Hellenistic romance

Hellenistic romance

also called  Greek romance  

      adventure tale, usually with a quasi-historical setting, in which a virtuous heroine and her valiant lover are separated by a series of misadventures (e.g., jealous quarrels, kidnapping, shipwrecks, or bandits) but are eventually reunited and live happily together. Five complete romances have survived in ancient Greek (in the presumed chronological order): Chariton's Chaereas and Callirhoë (1st century AD); Xenophon of Ephesus's Anthia and Habrocomes, or Ephesiaca (2nd century AD; “The Ephesian Story”); Achilles Tatius's Leucippe and Clitophon (2nd century AD); Longus's Daphnis and Chloe (2nd century AD; sometimes called “The Pastoral Story”); and Heliodorus (Heliodorus of Emesa)'s Theagenes and Charicles, or Ethiopica (4th century AD; “The Ethiopian Story”). Written under the Roman Empire, all five are extended fictional narratives whose protagonists are two young lovers.

      Testimonies from other authors and the growing number of papyrus discoveries show that the romance originated during the latter part of the Hellenistic Age (323–30 BC). Besides the five known complete romances, the titles (and sometimes plots) of at least 20 others have been identified. The oldest (1st century BC) is Ninus; it is named for the protagonist, the Assyrian king Ninus, whose consort was Semiramis ( Sammu-ramat). Others include Antonius Diogenes' Hyper Thoulēn apista (1st century AD; “The Wonders Beyond Thule”), which describes incredible adventures in the far north; Iamblichus's Babyloniaca (2nd century AD; “Babylonian Stories”), a tale of exotic adventures and magic; and Lollianus's Phoenicica (2nd century AD; “Phoenician Stories”), which is characterized by crude and direct realism and includes a scene of cannibalism.

      The Greek romance furnished many motifs and themes to Latin narrative fiction (see Latin literature), of which the most important examples are Petronius's Satyricon (1st century AD) and Apuleius's The Golden Ass (2nd century AD). The Greek romance, as it evolved through these Latin works, was the ancestor of the modern novel.

Additional Reading
Translations into English include B.P. Reardon (ed.), Collected Ancient Greek Novels (1989); Susan A. Stephens and John J. Winkler (eds.), Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments (1995); and William Hansen (ed.), Anthology of Ancient Greek Popular Literature (1998).There are good discussions in B.E. Perry, The Ancient Romances (1967); Tomas Hägg, The Novel in Antiquity, rev. trans. (1983, reissued 1991; originally published in Swedish, 1980); B.P. Reardon, The Form of Greek Romance (1991); and Niklas Holzberg, The Ancient Novel (1995; originally published in German, 1986).

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • romance — romance1 romancer, n. n., adj. /roh mans , roh mans/; v. /roh mans /, n., v., romanced, romancing, adj. n. 1. a novel or other prose narrative depicting heroic or marvelous deeds, pageantry, romantic exploits, etc., usually in a historical or… …   Universalium

  • Hellenistic civilization — This article focuses on the cultural aspects of the Hellenistic age; for the historical aspects see Hellenistic period. Hellenistic civilization represents the zenith of Greek influence in the ancient world. After the conquest of the Persian… …   Wikipedia

  • HELLENISTIC JEWISH LITERATURE — To a general historian the term Hellenistic describes the literature of the period from the death of Alexander the Great (323 B.C.E.) until Rome s predominance in the Mediterranean (c. 30 B.C.E.). Sometimes the same general term is used to refer… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Greek literature — Introduction       body of writings in the Greek language, with a continuous history extending from the 1st millennium BC to the present day. From the beginning its writers were Greeks living not only in Greece proper but also in Asia Minor, the… …   Universalium

  • HELLENISM — HELLENISM, term generally used by historians to refer to the period from the death of Alexander the Great (323 B.C.E.) to the death of Cleopatra and the incorporation of Egypt in the Roman Empire in 30 B.C.E. Egypt was the last important survivor …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Iran, ancient — Introduction also known as  Persia        historic region of southwestern Asia that is only roughly coterminous with modern Iran. The term Persia was used for centuries, chiefly in the West, to designate those regions where Persian language and… …   Universalium

  • Ninus — from Guillaume Rouillé s Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum Ninus (Greek: Νίνος), according to Greek historians writing in the Hellenistic period and later, was accepted as the eponymous founder of Nineveh (also called Νίνου πόλις city of Ninus in… …   Wikipedia

  • Achilles Tatius — ▪ Greek author flourished 2nd century AD, Alexandria       author of Leucippe and Cleitophon, one of the Greek prose romances (Hellenistic romance) that influenced the development of the novel centuries later. Nothing certain is known of Achilles …   Universalium

  • Longus — ▪ Greek writer flourished 2nd/3rd century AD       Greek writer, author of Daphnis and Chloe, the first pastoral prose romance (Hellenistic romance) (see pastoral literature) and one of the most popular of the Greek erotic romances in Western… …   Universalium

  • Chariton — Char·i·ton (shărʹĭ tn) A river rising in southern Iowa and flowing about 451 km (280 mi) east then south to the Missouri River in northern Missouri. * * * ▪ Greek author flourished 1st century AD, Aphrodisias, Caria, Asia Minor       Greek… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”