n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Contemporary elements in Achilles Tatius's

Volume 52, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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The dramatic context in which the events in Achilles Tatius's take place is vague. At 4.11 there is a reference to 'the satrap of Egypt' but this Persian title was used by Greek writers of the 2nd century to refer to the governors of Roman provinces and so it is unclear whether Achilles Tatius imagines a world under the control of Persia or Rome. However, since Achilles Tatius lived at the height of Roman power in Egypt (the 2nd century) it is likely that he would have been familiar with Roman ways, and of all the novelists who have survived from antiquity, his fiction resembles Petronius's most closely. This article investigates traces of contemporary Roman culture in such as the linguistic idiom of the work, the descriptions of paintings, the account of the Roman army in action, the operation of the law, and the narrative of the burial of the phoenix.

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