a background of the improvement of letter writing in historical Greece from the archaic to the early Hellenistic interval. Highlighting the specificity of letter-writing, instead of different kinds of communique and writing, the amount appears to be like at documentary letters, but additionally lines the position of embedded letters within the texts of the traditional historians, in drama, and within the speeches of the orators.

While a letter is in itself the transcription of an oral message and, as such, might be both honest or deceitful, letters received detrimental connotations within the 5th century, specifically while used for transactions about the public and never the personal sphere. seen because the device of tyrants or close to japanese kings, those detrimental connotations have been glaring specially in Athens the place comedy and tragedy testified to an underlying main issue with epistolary conversation. In different components of the Greek international, resembling Sparta or Crete, the letter can have been visible as an unproblematic device for coping with public rules, with inscriptions documenting the reliable use of letters not just by means of the Hellenistic kings, but additionally via a few poleis.

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Extra info for Ancient Greek letter writing : a cultural history, 600 BC- 150 BC

Sample text

All the misfortune of my life . . derives, one could say, from letters, or from the possibility of writing letters. People have hardly deceived me, but letters always . . The easy possibility of letter-writing must—seen merely theoretically—have brought into the world a terrible disintegration of souls. It is, in fact, an intercourse with ghosts, and not only with the ghost of the recipient but also with one’s own ghost which develops between the lines of the letter one is writing and even more so in a series of letters when one letter corroborates the other and can refer to it as a witness.

21 Thus in both cases the argument rests, at least in part, on the hypothetical existence of texts now lost. And indeed, some documents point to the existence of other documents written on perishable material. 22 Herodotus (5. 58. 3) affirms that the Ionians ‘from ancient times’ call the papyrus sheets ‘skins’ (ôaò âýâºïıò äØçŁÝæÆò ŒÆºÝïıóØ), since due to the lack of papyrus they formerly used the skins of sheep and goats. 500 bc, mentioning records on skins, as well as by the proverb, preserved in the Suda and in Diogenianus, ‘you say things more old-fashioned than skin’ (IæåÆØüôåæÆ ôBò äØçŁÝæÆò ºÝªåØò).

281a Radt), geographical maps (as in Hdt. 5. 49), paintings (Simon. fr. 178 PMG), and catalogues, such as those compiled by Callimachus (Diog. Laert. 8. 86, Athen. 6. 244 a; cf. Callim. frr. 56 The term was never reserved for a specific type of document. The same strategy of naming the document from the writing support is used by the writer of one of the earliest Greek letters, who refers to his ìïºýâäØïí (‘small 53 What follows builds on Stirewalt 1993: 67–87. Plb. 4. 22. S. 2. Hal. 7. 6 (232 bc), where âıâºØÆçüæïò is found.

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Ancient Greek letter writing : a cultural history, 600 BC- 150 BC by Paola Ceccarelli


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