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This short book is designed to introduce students of ancient history to the genre known as “the dialogue.” This literary form went through periods of popularity and decline in ancient Greece and Rome, but it was present from the classical period through late antiquity and carried over into medieval and Byzantine culture.

For all ancient texts, historians ask: who created it? When, and why? They try to determine the author’s agenda and try to situate the text within its larger historical context. For the dialogue, we must do more than this. We must consider the conventions of the genre and read later compositions in light of earlier examples of the form. This book explores the origins of dialogue in ancient Greece and explains how dialogues of the Greco-Roman world were intended to be read. It examines significant examples in the development of the genre from Greek, Roman, and early Christian cultures, and discusses the issues that students must take into account in order to responsibly utilize these sources to reconstruct and understand the past.



Publication Date



Westphalia Press


Washington, D.C.


Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Classical Literature and Philology | Classics

Dialogue in the Greco-Roman World



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