By Paola Ceccarelli
During this quantity, Ceccarelli deals a heritage of the advance of letter writing in old Greece from the archaic to the early Hellenistic interval. Highlighting the specificity of letter-writing, in preference to different kinds of verbal exchange and writing, the amount appears to be like at documentary letters, but in addition lines 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, might be both honest or deceitful, letters bought adverse connotations within the 5th century, in particular while used for transactions in regards to the public and never the non-public sphere. considered because the tool of tyrants or close to jap kings, those damaging connotations have been obtrusive particularly in Athens the place comedy and tragedy testified to an underlying challenge with epistolary conversation. In different parts of the Greek global, comparable to Sparta or Crete, the letter could have been visible as an unproblematic tool for coping with public guidelines, with inscriptions documenting the legitimate use of letters not just through the Hellenistic kings, but additionally by way of a few poleis.
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Extra info for Ancient Greek letter writing : a cultural history, 600 BC- 150 BC
72 There is however in the ﬁfth- and fourth-century Athenian context a marked emphasis on writing in the context of mystery cults: cf. Scodel 2011. Part I Greek Beginnings Writing and Letter Writing, Evidence and Representations ÆPôaæ › ðÜóﬁÅ | ¯ººÜäØ çøíÞåíôÆ ŒÆd ìçæïíÆ äHæÆ ŒïìßÇøí | ªºþóóÅò ZæªÆíÆ ôåFîåí ›ìüŁæïÆ, óıìçıÝïò äb | ±æìïíßÅò óôïØåÅäeí Kò ¼ÇıªÆ óýÇıªÆ ìßîÆò | ªæÆðôeí IóØªÞôïØï ôýðïí ôïæíþóÆôï óØªBò. Nonn. Dionys. 4. 259–64 But Cadmus, bringing gifts of voice and thought for all Hellas, fashioned tools to echo the sounds of the tongue, and mingling sonant and consonant in one order of connected harmony, he rounded off a graven model of unsilenceable silence.
47 Strabo 5. 4. 13, speaking of the Picentes: Iíôd äb óôæÆôåßÆò ìåæïäæïìåEí ŒÆd ªæÆììÆôïçïæåEí IðåäåßåŁÅóÆí· ‘And instead of doing military service, they were appointed to serve as couriers and letter carriers’ (the reason being that they had sided with Hannibal; it is slightly surprising to ﬁnd communication entrusted to suspect populations). Interestingly, Augustus went back to the principle of one messenger covering all the distance (but using relays of horses), because the messenger could thus also convey the message orally, and add further information (Suet.
Prot. 335e). Similarly, Aeschines mentions as a matter of fact that the Phocian tyrant Phalaecus had couriers (äæïìïŒÞæıŒåò) at his disposal, who brought back news of how matters were in Athens. 39 War, as one might have expected, is one of the contexts in which 36 Overall discussion in Longo 1981: 27–30; Klauck 2006: 63–5; Llewelyn 1994: 26–57 focuses on the Hellenistic and Roman period; see also Head 2009a on named letter carriers in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, and Head 2009b for fascinating material on the role of letter carriers in Jewish letters.
Ancient Greek letter writing : a cultural history, 600 BC- 150 BC by Paola Ceccarelli