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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the genre of epistolography, which flourished and proliferated in the variety of its forms and uses in the Empire. The epistolary genre in the Second Sophistic is first briefly situated within rhetorical theory and practice, then contextualized within both earlier Greek literature and developments in Latin letters. The variety of Greek literary uses of the letter form in the Second Sophistic is then illustrated with a series of subgenres and examples. Surveyed are collections of fictional and pseudonymous letters (including Aelian, Alciphron, Philostratus, Apollonius of Tyana), epistolary novels (Chion of Heraclea, Themistocles), shorter narratives in letter form, and letters embedded in longer narratives (including the Greek novels and Lucian’s Verae Historiae).

Keywords: epistolography, genres of epistolary literature, letter collections, fictional letters, pseudonymous literature, epistolary novel, Briefroman, letters in novels, letters in fiction, letters in narratives

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