By Paola Ceccarelli
During this quantity, Ceccarelli deals a background of the advance of letter writing in old Greece from the archaic to the early Hellenistic interval. Highlighting the specificity of letter-writing, instead of different kinds of verbal exchange and writing, the amount seems to be at documentary letters, but additionally lines the position of embedded letters within the texts of the traditional historians, in drama, and within the speeches of the orators.
While a letter is in itself the transcription of an oral message and, as such, will be both fair or deceitful, letters received destructive connotations within the 5th century, in particular whilst used for transactions about the public and never the personal sphere. considered because the tool of tyrants or close to jap kings, those damaging connotations have been obtrusive particularly in Athens the place comedy and tragedy testified to an underlying challenge with epistolary conversation. In different parts of the Greek international, similar to Sparta or Crete, the letter can have been noticeable as an unproblematic device for dealing with public guidelines, with inscriptions documenting the legitimate use of letters not just via the Hellenistic kings, but in addition via a few poleis.
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Extra resources for Ancient Greek letter writing : a cultural history, 600 BC- 150 BC
Finally, speciﬁc formal elements permit the deﬁnition of a text as a letter; among them, the most important is the introductory formula, naming sender and addressee. The characteristics of this introductory formula, usually reﬂecting the relationship existing between the sender and the addressee, are culturally determined, and thus changing; but the existence of some kind of introductory formula is necessary for a text to be deﬁned as a letter. 34 1. 3. T R A NS M IS S I ON The ease or difﬁculty of conveying a message to its recipient obviously shapes both the perception of the message and the very choice of whether to rely on a message for communication.
22. 56 Drama: see below, chs. 3. 3. 1 and 5. 1. Herodotus uses deltos in 7. 239 for the letter sent by Demaratus to Sparta; the Second Platonic Letter presents itself as a deltos (2. 312d). v. 57 ÌïºýâäØïí too is not speciﬁc: it is used for instance for the accounts of the temple of Nemesis in Rhamnous;58 and Pausanias (9. 31. 4) states that the Boeotians living around the Helicon showed him a ìüºıâäïí damaged by time, close to the spring on which Hesiod’s Erga were inscribed. 59 All these terms of course are not speciﬁc to letters; they may serve to indicate almost any type of written documents, including letters.
D › —ºÜôøí (Tim. 71 d)· ìåìíÅìÝíïØ ôBò ôïF ðÆôæeò KðØóôïºBò ïƒ îıóôÞóÆíôåò ìAò. g. 1. 68 From the fourth century onwards, epistole will be the normal term to indicate a letter (and manuals on how to write letters will bear names such as ôýðïØ KðØóôïºØŒïß). The examination of the terminology allows three conclusions. First, until the fourth century there is no speciﬁc term for ‘letter’: throughout the ﬁfth century, the most speciﬁc terms are grammata and epistole. The ﬁrst refers to letters and other types of writing (Herodotus, for instance, uses grammata of inscriptions); the second to written orders as well as oral injunctions.
Ancient Greek letter writing : a cultural history, 600 BC- 150 BC by Paola Ceccarelli
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