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A Companion to Late Antique Literature

A Companion to Late Antique Literature

Scott McGill, Edward Watts

ISBN: 978-1-118-83034-5

Sep 2018, Wiley-Blackwell

704 pages




Noted scholars in the field explore the rich variety of late antique literature

With contributions from leading scholars in the field, A Companion to Late Antique Literature presents a broad review of late antique literature. The late antique period encompasses a significant transitional era in literary history from the mid-third century to the early seventh century. The Companion covers notable Greek and Latin texts of the period and provides a varied overview of literature written in six other late antique languages. Comprehensive in scope, this important volume presents new research, methodologies, and significant debates in the field.

The Companion explores the histories, forms, features, audiences, and uses of the literature of the period. This authoritative text:

  • Provides an inclusive overview of late antique literature
  • Offers the widest survey to date of the literary traditions and forms of the period, including those in several languages other than Greek and Latin   
  • Presents the most current research and new methodologies in the field
  • Contains contributions from an international group of contributors

Written for students and scholars of late antiquity, this comprehensive volume provides an authoritative review of the literature from the era.

List of contributors


Part One: Late Antique Literature by Language and Tradition

1. Greek

2. Latin  

3. Syriac

4. Coptic

5. Armenian

6. Georgian

7. Middle Persian (Pahlavi)

8. Arabian

Part Two: Literary Forms

9. Classicizing History and Historical Epitomes

10. Ecclesiastical History

11. Chronicles

12. Epideictic Oratory

13. Panegyric

14. Epic Poetry

15. Epigrams, Occasional Poetry, and Poetic Games

16. Christian Poetry

17. Prosimetra

18. Philosophical Commentary

19. Biblical Commentary

20. Christian Theological Literature

21. Sermons

22. Travel and Pilgrimage Literature

23. Biography, Autobiography, and Hagiography

24. Epistolography

25. Pseudepigraphy

26. Legal Texts

27. Handbooks, Epitomes, and Florilegia

28. Grammar

29. School Texts

30. Literature of Knowledge

31. Inscriptions

32. Translation

33. Antiquarian Literature

Part Three: Reception

34. Late Antique Literature in Byzantium

35. The Arabic Reception of Late Antique Literature

36. Late Antique Literature in the Western Middle Ages

37. Early Modern Receptions of Late Antique Literature

38. Edward Gibbon and Late Antique Literature

39. Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Visions of Late Antique Literature