Ancient biographies and letter collections

Discuss the world of the Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, and Egyptians.
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rgprice
Posts: 2091
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:57 pm

Ancient biographies and letter collections

Post by rgprice »

I'm looking for resources on ancient biographies and letter collections associated with lesser known people. I'm looking to draw some comparisons to the Pauline letters and accounts of Paul's ministry.

Are there examples of biographies that were constructed from letter collections? Biographies that circulated with letter collections? Biographies or letter collections written about lesser religious, philosophical, or political figures?

Preferably works from the 2nd century BCE through the 2nd century CE, not Christian.
rgprice
Posts: 2091
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:57 pm

Re: Ancient biographies and letter collections

Post by rgprice »

Does anyone have access to this that can send me a copy? : https://www.jstor.org/stable/41724966

Much appreciated?
StephenGoranson
Posts: 2430
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:10 am

Re: Ancient biographies and letter collections

Post by StephenGoranson »

JSNT 31.3(2009): 279-299, Peter Head on named letter-carriers among the Oxyrhynchus papyri.

Abstract:

"This paper analyses the role played by named letter-carriers among Greek personal letters in the Oxyrhynchus papyri as possible background for Pauline practice, and within the context of recent proposals concerning the role of the letter-carriers within Pauline practice. Around forty letters are discussed, with three examples analysed in more depth (P.Oxy. 113; P.Oxy. 3313; P.Oxy. 3505). It is seen that, when named and identified within the letter, the letter-carrier frequently supplements the written communication with some oral supplement. Against some recent proposals no evidence is found in support of the view that the letter-carrier ever read the letter itself to the recipient."
Secret Alias
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Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Ancient biographies and letter collections

Post by Secret Alias »

I mean who doubts that the references in the Pauline letters as we have them imitated real ancient practices. The question of whether the appeal to letter carriers in Paul, Ignatius and the like were part of the original letters buried within our surviving forgeries is another question entirely. But it will still be interesting to see what Head comes up with. A great and interesting scholar certainly.
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