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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 Aeneas of Gaza

The Letter Collection of Aeneas of Gaza

(p.384) Twenty-Three The Letter Collection of Aeneas of Gaza
Late Antique Letter Collections

Edward J. Watts

University of California Press

The 25 short letters of Aeneas of Gaza form one of late antiquity’s smallest and most idiosyncratic epistolary collections. The addressees of the letters and their epistolary personalities are mostly obscure. The collection instead seems to consist of a series of distinctive epistolary moments in which Aeneas shows his wit, irony, and penchant for baroque metaphors across a range of epistolary types. Its first letter, however, suggests that the collection was likely once much larger and well-developed, with the personalities of the addresses more vivid and Aeneas’s rhetorical flourishes more steadily paced. This suggests that we may now have an example of a truncated collection that offers insight into the ways that later Byzantines may have interacted with a late antique letter collection.

Keywords:   Aeneas of Gaza, Edward Watts, Gaza, Byzantine reception

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