Prose fiction, although not always associated with classical antiquity, did in fact flourish in the early Roman Empire, not only in realistic Latin novels but also and indeed principally in the Greek ideal romance of love and adventure to which they are related. Popular in the Renaissance, these stories have been less familiar in later centuries. Translations of the Greek stories were not readily available in English before B.P. Reardon’s excellent volume.
Nine complete stories are included here as well as ten others, encompassing the whole range of classical themes: ideal romance, travel adventure, historical fiction, and comic parody. A new foreword by J.R. Morgan examines the enormous impact this groundbreaking collection has had on our understanding of classical thought and our concept of the novel.
B.P. Reardon is Professor Emeritus of Classics at the University of California, Irvine. J.R. Morgan is Professor of Greek at Swansea University.
“The modern reader will find many pleasures and surprises in these ancient novels. . . . They represent a mature and sophisticated art form . . . aimed at a popular taste.”—The Key Reporter