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Echoing Narratives

Echoing Narratives: Studies of Intertextuality in Greek and Roman Prose Fiction

edited by Konstantin Doulamis
Volume: 13
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Barkhuis
Pages: 210
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  • Book Info
    Echoing Narratives
    Book Description:

    Intertextuality has been recognised as an important feature of ancient prose fiction and yet it has only received sporadic attention in modern scholarship, despite the recent explosion of interest in the ancient novels. This volume is intended to make a contribution towards filling this gap by drawing attention to, and throwing fresh light on, the presence in ancient Greek and Roman narratives of earlier literary echoes. While one volume is by no means sufficient to remedy the problem of the relative lack of scholarship on the topic, nevertheless it is hoped that the present collection will create scope for debate and will generate greater scholarly interest in this area. Most of the articles collected here originated in the colloquium 'The Ancient Novel and its Reception of Earlier Literature', which was held at University College Cork in August 2007. They investigate the interconnection between Graeco-Roman narratives and earlier or contemporary works, and consider ways in which intertextual exploration is invited from the readers of these texts. What prompts the reader to associate a passage with an earlier text? What triggers in a text the evocation of motifs from antecedent literature? How might we interpret an identified allusion? In what ways can intertextuality function as a device of characterisation? These are among the questions explored by the chapters in this volume, which concentrate on the 'canonical' Greek romances and the Roman novels but also cover other novel-like works, such as the Alexander Romance and Alexander's Letter to Aristotle About India, and the Story of Apollonius King of Tyre.

    eISBN: 978-94-91431-48-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-IV)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. V-VI)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. VII-XVI)
    Konstantin Doulamis

    This collection of articles originated in the colloquium ‘The Ancient Novel and its Reception of Earlier Literature’, which was held at University College Cork in August 2007, with funding from UCC’s Faculty of Arts and the Classics Department. As the conference theme indicates, the purpose of that two-day event was to explore the reception of antecedent literature in Greek and Roman narratives, to consider ways in which earlier texts are assimilated in prose fiction, and to reflect on the implications that this assimilation may have for our understanding of the works discussed. The colloquium, which comprised papers on a variety...

  4. Less than Ideal Paradigms in the Greek Novel
    (pp. 1-20)
    Koen De Temmerman and Kristoffel Demoen

    The engagement of ancient Greek novelists with earlier literature takes many different forms, some of which have been extensively documented by scholarship over recent decades. It is well known, for example, that the novelists explicitly and implicitly assimilate their characters with mythological, literary and historical figures taken from earlier literature. Such assimilation allows them to explore specific character traits through similarity and/or contrast.¹ This article revisits the presence in the novels of some of these paradigms and argues that they make problematic the widely-held idealistic reading of the novelistic protagonists.

    As research into various literary genres has demonstrated, paradigms, or...

  5. Forensic Oratory and Rhetorical Theory in Chariton Book 5
    (pp. 21-48)
    Konstantin Doulamis

    Scholarly opinion of Chariton’sCallirhoehas changed significantly in recent years, and what used to be regarded as a poor example of the Greek romance has now begun to emerge as a text of considerable sophistication. None the less, there are several aspects of this work that still require closer attention. The novel’s rhetorical character is one of them;¹ perhaps surprisingly so, considering thatCallirhoefeatures a relatively high number of rhetorical set pieces such as speeches, monologues, and letters, and given Chariton’s opening self-identification as secretary of arhētōrnamed Athenagoras (1,1,1).²

    This chapter is concerned with the use...

  6. The literary context of Anthia’s dream in Xenophon’s Ephesiaca
    (pp. 49-72)
    Maria-Elpiniki Oikonomou

    From Book 2 of Homer’sIliadonwards, dreams form an integral part of Greek literature in virtually all of its genres, and the novel is no exception. All five extant novels¹ feature dreams of various types and functions. The topic of this chapter is Anthia’s dream in Book 5 of Xenophon’sEphesiaca.² An analysis of this dream will reveal ways in which it is aligned with the two earlier dreams in the same novel, demonstrating how Xenophon constructs episodes in theEphesiacawith particular attention to the structure of the whole. At the same time, an exploration of the ways...

  7. Petronius and Virgil: Contextual and Intertextual Readings
    (pp. 73-98)
    Michael Paschalis

    Virgilian elements in Petronius’Satyricawere first presented in detail in Albert Collignon’s bookÉtude sur Pétrone, published in 1892.¹ Since then they have been signaled and discussed in several monographs and articles but Collignon and Zeitlin² still remain the most comprehensive collections of Virgilian allusions. Virgilian presence in theSatyricaconcerns primarily theAeneid. It appears in both the verse sections (including an entire verse composition) and the prose sections of the novel and assumes a variety of forms: verbal echoes, thematic borrowings, quotations, etc. The most prominent and frequently recurring Virgilian episodes are sections ofAeneid2 (especially...

  8. Platonic Love and Erotic Education in Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe
    (pp. 99-122)
    Ian Repath

    To put it crudely, the erotically-centred argument in thePhaedrus, exemplified by Socrates in Alcibiades’ speech in theSymposium, is that the philosophically-enlightened soul abstains from carnal satisfaction and instead derives incomparable benefit from the intellectual contemplation which beauty can inspire. The premise of Longus’Daphnis and Chloeis that theLiebespaardo not know what carnal satisfaction is, although that is what they subconsciously want; after varied instruction and prolonged experimentation they finally achieve it. If these two scenarios seem at odds with each other, it is worth adding that in Plato, with the notable exception of theLaws,¹...

  9. ‘larvale simulacrum’: Platonic Socrates and the persona of Socrates in Apuleius, Metamorphoses 1,1-19
    (pp. 123-138)
    Maeve O’Brien

    This first episode in Apuleius’ novel includes a story about Socrates related by his companion Aristomenes after Socrates has died. Using the name of Socrates in the opening salvo of a novel rather than in a work on education, politics, rhetoric, or philosophy invites explanation. Central to Platonic dialogues, the figure of Socrates came to be assessed and used in myriad different ways from Antisthenes onward. Socrates has been the focus of interest in fictional first-person narratives since Plato made him up in his dialogues.¹ Others have studied the persona of Socrates in Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotle.² Therefore, the presence...

  10. Poets and Shepherds: Philetas and Longus
    (pp. 139-160)
    J. R. Morgan

    This movement introduces two contrasting blocks of thematic material, and establishes a tension between them to be resolved through development and argumentation.

    In Theocritus’ seventhIdyll, which is set on the island of Cos, the narrator Simichidas tells Lykidas that although everyone says he is the best singer he considers himself inferior to two others:

    Not yet to my mind do I surpass either the good Sikelidas from Samos or Philitas in singing, but I am like a frog vying with cicadas (7,40-42).

    Sikelidas is a pseudonym of Asklepiades of Samos,¹ while Philitas of Cos appears under his own name.²...

  11. The Rhetoric of Otherness: Geography, Historiography and Zoology in Alexander’s Letter about India and the Alexander Romance
    (pp. 161-184)
    Elias Koulakiotis

    Geographical and ethnographical narratives from antiquity – such asAbout the Oceanof Pytheas and the now lostHistory of Persiaof Ctesias of Cnidus – have the status of privileged testimonia of a society’s collective imagination. If these narratives still happen to have kept their comprehensive, systematic character (compare Herodotus’Historiesor even theOdyssey), they are especially helpful to the modern historian, for they allow a society’s categories of thought to be reconstructed in a more methodical way.¹

    TheLetter of Alexander of Macedon to his teacher Aristotle about his campaign and the land of India (Epistola Alexandri...

  12. The Divided Cloak in the Historia Apollonii Regis Tyri: Further Thoughts
    (pp. 185-200)
    Stelios Panayotakis

    In the introduction to his edition of theNarratio eorum quae contigerunt Apollonio Tyrio(Augsburg, 1595) Markward Welser, relying on some of the Greek loanwords found in the text (tribunarium, sabanum, apodixin, aporiatus), firmly stated that the anonymous Latin narrative he was editing, now acknowledged as a ‘mixed text’ or derived recension of theHistoria Apollonii regis Tyri, was a translation of a Greek original.¹ His argument does not convince because, on the one hand, it does not take into account that the majority of the specific Greek loanwords had already been established in the Latin vocabulary by the late...

  13. Abstracts of articles included in the volume
    (pp. 201-204)
  14. List of contributors
    (pp. 205-206)
  15. Index locorum
    (pp. 207-208)
  16. General Index
    (pp. 208-210)