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Dialogue

(1,832 words)

Author(s): Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg)
[German version] A. Definition Dialogue is defined as a prose genre, in which a conversation between several participants is recorded in direct speech. In Greek and Latin literature, this form of representation is mostly used for theoretical debates, particularly philosophical ones. Somewhat lesser developed were the entertaining humorous scenes (see below for Lucian: E. Roman Period), which were close in genre to the  mimos. The most important author of dialogues is Plato; he has been seen througho…

Protreptics

(1,547 words)

Author(s): Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg)
[German version] I. Definition and Origin Protreptics here refers to a literary genre which attempts to persuade the reader of the value of a subject of study and seeks to enthuse him and convince him to 'turn' to it (προτρέπειν/ protrépein, 'to turn towards something'). Generally philosophy is meant, but secondarily also other subjects (see II below). The origin is the adjective προτρεπτικός/ protreptikós, 'hortatory'; προτρεπτικὸς λόγος/ protreptikòs lógos, 'encouraging speech', ho protreptikós, 'the protreptic'. The modern sense of protreptics may derive from Pla…

Bolos

(237 words)

Author(s): Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg)
[German version] (Βῶλος; Bôlos) of Mendes (in the Nile Delta). Greek writer c. 200 BC. His essential themes were occult powers, sympathy and antipathy between people, animals, plants, stones and metals (Fr.: 68 B 300 and 78 DK). He gave important impetus to the spread of the theory of sympathy [1], later also to the development of  Alchemy [5]. Many of B.'s writings circulated under the name of Democritus [1], and it is a matter for discussion whether the extensive pseudo-Democritean literature [6] pursuing similar lines of thought may be substantially …

Epistolography

(1,752 words)

Author(s): Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg)
[German version] A. Term This term is mainly applied to literary letters; however, the transition from private letters ( Epistle) to literary ones is fluid, because even in private, correspondents aimed for a cultivated form of expression, which was also suitable for public consumption. A stylistically well-written letter was seen as a gift to its recipient (Demetrius [41], Perí Hermēneías 224). Such letters were shared within the recipient's circle of friends, they were shared with acquaintances, enjoyed and praised (Synes. Epist. 101; Lib. Ep. 1583 W…

Techne

(603 words)

Author(s): Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg)
(τέχνη/ téchnē, Latin ars). [German version] I. Term and areas of usage Techne or ars refers to any kind of professional knowledge and skill (art I), and in the larger sense, intelligence, cunning and a clever course of action in general. Areas of usage are the crafts (V. H.), visual arts (Art, theory of), poetry and music, medicine, sports, mantics etc. The term implies a general awareness of culture and progress (cf. Progress, idea of; Origin myths and theories on the origin of culture; Art; Könnensbewußtsein). Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg) [German version] II. Theoretical reflec…

Isagoge

(1,479 words)

Author(s): Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg)
[German version] A. Definition The term εἰσαγωγή ( eisagōgḗ ‘introduction’) is first documented in book titles by the Stoics (Chrysippus, Περὶ τῆς εἰς τὰς ἀμφιβολίας εἰσαγωγῆς/‘On the Introduction to the Ambiguities’ among other logical topics, SVF II p. 6, 28; 30; p. 7, 15; 16; 28; 34; 35; Περὶ ἀγαθῶν καὶ κακῶν εἰσαγωγή SVF III p. 196, 34; Apollodorus [11] of Seleucia Εἰς τὰ δόγματα εἰσαγωγαί SVF III p. 259, 8-9; Posidonius Εἰσαγωγὴ περὶ λέξεως F 44 Edelstein-Kidd). Documents from the Imperial period show that it was associated with a fixed genre: isagogai belong to the literature of …

Symposium literature

(1,392 words)

Author(s): Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg)
[German version] A. Definition SL is a genre of prose literature containing a report of a symposion (Latin convivium, symposium, see Banquet), sometimes also of the preceding dinner (δεῖπνον/ deîpnon , Latin cena ). The main narrative current consists of the conversations of the participants, which can also contain complete speeches or lectures. SL can also be seen as a special case of the literary dialogue [4]. A deîpnon literature can be distinguished from a SL [8] (see below [D5]). However, these strands converged from the Hellenistic period, esp. among Roman authors. Görgemanns, He…

Dedication

(1,288 words)

Author(s): Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg) | Schmitzer, Ulrich (Berlin)
I. Greek [German version] A. Definition The dedication of a literary work is the naming of a person from the author's surroundings with the intent of expressing an honour or gratitude to this person by association with the publication. (Occasionally the recipient was promised immortality [1. 25 f.]). Works which discuss the named person as a subject do not fall under this definition (e.g.,   enkṓmion ). It is apparent in works such as the ‘Epinician Odes’ of  Pindar that the author is aware of his role as a mediator of fame. A specia…

Diatribe

(1,230 words)

Author(s): Uthemann, Karl-Heinz (Amsterdam) | Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg)
[German version] A. Concept Diatribe is a modern concept which owes its existence to the fact that, based on Wilamowitz's [3] formal description of the Cynic  Teles' popular-philosophical ‘sermons’ (3rd cent.BC), Usener [1. LXIX] and Wendland [2] introduced for these ‘diatribe’ as a generic term. It has stood the test of time, as long as it is taken as a kind of ancient dialexis (first in [4]); originally as a synonym of dialogos, dialexis referred to any kind of conversation, but in the usage of philosophers and rhetors, it then came to mean a didactic, but also ent…

Biography

(3,557 words)

Author(s): Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg) | Berschin, Walter (Heidelberg)
I. Greek [German version] A. Definition and prehistory Biography as a literary genre is the account of the life events of an individual human being; it gives voice to the tendency to respect lifetime achievements and personal individuality as a meaningful unity. Biography has existed in this mould in Greek literature since Hellenism; the term for that is bíos (βίος; βιογραφία, biographía is first used in Damascius, Vita Isidori = Phot. Bibl. Cod. 242, § 8, as nomen actionis: ‘biographical writing’, then Phot. Bibl. Cod. 181 for the text itself). The search for its origins leads fur…

Epistle

(2,481 words)

Author(s): Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg) | Zelzer, Michaela (Vienna)
[German version] A. Term, Terminology, Origins A letter is a written message to an absent recipient. The Greek epistolḗ (ἐπιστολή) is the verbal noun for ἐπιστέλλειν; epistéllein, ‘to give a message (to a messenger)’ or ‘to send a written or oral message (to s.o.)’; epistolḗ means ‘a sent message’, which in earlier times could also include an oral message. Synonyms: grámmata (γράμματα), literally ‘piece of writing’, Lat. epistula, litterae. Wherever script was developed, writing letters was one of its first applications. For that reason, communication by writing…

Autobiography

(2,386 words)

Author(s): Pongratz-Leisten, Beate (Tübingen) | Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg) | Berschin, Walter (Heidelberg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient A heterogeneous group of texts exists in the Ancient Orient which are supposed, on the basis of the categories of form (1st person singular) and semantics (reflection on past behaviour in respect of a current or future search for meaning), to be of an autobiographical character. In Mesopotamia this includes on the one hand texts which, written at a later point, give a more or less fictitious report of an episode in the life of great rulers of the past, for instance …

Translations

(4,791 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg) | L.FL. | Binder, Vera (Gießen)
I. Ancient Orient and Egypt [German version] A. General Points Translation by means of an interpreter (Akkadian targumannu; Ugaritic targumiānu; Hittite tarkummija- ('to translate'); Aramaic ta/urgmānā; Arabic tu/arǧumān; Italian turcimanno; cf. dragoman) played an important role in the cultures of the Ancient Orient in their contacts with other ethnic groups. Mesopotamian rulers prided themselves on their command of foreign languages. Especially during the second half of the second millennium BC, Akkadian served as a kind …