Readers writing Readers, and Writers reading Writers: Reflections of Antonius Diogenes


  • J.R. Morgan


This paper focuses on the interfaces between tellers and receivers of stories in the novel of Antonius Diogenes. Its complex Beglaubigungsapparat turns out not to be an unbroken chain leading from the novel’s innermost layers of oral narrative to its written text. Rather, each link in the chain of transmission involves a retelling of the material for a specific audience in a specific context and for a specific purpose, and is imagined as making its own special contribution to the shape of the final product. Rather than effacing his own role as author, Antonius seems to have emphasised his role as creator, by rehearsing the strategies of elaboration and pseudo-scholarly expansion applied to a fictitious document, so calling the very boundaries of reality and imagination into contestation, and exploring the nature of fiction itself.

J. R. Morgan is Professor of Greek at Swansea University, and Leader of the KYKNOS Centre for Research on the Narrative Literatures of the Ancient World. He has written extensively about the Greek novel, and is currently working on books on Longus and Heliodoros.