Folktale as a Source of Graeco-Roman Fiction

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Awarded the Adele Mellen Prize for Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship
For over a century, research in Ancient Fiction has concentrated on the literary aspects of the texts available to us. Ancient novels had their roots traced to a number of literary genres, including Epic, Euripidean Romantic drama, and New Comedy. The studies collected in this work look instead at the relationship between formal fiction and popular storytelling. Connections between these two forms of literature were prevalent in various cultures in antiquity, and also reemerged in the significant quantities of folk- and fairy-tales from the Renaissance onwards.


“Interest in ancient fictional writings has never been higher than at present, and Dr. Graham Anderson has been among the most prolific and distinguished scholars working in this field. In the present work he continues his exploration of those features of popular story-telling which were arguably utilized by ancient writers of fiction ... I warmly recommend the work to those who are interested in folktale and sophisticated literature alike.” – Dr. Desmond Costa, Emeritus Professor of Classics, Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity, University of Birmingham

“For the past fifteen years, Dr. Graham Anderson has been exploring the relevance of ancient Greek and Roman oral tales for the development both of classical works and of modern narrative forms such as the novel, the fairy tale, legend, fable, and myth ... His present book ... promises to be another original and stimulating monograph based on meticulous scholarship, convincing argumentation, and insightful interpretations.” – Dr. Jack Zipes, Professor of German, University of Minnesota

“Dr. Graham Anderson’s reputation as a fine scholar of ancient fiction precedes him. He has published many significant books on the subject, and his approach will by now be familiar to scholars of Greek and Latin literature and related fields. In this collection he continues to refine his argument about the centrality of folktale to the development of ancient fiction ... I look forward to the publication of this valuable addition to the literature on ancient fiction.” – Dr. Richard Stoneman, Honorary Fellow, University of Exeter

Table of Contents

Foreword by Professor Emeritus Desmond Costa
1 The Origins of the Novel Again
2 Petronius and Some Other Satyr Tales
3 Longus and the Cinderella Cycle
4 Longus: Folktale into Novel
5 Reconstructing Romance: The Role of Later Analogues
6 Getting Kings out of Trouble: Some Royal Riddle and Prophecy Tales
7 Sleeping Beauty and Our Lady’s Child
8 Aspects of the Ancient Novella
9 Some Tall Stories in Lucian
10 Conclusions
1 The Devil in the Well: An Ancient Version?
2 Why is The Golden Ass Golden?
3 Some Folktale Components of Apollonius of Tyre
4 A Folktale Version of Apollonius
5 Apollonius and Alcmaeon
Select Index

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