Artistry in the ancient novel
This paper focuses on the stereotypical elements in the 'canonic five' Greek novels to argue how individual writers achieve their individuality. It examines such elements as crowd scenes, storms, pirates and similar standard features, noting how they are varied in order to avoid a sense of predictability. Xenophon of Ephesus offers a series of banal situations which more sophisticated novelists manage to avoid, but otherwise it is difficult to rank examples in terms of their artistry.
Graham Anderson is Emeritus Professor of Classics in the University of Kent. He has written a number of treatments of fiction in Antiquity, including Eros Sophistes (1982), Fairytale in the Ancient World (2000), and King Arthur in Antiquity (2004).