Nommer les personnages perses dans le roman grec : les choix de Chariton, Callirhoé, et d’Héliodore, les Éthiopiques


  • Patrick Robiano



This paper deals with the naming of Persian characters in two Greek novels, Chariton’s Callirhoe and Heliodorus’ Aithiopika. It is an attempt to consider how each novelist chooses Persian names. If Persian names are well-known, they give an impression of historical reality ; if they are new, they induce readers to look for their meaning. The part played by homonymy and intertextuality  is pivotal. In Heliodorus, complexity is very great : Ethiopian characters have Persian names, as if Ethiopians were in fact Persians, that is to say descendants from the hero Perseus, who is also the ancestor of Persian people through his son Perses. It is significant that the queen of Ethiopia is called Persinna. Ethnic identities are therefore to be redefined.

Author Biography

Patrick Robiano

Patrick Robiano is a member of the PLH-CRATA at the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès and a contributor to the Dictionnaire des Philosophes antiques (CNRS). He is a specialist in the Greek Literature of the Roman Empire,  particularly the Greek novels and the corpus Philostrateum.


2020-02-27 — Updated on 2021-01-26