Working Papers by Author

Koen De Temmerman - Classics Department, Stanford University

030701 A Narrator of Wisdom. Characterization through gnomai in Achilles Tatius.
Koen De Temmerman, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: This paper contributes to the study of characterization in Achilles Tatius by offering an analysis of the many gnomai or “wisdom sayings” in this ancient Greek novel. After having illustrated the importance of gnomai in literary characterization with some examples from the text, I argue that a close reading of the gnomai in Clitophon’s narrator text and character text raises questions about Clitophon’s reliability as a narrator. Whereas Clitophon uses gnomai to portray himself as an expert in erotic affairs before his narratee in Sidon, the gnomai used by the protagonist and other characters within the story suggest that, as a character in his own story, Clitophon does not assume the authoritative position that he claims to have in this field.