The Ancient Novel and Beyond

The Ancient Novel and Beyond

The Ancient Novel and Beyond

The Ancient Novel and Beyond


This volume comprises the revised versions of selected papers read at the International Conference on the Ancient Novel (Groningen, July 2000). The papers cover a wide range of scholarly issues that were prominent in the programme of the conference, and feature the most recent approaches to research on the ancient novel. The essays combine judicious use of literary theory with traditional scholarship, and examine the ancient novels and related texts, such as Oriental tales and Christian narrative, both in their larger, literary, cultural and social context, and as sources of inspiration for Byzantine and modern fiction. This book is important not only for classicists and literary historians, but also for a general public of those interested in narrative fiction.


The Ancient Novel and Beyond presents a selection of the papers read at the International Conference on the Ancient Novel (ICAN 2000), held at the University of Groningen in July 2000. The papers have all been thoroughly revised and rewritten by the authors for this book. The editors have made it their aim to select from the 100 or so papers presented at ICAN 2000 a sample of 30 essays which together should offer as accurate a representation as possible of those issues that were prominent in the programme of the conference.

In an impressive Review Article, published in 1995, John Morgan pointed to the two previous International Conferences on the Ancient Novel as important landmarks in the rapidly expanding and dynamic field of research on the Ancient Novels. He also took stock of the results of this research at the end of the twentieth century, and indicated some directions which future research should take, and which he, judging from recent work, could see beginning to stand out. Another seven years have passed since Morgan’s review appeared, and we are now looking back to a third ICAN. It will be of interest to offer a general assessment here of the various approaches that have received emphasis in the work on the Ancient Novels over the past years, and that therefore figure in this collection.

The holding of the second ICAN in 1989 had not only proved that the ancient novels had received a permanent and deserved place on the map of international studies. The Dartmouth conference had also, as has often been remarked, celebrated the relevance of modern criti-

Most of the other papers have since then been published in various journals, for instance in the new journal Ancient Narrative (AN). The initiative for this electronic journal (featuring annual printed volumes as well) was announced and presented at a lively final session of ICAN 2000, and at the end of the same year the first trial issue (number 0) was published (; publisher: Roelf Barkhuis). Since 2001, several issues of AN have appeared on the Web. The printed volumes are published from 2002 on.

Morgan J.R., ‘Review Article. The Ancient Novel at the End of the Century: Scholarship since the Dartmouth Conference,’ CP 90 (1995), 63–73.

ICAN I was held in 1976, organized by Bryan Reardon, in Bangor, South Wales, UK; the proceedings are published in Reardon (1977); ICAN II was held in 1989, organized by James Tatum, at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA; the proceedings are published in Tatum and Vernazza (1990); a selection of essays based on papers presented at ICAN II has been published in Tatum (1994).

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