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Bringing together an international team of historians, classicists, and scholars of religion, this volume provides the first comprehensive overview of the extant Greek and Latin letter collections of late antiquity (ca. 300–600 c.e.). Each chapter addresses a major collection of Greek or Latin literary letters, introducing the social and textual histories of each collection and examining its assembly, publication, and transmission. Contributions also reveal how collections operated as discrete literary genres, with their own conventions and self-presentational agendas. This book will fundamentally change how people both read these texts and use letters to reconstruct the social history of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries.
Cristiana Sogno is Associate Professor of Classics at Fordham University.
Bradley K. Storin is Assistant Professor of the Religious Studies at Louisiana State University.
Edward J. Watts is Professor and Alkiviadis Vassiladis Endowed Chair in Byzantine Greek History at the University of California, San Diego.
“Late Antique Letter Collections stands to offer an example of a newly developing way of viewing letter collections, not as funds of social details to be mined without critical perspective but as pieces of literature in their own right, constructed to present a particular portrait of an author, a community, a genre, or an enterprise. Because it addresses so many different letter collections, this volume will be invaluable for late ancient historians and those who study letters more generally.”—Ellen Muehlberger, Associate Professor of Christianity in Late Antiquity at the University of Michigan and author of Angels in Late Ancient Christianity
“Sogno, Storin, and Watts provide a comprehensive, reliable survey of the major collections, with meticulous analysis of their shape and scope, as well as some refreshingly opinionated ideas about their several purposes. This is a sustained and learned dialogue between the contributors, one informed both by a clear sense of common purpose and some subtly creative tensions.”—Neil McLynn, University Lecturer and Fellow in Later Roman History at the University of Oxford