Ancient Epistolary Fictions: The Letter in Greek Literature

Synopsis

This book offers the first comprehensive look at the use of imaginary letters in Greek literature from Homer to Philostratus. By imaginary letters, it means letters written in the voice of another, and either inserted into a narrative (epic, historiography, tragedy, the novel), or comprising a free-standing collection (e.g. the Greek love letter collections of the Imperial Roman period). The book challenges the notion that Ovid "invented" the fictional letter form in the Heroides, and considers a wealth of Greek antecedents for the later European epistolary novel tradition.