ANCIENT EPISTOLOGRAPHY: THE DEVELOPMENT OF LETTER-WRITING IN GREECE
Keywords:letter, sending and receiving letters, types of letters, Greece
The development of ancient epistolography could be associated with the very development of literacy in Greece. Apart from its original function, to transfer a notice to a distant person, the letter has expanded its realm over time. Trough an overview of the letters preserved in the Greek language area and in the works of Greek authors, we can see various functions the letter assumed – both in everyday life and in literature. Numerous accounts and fragments of letters, from short business notice on lead tablets to private letters written on papyrus, which served as a means for preserving familiar or friendly relationships, point to a great popularity of the letter in ancient times. Given the ﬂexibility of its form and the possibility of its usage on a number of occasions, whether public or private, both by the educated and by the uneducated, we notice that the epistolary form, as a means of communication, soon became firmly rooted in the Greek cultural area. The paper aims at highlighting the very beginning of developing the form of letter in Greece, its basic elements and characteristics, as well as the terms used for it in the Greek language.
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