Fame and Infamy: Characterization in Greek and Roman Biography and Historiography

Rhiannon Ash (Editor), Frances B Titchener (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology or Edited Bookpeer-review


This book considers from a fresh perspective the central question of how characterization evolves in these two major Classical genres. Over recent decades, the debate about how individuals are portrayed in prose texts has developed in increasingly nuanced ways. The questions which now tend to be posed about prose texts bring them much more closely into line with the subtle ways in which poetry has long been analysed. Moreover, engagement with the literary strategies at work in historiography and biography has a fundamental impact on the relationship of these texts with each other and with poetry, and it is also centrally important for the status of these texts as historical evidence. This volume is wide-reaching, both in the time-periods and authors considered, ranging from Herodotus to Cassius Dio, and from Cicero to Suetonius and beyond. The book offers close readings of individual texts and overarching engagement with questions of how and why characterization in the ancient world develops as it does.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages424
ISBN (Print)9780199662326
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • characterization
  • biography
  • historiography
  • Greek
  • Roman


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