The contact zones between the Greco-Roman world and the Near East represent one of the most exciting and fast-moving areas of ancient-world studies. This new collection of essays, by world-renowned experts (and some new voices) in classical, Jewish, Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Persian literature, focuses specifically on prose fiction, or 'the ancient novel'. Twenty chapters either offer fresh readings - from an intercultural perspective - of familiar texts (such as the biblical Esther and Ecclesiastes, Xenophon of Ephesus' Ephesian Story and Dictys of Crete's Journal), or introduce material that may be new to many readers: from demotic Egyptian papyri through old Avestan hymns to a Turkic translation of the Life of Aesop. The volume also considers issues of methodology and the history of scholarship on the topic. A concluding section deals with the question of how narratives, patterns and motifs may have come to be transmitted between cultures.
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