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date: 05 August 2020


The Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World
John RobertsJohn Roberts

The practice of offering words of comfort to those afflicted by grief is reflected in the earliest Greek poetry. Later, under the twin influences of rhetoric and philosophy, a specialized consolatory literature began to develop, initiating a tradition which persisted throughout Graeco‐Roman antiquity. This literature took a number of forms. Philosophers wrote treatises on death and the alleviation of grief. Letters of consolation were written to comfort those who had suffered bereavement or some other loss‐experience, such as exile or illness; they might be highly personal, or possess the more detached character of an essay. Funeral speeches (... ...

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