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Victor Skretkowicz

Charikliea: Royal Foundling Heliodorus’s complex account of the love, separation, loss and reunion of Theagenes and Charikleia may well be ‘the longest comic plot in history’ 1 (except, perhaps, Mary Sidney Wroth’s). It underpins the themes of restoring usurped political and personal rights, of

in European erotic romance
Philhellene Protestantism, Renaissance translation and English literary politics

Relatively late manifestations of the European philhellene revival of Greco-Roman letters presented to readers complex, extended prose fiction in which the trials of love mask an implicit moral and political allegory. Inevitably, coming during the Reformation, Counter-Reformation and the Catholic Reformation, this cultural phenomenon was not without its religious and political dimensions. Longus, Achilles Tatius and Heliodorus were the three principal English exponents of rhetorically conscious Greco-Roman erotic romance. This book enhances the understanding of the erotic romances of Philip Sidney, Shakespeare, and Lady Mary Sidney Wroth by setting them within an integrated political, rhetorical, and aesthetic context. It investigates how Renaissance translators alter rhetorical styles, and even contents, to accord with contemporary taste, political agendas and the restrictions of censorship. Particular attention is paid to differences between the French courtly style of Jacques Amyot and François de Belleforest and the more literal translations of their English counterparts. Valuable perspective on the early translations is offered through the modern English versions in B.P. Reardon's Collected Ancient Greek Novels. The book considers the three texts of Sidney's Arcadia, as a political romance sharing many of the thematic and rhetorical concerns of the ancients. It focuses on a narrow range of Shakespeare's plays including Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra. The book identifies Mary Sidney Wroth's masque-like prose allegory, The Countess of Montgomery's Urania, as philhellene Protestant political propaganda.

Victor Skretkowicz

If Heliodorus develops the plot-line of discovery, identification and denouement in his ‘life’ of Charikleia, Longus doubles and complicates this conventional motif by paralleling and intertwining the biographies of Daphnis and Chloe. He supports the artificiality of this structure with a quasi-allegorical plot that carefully blurs distinctions between natural and supernatural

in European erotic romance
Abstract only
Victor Skretkowicz

theoretical politicisation of the genre occurred, initially by monarchomachist Protestant publishers and translators of Heliodorus, then by adapters such as Sidney, Shakespeare and Sidney Wroth. In addition to being associated with political discourse, European erotic romance set the standard by which the social and literary significance of chivalric romance was judged. In the French

in European erotic romance
Abstract only
Victor Skretkowicz

the three by Longus, Achilles Tatius and Heliodorus received wide circulation during the Renaissance. Relatively late manifestations of the European philhellene (‘lovers of ancient Greece’) revival of Greco-Roman letters, they were published and translated during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. These works gave readers their first experience of the long-forgotten art of writing

in European erotic romance
Victor Skretkowicz

second century AD) and Heliodorus’s An Ethiopian Story (third century or late fourth century AD). 1 These authors were Greek-speaking rhetoricians during the period known as the ‘Second Sophistic’, 2 when itinerant ‘sophists’, 3 learned teachers of rhetoric, revived the rhetorical and philosophical traditions of the ancient city-state of Athens – the Athens of Socrates

in European erotic romance
Victor Skretkowicz

Political outlines The preceding chapters demonstrate how, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the erotic romances of Longus, Achilles Tatius and Heliodorus take on various political inflections. Editors and translators manifest the amalgam of their political, religious, moral and ethical leanings

in European erotic romance
Abstract only
Richard James Wood

History , by the third-century Greek author, Heliodorus. On the title page of the Latin edition of Heliodorus’s romance, published in Basel in 1552, Melanchthon praises its ‘diversity of counsels, occasions, events, and states of mind’. 39 This is the text where Sidney would have found ‘so true a lover as Theagenes’. However, in Melanchthon’s view, An Aethiopian History is a repository of diversity as well as the figures of idealized virtue highlighted by Sidney in his Defence , and by Sinfield. Arthur Heiserman, in his book The Novel Before the Novel , describes

in Sidney's Arcadia and the conflicts of virtue
A Philippist reading of Sidney’s New Arcadia
Richard James Wood

form of religious piety amenable to the utilization of the prose romance for similar pious, ethical and political ends. What evidence is there in favour of such a conclusion? There is a significant piece of textual evidence that indicates the seemingly improbable harmony between the romance form and Melanchthonian theology. The Latin edition of Heliodorus’s An Aethiopian History published in Basel in 1552 and later in Antwerp has a title page prominently bearing the theologian’s name (see Figure 1 ). Heliodorus’s ancient Greek text was a primary source text for

in Sidney's Arcadia and the conflicts of virtue
Victor Skretkowicz

readily this text could be adapted to serve their social, political and cultural agendas. The most ecphrastic and rhetorically artificial of the Greco-Roman erotic romances, in France it joined the courtly band of stylised nationalist works inspired by Amyot’s Heliodorus. In England, it first played its part in late Elizabethan philhellene Protestant propaganda. Later, reflecting

in European erotic romance