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Title: Novel Research : fiction and authority in Ptolemy Chennus
Author: Hartley, Beth
ISNI:       0000 0004 5354 1433
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores how Ptolemy Chennus’ Novel Research blurs the lines between fact and fiction by playing with issues concerning authority and reliability, making it difficult for readers to discern the authentic from the bogus within the work. Matters are complicated because a complete version of the text does not survive, although it is possible to get an overall sense of the text from a book-by-book epitome of the work by Photius. This summary reveals that the text contained farfetched and eclectic material, drawing upon several literary traditions including, paradoxography, mythography, miscellany, and literary revisionism. The result is an unusual collection of elaborated “information” such as: revised myth, paradoxa, literary facts, questions and answers, and outlandish anecdotes mainly about legendary characters, although some historical figures also feature. Using Photius’ epitome I will take a thematic approach and explore how Ptolemy blends invented and revised material, and bogus and genuine sources, to produce a work of pseudo-scholarship that not only amuses but also challenges readers’ paideia. I will also establish how Ptolemy is aware of contemporary literary and cultural trends, as well as situate the Novel Research among other Imperial works of fiction to contribute to our understanding of Ptolemy and his work.
Supervisor: Langlands, Rebecca Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available