Nothing but the truth? Rhetoric and fictionality in Ancient Greek and Latin novels

Begin - Einde 
2022 - 2025 (lopend)
Vakgroep Letterkunde
Ancient novel
Greek novels
Latin novels
Ancient rhetoric



Most ancient Greek and Latin novels contain trial-scenes made of ingredients similar to modern-day legal drama series, such as emotionally-charged testimonies, wrathful confrontations and sidebar talks; and during the adversarial debates, the facts are manipulated and our perception of the narrative which they help create changes. Given that trial-scenes of the novels all deal with, comment on and thematize preceding parts of the plots of the novels in which they occur, my project investigates these episodes as self-reflexive moments. The driving research hypothesis is that Greek and Latin novelists adopt ancient rhetorical traditions creatively in their trial scenes in order to reflect about and conceptualize the fictionality of their own works. In order to test this hypothesis, the project will analyze the narrative and rhetorical functions of trial scenes in the novels and examine the metafictional potential of these scenes by drawing on ancient rhetorical traditions (both theory and practice), which constituted an educational background shared by both authors and readers of the novels and developed toolkits, concepts and methods to create and analyze fictional worlds. This project will result in a systematic study of metafictionality in both the Greek and the Latin novels of Antiquity.



Postdoctorale medewerker(s)