Lies and Fiction in the Ancient World

Edited by Christopher Gill and T. P. Wiseman

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ISBN: 9780859893817

Publication: June 1, 1993

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This collection of essays explores the key issue of the nature of the boundary between fact and fiction, an issue which has become prominent especially through the upsurge of interest in the ancient novel and recent work on the rhetorical character of ancient historiography. The collection covers early Greek poetry (E.L. Bowie), Greek and Roman historiography (John Moles and T.P. Wiseman), Plato (Christopher Gill) and the Greek and Roman novel (John Morgan and Andrew Laird), and especially considers how far 'lying' was distinguished from 'fiction' at different periods and in different genres.

Christopher Gill is Emeritus Professor of Ancient Thought at the University of Exeter. His books include 'Form and Argument in Late Plato' (OUP, 1996) and a translation of 'Plato, Symposium' (Penguin, 1999).

T. P. Wiseman is Emeritus Professor of Roman History at the University of Exeter and a Fellow of the British Academy. He came to Exeter in 1977, and was Head of Department from 1977 to 1990.

Contents Fiction, lies and slander in archaic Greek poetry, E.L. Bowie Plato on falsehood - not fiction, Christopher Gill Truth and untruth in Greed and Roman historiography, J.L. Moles Lying historians - seven types of mendacity, T.P. Wiseman Fiction, bewitchment and story worlds - the implications of claims to truth in Apuleius, Andrew Laird Make-believe and make believe - the fictionality of the Greek novels, J.R. Morgan Towards an account of the ancient world's concept of fictive belief, D.C. Feeney

If the range of ideas developed by ancient writers does not precisely correspond to modern categories, that is hardly surprising: as Michael Wood and D.C. Feeney argue, the boundaries between fact, fiction and falsehood are culturally determined and change over time. This book explores the varying ways in which these categories were constructed in the ancient world, and in the process raises important questions about the definition of fiction in contemporary culture.
  Journal of Hellenic Studies

It has long been recognized that the imagination of the novelist, the poet, and the historian must be related in important, intimate ways. This collection advances our understanding of those related imaginations.
James Tatum  

Despite its selective focus, this superb collection of articles on the problem of fiction in antiquity is a valuable acquisition for any general library, the scope of the book and the range of the individual contributions extensive enough to ensure that the evidence for this protean literary category is given generous coverage.
  Classical World

Format: Hardback

Size: 231 x 151 mm

281 Pages

ISBN: 9780859893817

Publication: June 1, 1993

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