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A Companion to Late Antique Literature

Scott McGill (Editor), Edward J. Watts (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-83035-2 July 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.

Notes on Contributors ix

PART ONE Late Antique Literature by Language and Tradition 1

Introduction 3
Scott McGill and Edward J. Watts

1 Greek 9
Scott Fitzgerald Johnson

2 Latin 27
Ian Wood

3 Syriac 47
John W. Watt

4 Coptic 61
David Brakke

5 Armenian 75
Robin Darling Young

6 Georgian 87
Stephen H. Rapp, Jr.

7 Middle Persian (Pahlavi) 103
Touraj Daryaee

8 Languages of Arabia 123
Kevin T. van Bladel

PART TWO Literary Forms 141

9 Classicizing History and Historical Epitomes 143
Michael Kulikowski

10 Ecclesiastical History 161
Peter Van Nuffelen

11 Chronicles 177
R.W. Burgess

12 Epideictic Oratory 193
Alex Petkas

13 Panegyric 209
Roger Rees

14 Epic Poetry 221
Mary Whitby and Michael Roberts

15 Epigrams, Occasional Poetry, and Poetic Games 241
Bret Mulligan

16 Christian Poetry 259
Laura Miguélez‐Cavero and Scott McGill

17 Prosimetra 281
Joel C. Relihan

18 Philosophical Commentary 297
Han Baltussen

19 Biblical Commentary 313
Marie‐Pierre Bussières

20 Christian Theological Literature 327
Josef Lössl

21 Sermons 343
Jaclyn Maxwell

22 Travel and Pilgrimage Literature 359
Jan Willem Drijvers

23 Biography, Autobiography, and Hagiography 373
Sarah Insley and Jeanne‐Nicole Mellon Saint‐Laurent

24 Epistolography 389
Cristiana Sogno and Edward J. Watts

25 Pseudepigraphy 401
Javier Martínez

26 Legal Texts 417
Charles N. Aull

27 Handbooks, Epitomes, and Florilegia 431
Marietta Horster and Christiane Reitz

28 Grammar 451
Alessandro Garcea

29 School Texts 471
Lillian I. Larsen

30 Literature of Knowledge 491
Marco Formisano

31 Inscriptions 505
Raymond Van Dam

32 Translation 523
Daniel King

33 Antiquarian Literature 539
Christopher Kelly

PART THREE Reception 555

34 Late Antique Literature in Byzantium 557
Anthony Kaldellis

35 The Arabic Reception of Late Antique Literature 569
Kevin T. van Bladel

36 Late Antique Literature in the Western Middle Ages 583
Joseph Pucci

37 Early Modern Receptions of Late Ancient Literature 597
Diane Shane Fruchtman

38 Edward Gibbon and Late Antique Literature 611
Gavin Kelly

39 Nineteenth‐ and Twentieth‐Century Visions of Late Antique Literature 627
James Uden

Index 643