The Aethiopica ( // ; Ancient Greek : Αἰθιοπικά, Aithiopiká, 'Ethiopian Stories' ) or Theagenes and Chariclea ( / ... / ; Ancient Greek: Θεαγένης καὶ Χαρίκλεια, Theagénēs kaì Kharíkleia) is an ancient Greek novel which has been dated to the 220s or 370s AD. It was written by Heliodorus of Emesa and is his only known work.
The author of the Aethiopica identifies himself upon ending his work in this manner:
|—Translated by Thomas Underdown|
According to Richard L. Hunter,
The Emesenes were a culturally complex group, including Arab, Phoenician and Greek elements, and, since the third century at any rate, having a connection with the Roman imperial household (the empress Julia Domna was from Emesa, as was the cult of Elagabal which inspired the emperor Heliogabalus).
In the words of Tim Whitmarsh, ἀφ' Ἡλίου γένος (aph’ Hēlíou génos) "looks like a claim to hereditary priesthood," although "uncertainties" remain. According to The Cambridge History of Classical Literature, "the personal link here established between the writer and Helios has also a literary purpose, as has Calasiris' flashback narrative" . The later tradition maintaining that Heliodorus had become a Christian bishop is likely fictional.
The novel continued to circulate during the Middle Ages amid the Greek readership in the Byzantine Empire. For example, it is mentioned in the will, dated 1059, of protospatharios Eustathios Voilas, to be bequeathed among several of his books to a monastery which he had founded.
The Aethiopica was first brought to light in Western Europe during the Renaissance in a manuscript from the library of Matthias Corvinus, found at the sack of Buda (now the western part of Budapest) in 1526, and printed at Basel in 1534. Other codices have since been discovered.
It was first translated into French by the celebrated Jacques Amyot in 1547. It was first translated into English in 1569 by Thomas Underdown, who used the 1551 Latin translation of Stanisław Warszewicki to create his Aethiopian Historie. It was printed several times by Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari in the Republic of Venice (1556, 1560, 1586) in an Italian translation from Greek by Leonardo Ghini.
The Aethiopica is indebted to the works of Homer and Euripides. The title is taken from the fact that the action of the beginning and end of the story takes place in Aethiopia.
The work is notable for its rapid succession of events, the variety of its characters, its vivid descriptions of manners and of scenery, and its simple, elegant writing style. [ citation needed ]But what has been regarded as most remarkable is that the novel opens in the middle of the story ("in medias res"), and the plot is resolved by having various characters describe their prior adventures in retrospective narratives or dialogues, which eventually tie together. Homer utilized this technique in both his epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey . This feature makes the Aethiopica stand out from all the other ancient Greek romances.
Chariclea, the daughter of King Hydaspes and Queen Persinna of Ethiopia, was born white through the effect of the sight of a marble statue upon the queen during pregnancy (an instance of the theory of maternal impression). Fearing accusations of adultery, Persinna gives her baby daughter to the care of Sisimithras, a gymnosophist, who takes the baby to Egypt and places her in the care of Charicles, a Pythian priest. Chariclea is then taken to Delphi, and made a priestess of Artemis.
Theagenes, a noble Thessalian, comes to Delphi and the two fall in love. He runs off with Chariclea with the help of Calasiris (kalasiris), an Egyptian who has been employed by Persinna to find Chariclea. They encounter many perils: pirates, bandits, and others. The main characters ultimately meet at Meroë at the very moment when Chariclea is about to be sacrificed to the gods by her own father. Her birth is made known, and the lovers are happily married.
Heliodorus' novel was immensely influential and was imitated by Byzantine Greeks and by French, Italian, and Spanish writers.
The early life of Clorinda in Torquato Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered (canto xii. 21 sqq.) is almost identical with that of Chariclea.
The structure, events, and themes of the European adventure novel of the first half of the seventeenth century—Madeleine de Scudéry, Marin le Roy de Gomberville, Miguel de Cervantes's Persiles and Sigismunda , and likely Aphra Behn's Oroonoko —were directly modeled on Heliodorus's work. It was adapted by the French dramatist Alexandre Hardy under the title Les chastes et loyales amours de Théagène et Cariclée (published in 1623). John Gough, an English dramatist of Charles I's day, based his tragicomedy The Strange Discovery (published in 1640) on the Aethiopica. It was also adapted into an opera with a French libretto by Duché de Vancy and music by Henri Desmarets. French dramatist Jean Racine claimed that Heliodorus' novel was his favorite book and when, after he had joined the ascetic Jansenist retreat Port-Royal and the book had been repeatedly taken away from him, Racine is reported to have said that the loss of the book no longer mattered since he had already memorized it.
The work's influence continued to be felt in the eighteenth century novel (especially in those having a "tale within a tale" structure).
Canadian writer Alice Munro refers to the novel in her short story "Silence" which also explores the theme of a mother detached from her daughter. The story was published in the book Runaway (2004).
Other ancient Greek novelists:
In Greek mythology, Andromeda is the daughter of the king of Aethiopia, Cepheus, and his wife Cassiopeia. When Cassiopeia boasts that she is more beautiful than the Nereids, Poseidon sends the sea monster Cetus to ravage the coast of Aethiopia as divine punishment. Andromeda is chained to a rock as a sacrifice to sate the monster, but is saved from death by Perseus, who marries her and takes her to Greece to reign as his queen.
Bagoas was a prominent Persian official who served as the vizier of the Achaemenid Empire until his death.
Heliodorus is a Greek name meaning "Gift of the Sun". Several persons named Heliodorus are known to us from ancient times, the best known of which are:
Chariton of Aphrodisias was the author of an ancient Greek novel probably titled Callirhoe, nevertheless it is regularly referred to as Chaereas and Callirhoe. Recent evidence of fragments of the text on papyri suggests that the novel may have been written in the mid 1st century AD, making it the oldest surviving complete ancient prose romance and the only one to make use of apparent historiographical features for background verisimilitude and structure, in conjunction with elements of Greek mythology, as Callirhoë is frequently compared to Aphrodite and Ariadne and Chaereas to numerous heroes, both implicitly and explicitly. As the fiction takes place in the past, and historical figures interact with the plot, Callirhoe may be understood as the first historical novel; it was later imitated by Xenophon of Ephesus and Heliodorus of Emesa, among others.
Alexandre Hardy was a French dramatist, one of the most prolific of all time. He claimed to have written some six hundred plays, but only thirty-four are extant.
Longus, sometimes Longos, was the author of an ancient Greek novel or romance, Daphnis and Chloe. Nothing is known of his life; it is assumed that he lived on the isle of Lesbos during the 2nd century AD.
Heliodorus Emesenus or Heliodorus of Emesa is the author of the ancient Greek novel called the Aethiopica (Αἰθιοπικά) or Theagenes and Chariclea, which has been dated to the 220s or 370s AD.
Ancient Greek literature is literature written in the Ancient Greek language from the earliest texts until the time of the Byzantine Empire. The earliest surviving works of ancient Greek literature, dating back to the early Archaic period, are the two epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey, set in an idealized archaic past today identified as having some relation to the Mycenaean era. These two epics, along with the Homeric Hymns and the two poems of Hesiod, Theogony and Works and Days, comprised the major foundations of the Greek literary tradition that would continue into the Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods.
Daphnis and Chloe is an ancient Greek novel written in the Roman Empire, the only known work of the second-century AD Greek novelist and romance writer Longus.
17th-century French literature was written throughout the Grand Siècle of France, spanning the reigns of Henry IV of France, the Regency of Marie de Medici, Louis XIII of France, the Regency of Anne of Austria and the reign of Louis XIV of France. The literature of this period is often equated with the Classicism of Louis XIV's long reign, during which France led Europe in political and cultural development; its authors expounded the classical ideals of order, clarity, proportion and good taste. In reality, 17th-century French literature encompasses far more than just the classicist masterpieces of Jean Racine and Madame de La Fayette.
Nicolas de Montreux was a French nobleman, novelist, poet, translator and dramatist.
Jean-Pierre Camus de Pontcarré was a French bishop, preacher, and author of works of fiction and spirituality.
John Robert Morgan is a British academic working at Swansea University in Wales. He is primarily known for writing books on Classics, and for contributing to a number of journals, often with colourful views.
Christoph Wilhelm Mitscherlich was a German classical scholar. He wrote several books on ancient Greek literature. He is best remembered for his edition of the Odes and Epodes by the Roman poet Horace.
Clorinda is a fictional character appearing in Torquato Tasso's poem Jerusalem Delivered, first published in 1581. She is a warrior woman of the Saracen army.
Aesop was a Greek fabulist and storyteller credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop's Fables. Although his existence remains unclear and no writings by him survive, numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day. Many of the tales are characterized by animals and inanimate objects that speak, solve problems, and generally have human characteristics.
A novel is a relatively long work of narrative fiction, normally written in prose form, and which is typically published as a book. The present English word for a long work of prose fiction derives from the Italian: novella for "new", "news", or "short story of something new", itself from the Latin: novella, a singular noun use of the neuter plural of novellus, diminutive of novus, meaning "new".
Five ancient Greek novels survive complete from antiquity: Chariton's Callirhoe, Achilles Tatius' Leucippe and Clitophon, Longus' Daphnis and Chloe, Xenophon of Ephesus' Ephesian Tale, and Heliodorus of Emesa's Aethiopica. There are also numerous fragments preserved on papyrus or in quotations, and summaries in Bibliotheca by Photius, a 9th-century Ecumenical Patriarch. The unattributed Metiochus and Parthenope may be preserved by what appears to be a faithful Persian translation by the poet Unsuri. The Greek novel as a genre began in the first century CE, and flourished in the first four centuries; it is thus a product of the Roman Empire. The exact relationship between the Greek novel and the Latin novels of Petronius and Apuleius is debated, but both Roman writers are thought by most scholars to have been aware of and to some extent influenced by the Greek novels.
Théagène et Chariclée, originally spelt Théagène et Cariclée, is an opera by the French composer Henri Desmarets, first performed at the Académie Royale de Musique on 12 April 1695. It takes the form of a tragédie en musique in a prologue and five acts. The libretto, by Duché de Vancy, is based on the ancient Greek novel Aethiopica by Heliodorus.
Ethiopian literature dates from Ancient Ethiopian literature up until modern Ethiopian Literature. Ancient Ethiopian literature starts with Axumite texts written in the Geʽez language using the Geʽez script, indigenous to both Ethiopia & Eritrea.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aethiopica .|