By Paola Ceccarelli
During this quantity, Ceccarelli deals a background 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 other kinds of verbal exchange and writing, the amount appears at documentary letters, but additionally strains 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, could be both fair or deceitful, letters got unfavourable connotations within the 5th century, in particular whilst used for transactions about the public and never the non-public sphere. seen because the tool of tyrants or close to jap kings, those detrimental connotations have been obtrusive specifically in Athens the place comedy and tragedy testified to an underlying predicament with epistolary verbal exchange. In different components of the Greek global, akin to Sparta or Crete, the letter could have been obvious as an unproblematic tool for handling public rules, with inscriptions documenting the professional use of letters not just through the Hellenistic kings, but in addition through a few poleis.
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Extra info for Ancient Greek letter writing : a cultural history, 600 BC- 150 BC
In Aesch. fr. 281a Radt. (the so-called ‘Dike’ fragment) the variation between deltos and pinax to indicate the same object may point to the catalogic aspect of Dike’s reading: the goddess writes down the offences of the mortals on a deltos, l. 21, but when the moment comes she recites the catalogue of names from the pinax, l. 22. 56 Drama: see below, chs. 3. 3. 1 and 5. 1. Herodotus uses deltos in 7. 239 for the letter sent by Demaratus to Sparta; the Second Platonic Letter presents itself as a deltos (2.
14. 70 The second one (Anth. Pal. 14. ’71 In both riddles, Ares points to the use of iron for the stylus, and to its ‘violent’ action in incising the wax; the notion that writing speaks while being at the same time silent is present in both, although exploited in different ways (note the presence of the same verb, ºÆºÝø); the second riddle adds the Muses, hinting at the possibility of preserving memories offered by writing. 72 A better alternative is to take ‘mystic’ in connection with the Muses, and to refer it to poetic initiation, or also to understand the term as marking the separateness, the privacy, of the written text itself, once the tablets are folded.
The ﬁrst epigraphical documents (dating to the eighth century) are spontaneous short inscriptions on vases: painted inscriptions, or grafﬁti, incised after the ﬁring of the vase. The ﬁrst grafﬁti on rock appear slightly later. The vast majority of these earliest inscriptions consists in statements of ownership, including names of deities and offerings to a god. But there are also abecedaries, individual names, curses, acclamations, insults, or short texts expressing pride in the writing. 16 There is in all this no suggestion of a centralized use of writing.
Ancient Greek letter writing : a cultural history, 600 BC- 150 BC by Paola Ceccarelli