Epistle - Ancient Greece and Rome

Ancient Greece and Rome

Epistles in prose and verse were a major genre of literature among the Greeks and particularly the Romans. The letters of Cicero are one of the most important sources on the history of the late Roman Republic and preserve features of colloquial Latin not always in evidence in his speeches and treatises. The letters of Pliny the Younger likewise are studied as both examples of Latin prose with self-conscious literary qualities and sources for historical information. Ovid produced three collections of verse epistles, composed in elegiac couplets: the Heroides, letters written in the person of legendary women to their absent lovers; and the Tristia and Ex Ponto, written in first person during the poet's exile. The epistles of Seneca, with their moral or philosophical ruminations, influenced later patristic writers.

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    The science, the art, the jurisprudence, the chief political and social theories, of the modern world have grown out of Greece and Rome—not by favor of, but in the teeth of, the fundamental teachings of early Christianity, to which science, art, and any serious occupation with the things of this world were alike despicable.
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    What is there in Rome for me to see that others have not seen before me? What is there for me to touch that others have not touched? What is there for me to feel, to learn, to hear, to know, that shall thrill me before it pass to others? What can I discover?—Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. One charm of travel dies here.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    I think a Person who is thus terrifyed [sic] with the Imagination of Ghosts and Spectres much more reasonable, than one who contrary to the Reports of all Historians sacred and profane, ancient and modern, and to the Traditions of all Nations, thinks the Appearance of Spirits fabulous and groundless.
    Joseph Addison (1672–1719)

    The science, the art, the jurisprudence, the chief political and social theories, of the modern world have grown out of Greece and Rome—not by favor of, but in the teeth of, the fundamental teachings of early Christianity, to which science, art, and any serious occupation with the things of this world were alike despicable.
    Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–95)