23. Mai 2023

Constructing space in Greek and Latin Epistolography Einladung nach Zypern: Constructing space in Greek and Latin Epistolography

Workshop at the University of Cyprus, Department of Classics and Philosophy, 2.6.2023

Constructing space in Greek and Latin Epistolography
Workshop at the University of Cyprus
Department of Classics and Philosophy
2nd of June 2023

Space is an essential factor for the existence of the epistolary genre: letters are written because of the spatial separation of sender and addressee, a distance which is often reflected on in epistolary texts. In addition to the spatial dimension of the epistolary communication itself, there are various other kinds of spaces discussed by letter writers or created in their texts. The workshop wants to explore the various literary techniques with which Greek and Latin letter writers construct space in their works. Papers will consider (but are not limited to) the following aspects:

  • The spatial dimensions of epistolary communication
  • Ekphrasis in letters
  • The semantics of space (e.g. spaces of otium and negotium) in letters
  • The construction of settings for action in epistolary narratives
  • The construction of space in single books of letters
  • The construction of geographic networks in epistolary collections
  • Embedded letters as devices for the structuring of space in other genres


  • 10:00-10.15 Welcome and Opening (Margot Neger, University of Cyprus)

    Session 1: Space in the Epistolography of the Augustan Age (Chair: Spyridon Tzounakas)
  • 10:15-11:00: Keynote Speech by Gernot Michael MÜLLER (University of Bonn): “From Town to Countryside – Concepts of Space in Horace’s Satires and Epistles”
  • 11:00-11.45: Adrian WEIß (University of Bonn): “Creating the World of Exile through Letters – The Poetological Space in Ovid’s Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto”

11.45-12.15 Coffee Break

Session 2: Space in Fictional Prose Letters (Chair: Margot Neger)

  • 12.15-13.00: Chiara DI SERIO (University of Cyprus): “The Land of the Brahmans in their Fictional Letters to Alexander”
  • 13.00-13.45: Sabira HAJDAREVIĆ (University of Zadar): “The Construction of Space in Aristaenetus’ Erotic Letters” (online)

13.45-15.00 Lunch Break

Session 3: Space in Christian Epistolography (Chair: Gernot Müller)

  • 15.00-15.45: Margot NEGER (University of Cyprus): “Churches and Travelling Saints in the Letters of Sidonius Apollinaris (Ep. 4.18 and 7.17)”
  • 15.45-16.30: Tristan SPILLMANN (University of Bonn): “Bringing the World Closer to Rome: Apostolic Relics in the Correspondence of Pope Gregory the Great”

16.30-16.45 Final Discussion

Bildnachweis: Famagusta-Tor in Nikosia, (C) A.Savin, WikiCommons

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