Articles

Reading Longus' Daphnis and Chloe and Achilles Tatius' Leucippe and Clitophon in Counterpoint

  • Jean Alvares

Abstract

Reading the Longus' Daphnis and Chloe and Achilles Tatius' Leucippe and Clitophon in tandem reveals similar concerns often treated in opposite ways. Some examples: both works raise issues concerning erotic education, the possibility of a better form of love, and value of urban paideia. Whereas D & C's rural protagonists must learn to love despite their lack of education, L & C's couple become ideal lovers despite their background. Both begin with a suggestive ecphrasis and have unreliable narrators from whose narrative the knowing reader can construct a more ideal story, which can include themes of social reconciliation and personal salvation. After considering these and other points, I produce readings of these novels to illustrate these points; in particular I describe the stages by which Leucippe and Clitophon become more ideal romantic lovers despite their education.

Jean Alvares, a student Gareth's, received his PhD from the University of Texas in 1993 and is now an associate professor at Montclair State University. He has published primarily on the Greco-Roman novel. He is now working on a book on ideal and utopian themes in the Greco-Roman novels and approaches to the ideal for literary criticism.

Published
2006-06-01