The Letters of Alciphron

A Unified Literary Work?


In ‘The Letters of Alciphron: A Unified Literary Work?’, Michèle Biraud and Arnaud Zucker have gathered a dozen international contributions about the collection of letters of Alciphron, hitherto mainly studied as part of the epistolary genre at the time of the Second Sophistic or as testimony of a nostalgia for the Athens of Menander's time. The aim is to show the unity of a literary project through studies on the careful arrangement of each book (overall organization, coherent reappropriation of a culture, innovations in generic hybridization) and various elements of cohesion between the four books. For this purpose, were used as tools codicological criticism, stylistic and rhetorical examination, analysis of prosody, study of thematic treatments, uses of onomastics.
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Biographical Note

Michèle Biraud, Ph.D. (1987), Sorbonne-Paris IV University, is Professor of Greek Linguistics and Poetics at University Cote d’Azur and member of BCL (CNRS). She has published books about Determiners, Interjections, and papers concerning stress-based rhythm in Imperial Greek prose.

Arnaud Zucker, Ph.D (1994), EPHE Paris, is Professor of Greek Literature at University Côte d’Azur and Deputy Director of CEPAM (CNRS). He has published books, translations (Parthenius, Physiologus, Aelian, Philogelos) and papers especially on ancient zoology, astronomy and mythography.

Table of contents

Preface Notes on Contributors

Part 1 Structural Perspectives

1 On the Structure of Alciphron’s LettersÉmeline Marquis
2 Order and Disorder in the Letters of AlciphronAndrew Morrison
3 Time to Eat: Chronological Connections in Alciphron’s Letters of ParasitesEmilia Barbiero
4 Echoes of Stress-Based Rhythms in the Letters of Fishermen: Poetic, Rhetoric and Structural AspectsMichèle Biraud

Part 2 Cultural Issues and Backgrounds

5 Alciphron’s Reception of Oral and Literary Traditions: Mythical References and Comparisons in Alciphron’s LettersSophie Schoess
6 Women’s Voices: Four or Five Women’s Letters in AlciphronOnofrio Vox
7 The Sea of AlciphronGiuseppe Zanetto
8 Nostalgic Authority: Alciphron’s Use of Visual CultureMelissa Funke

Part 3 Generic Tensions and Innovations

9 Different Forms of Generic Tension between Epistolary Precepts and Progymnasmatical Rhetoric in the Letters of AlciphronRafael J. Gallé Cejudo
10 Typecast? Speaking Names in Alciphron’s LettersOwen Hodkinson
11 ‘Laus vitae rusticae’: Conventionality, Imitation, VariationTiziana Drago
12 Close Encounters with the Hetaira: Reading Alciphron’s Book 4Yvonne Rösch
Bibliography Index Nominum Index Rerum Index Locorum


All interested in Greek Literature of Second Sophistic (mainly intertextuality and reappropriation, ethopoia, nostalgia of Classical Athens) ; anyone concerned with internal organization of fictitious epistolary books (style, rhythm, thematics, onomastics).


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