Writing Biography in Greece and Rome

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Koen De Temmerman, Kristoffel Demoen
Cambridge University Press, May 10, 2016 - Biography & Autobiography - 354 pages
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Ancient biography is now a well-established and popular field of study among classicists as well as many scholars of literature and history more generally. In particular biographies offer important insights into the dynamics underlying ancient performance of the self and social behaviour, issues currently of crucial importance in classical studies. They also raise complex issues of narrativity and fictionalization. This volume examines a range of ancient texts which are or purport to be biographical and explores how formal narrative categories such as time, space and character are constructed and how they address (highlight, question, thematize, underscore or problematize) the borderline between historicity and fictionality. In doing so, it makes a major contribution not only to the study of ancient biographical writing but also to broader narratological approaches to ancient texts.
 

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Contents

Civic and subversive biography in antiquity
26
Fictional biography as popular literature?
47
Parallel narratives and possible worlds in Plutarchs Life
65
The Socratic paradigm
80
The Apologia as a miseenabyme in Philostratus Life
97
The Greek translation
117
and hagiographical intertextuality in Sulpicius Severus
133
Mirroring virtues in Plutarchs Lives of Agis
163
Poetry and fiction in Suetonius Illustrious Men
217
Narratological implications
240
Letters and the life of a tyrannicide
259
Timing and biographical representation
278
Kalasiris on the Life of Homer
293
Bibliography
306
General index
343
Index locorum
349

Zeno the Stoic
181
Never say die Assassinating emperors in Suetonius Lives
200

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About the author (2016)

Koen De Temmerman is Research Professor of Ancient Literatures and European Literary History in the Department of Literary Studies, Ghent University. He is the recipient of prestigious awards, such as the Triennial Prize for Humanities of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (2008) and an ERC Starting Grant (2013). He has published extensively on ancient narrative literature, and is the author of Crafting Characters: Heroes and Heroines in the Ancient Greek Novel (2014) and the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Biography (forthcoming).

Kristoffel Demoen is Professor of Ancient and Byzantine Greek in the Department of Literary Studies, Ghent University. He is the author of three books and over seventy scholarly articles, and (co-)editor of seven books. His main research interests are related to the transmission, transformation and adaptation of the ancient literary and cultural tradition, especially from the post-classical to the Byzantine period. He is co-editor of L'Antiquit Classique and Byzantion, and president of the Belgian Society for Byzantine Studies.

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