Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

The last several decades have witnessed a renewed interest in exploring the remarkable similarities of motifs, plots and themes between Greco-Roman narrative and that of other ancient literary traditions (e.g., Egyptian, Persian, Jewish). If such commonalities are not coincidental or the result of independent development (and research indicates that they are not), it would be reasonable to raise the question of transmission, that is, by what means they passed from one culture to another. In the past, however, scholarly energies, caught up in the debate over the novel's origins, were more directed toward establishing the chronological priority of one narrative tradition (e.g., India, Egypt) over the others and less with the mechanics of actual cross-cultural transmission. Even in more recent work one finds a studied vagueness on the issue (understandable perhaps, given the relative lack of evidence); at best there seems to be a presumption that written texts, specifically translations, provided the means by which stories travelled from one culture to another. The purpose of this article, however, is to explore the possibility that such cross-cultural transmission in the Hellenistic and Imperial world could have occurred orally as well as through writing.

Document Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1017/CBO9781139814690.024

Editor

Tim Whitmarsh, Stuart Thomson

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

City

Cambridge

ISBN

9781107038240

Publication Information

The Romance Between Greece and the East

Included in

Classics Commons

Share

COinS