By Paola Ceccarelli
During this quantity, Ceccarelli deals a heritage of the improvement of letter writing in old Greece from the archaic to the early Hellenistic interval. Highlighting the specificity of letter-writing, rather than different kinds of verbal exchange and writing, the amount appears to be like at documentary letters, but additionally strains 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, may be both fair or deceitful, letters obtained unfavorable connotations within the 5th century, specifically while used for transactions in regards to the public and never the non-public sphere. seen because the device of tyrants or close to jap kings, those adverse connotations have been obtrusive particularly in Athens the place comedy and tragedy testified to an underlying quandary with epistolary conversation. In different components of the Greek global, reminiscent of Sparta or Crete, the letter could have been noticeable as an unproblematic software for coping with public rules, with inscriptions documenting the respectable use of letters not just through the Hellenistic kings, but in addition by way of a few poleis.
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Additional resources for Ancient Greek letter writing : a cultural history, 600 BC- 150 BC
Cf. Green 1992: 126–7. For such an analysis, applied to epigrams, see Day 2010: 112–20. 34 Importance of prescript: White 1981–2: 92. Interesting remarks on formal and rhetorical aspects of the prescript and the body of letters in Tite 2010; Martin 2010. More on epistolary formulae below, 35–47. g. Létoublon 2003. This happened also in reality: cf. the rich picture of the transmission of letters in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt in Parsons 1980: 5–6; Head 2009a and 2009b. 33 Introduction 11 cities, or within the chora of the same polis), as well as between private (personal) and ofﬁcial communication.
The easy possibility of letter-writing must—seen merely theoretically—have brought into the world a terrible disintegration of souls. It is, in fact, an intercourse with ghosts, and not only with the ghost of the recipient but also with one’s own ghost which develops between the lines of the letter one is writing and even more so in a series of letters when one letter corroborates the other and can refer to it as a witness. How on earth did anyone get the idea that people can communicate with one another by letter!
I fear that, once he has left this land, the person who should bring to Argos this tablet will make no case of my letter/request. The tablet is the physical object, the stage prop designated with the deictic ôÞíäå (this tablet here); epistole is, once again, the content of the message (Iphigenia is afraid that the messenger, once he has left, may simply throw away the tablet with her message rather than delivering it), but also more generally the request, as made both through words and in writing.