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Late Antique Letter CollectionsA Critical Introduction and Reference Guide$
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Cristiana Sogno, Bradley K. Storin, and Edward J. Watts

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520281448

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520281448.001.0001

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The Letter Collection of Gregory of Nyssa

The Letter Collection of Gregory of Nyssa

(p.102) Six The Letter Collection of Gregory of Nyssa
Late Antique Letter Collections

Andrew Radde-Gallwitz

University of California Press

In his 1608 Parisian edition of Gregory of Nyssa’s letters, the great humanist Isaac Casaubon established the 30-letter corpus assumed by subsequent scholars. This canon includes two basic sets of letters from the manuscripts, some of which present the letters in different orders from that used by Casaubon, and, after him, Pasquali and Maraval. Compared to his brother Basil’s epistolary legacy, Gregory’s is meager; no doubt he wrote far more than were collected. This chapter surveys the state of surviving evidence and investigates the original form of the letter collections. This chapter follows the work of Anna Silvas, who has suggested that there are two early sub-collections of letters: (1) letters surrounding Gregory’s time in Sebasteia in 380 CE; (2) letters intended to showcase Gregory’s literary style, marked by a notable “secular” tone. Issues of authenticity and transmission will be addressed, as will those pertaining to the elasticity of the epistolary genre in Gregory’s corpus.

Keywords:   Andrew Radde-Gallwitz, Gregory of Nyssa, Basil of Caesarea, Isaac Casaubon, Anna Silvas, epistolary genre, Greek letters

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