Epistolary and Rhetorical Theory
In his text collection of the ancient Greek letter writers, Epistolographi graeci (Bib. 1), Rudolph Hercher prefaces the main body of his work with six texts on pp. 1–16 that bear the titles (in translation): “Demetrius of Phaleron’s Epistolary Types,” “Proclus the Platonist’s Epistolary Forms,” “From Demetrius’s Work On Style,” “From Philostratus,” “From Gregory of Nazianzus’s Letter to Nicobulus,” and “A Letter of Photius to the Metropolitan Amphilochus of Cyzicus.” The first two refer to the two ancient letter writing guides that circulated under the names of Demetrius and Proclus or Libanius. These are followed by an excerpt from a work of another Demetrius On Style. The sophist Philostratus of Lemnos (3rd cent. CE) wrote a short tractate about letter writing with a critical view to the letters of the imperial scribe Aspasius of Ravenna. Finally, Gregory of Nazianzus (in Ep. 51) and the later Byzantine scholar Photius (ca. 810–893) delve briefly into the question of letter composition. Although this does not quite exhaust the list of treatments of letter theory from antiquity, it mentions the most important ones, above all the two works having a “Demetrius” as their actual or attributed author. Since these are at the same time the oldest witnesses in the list, we turn our attention to them in our first two sections.
Bibliography 24: L. Radermacher, Demetrii Phalerei qui dicitur de elocu- tione libellus, Teubner (Leipzig 1901) 3–62 (TLG). – W. Rhys Roberts, Demetrius: On Style, in Aristotle: The Poetics. “Longinus”: On the Sublime. Demetrius: On Style, LCL Aristotle, vol. 23 (1927; 21932) 255–487. – New
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Publication information: Book title: Ancient Letters and the New Testament: A Guide to Context and Exegesis. Contributors: Hans-Josef Klauck - Author, Daniel P. Bailey - Author. Publisher: Baylor University Press. Place of publication: Waco, TX. Publication year: 2006. Page number: 183.
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