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 grew to become a unique literary style. Letters have been integrated within the works of historians yet additionally they shaped the foundation of works of fiction, and the formal substructure for plenty of sorts of poem.
Patricia Rosenmeyer, an expert at the background of the Greek letter, assembles during this ebook a consultant collection of such 'literary letters', from Aelian and Alciphron to Philostrartus and the meant letters of Themistocles.
The booklet may be precious for all scholars of Greek literature specially these learning Greek (and Latin) letter.
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Extra info for Ancient Greek Literary Letters: Selections in Translation
44 Dear Piso, your friend who is loved by the Muses, who honors Epicurus’ birthday every year on the twentieth day, invites you to his humble home tomorrow, after the ninth hour strikes. You won’t be served delicacies and cups of Chian wine, but you’ll see honest friends and hear better stories than the ones told on Phaeacia. And if you ever look kindly upon me, Piso, we’ll celebrate the twentieth in high style. “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?
His ﬁrst words to her rehearse, almost pedantically to our ears, the useful and comforting basic function of letter writing: “the letter shows you present even though you’re still absent from me” (Koskenniemi 1956: 183–4). Eventually, to no reader’s surprise, the lovers ﬁnd their way back to one another. Our ﬁnal selection, from the anonymous story entitled Apollonius King of Tyre, offers a sincere variation on Phaedra’s deceitful letter discussed earlier. ” The eponymous hero of the tale, Apollonius, recently shipwrecked and destitute, is hired to tutor the daughter of the king who rescued him.
He was worried because none of the other messengers before him had ever returned; he made a copy of the seal, so that he wouldn’t be exposed if his suspicions turned out to be false, or if Pausanias asked to rewrite some part of the letter. Then he opened the letter and found the postscript that he had suspected, namely an order to put him to death. 26–34 The messenger was all set to depart for Persia . . and Cyrus [king of the Persians] ordered him to take a letter to Cyaxares [king of the Medes].