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The problems with the classification of ancient literature

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  • The problems with the classification of ancient literature

    The different classification of ancient literature (three categories?) was asked in a previous thread. I consider the different types of classification a confusing. I wrote a paper in college on this, and still research the problem today. The following are examples od different types of classification that I was familiar with: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_genre and https://techlyfire.com/how-is-ancien...re-classified/

    Some classifications separate out the Bible in a different category, but I disagree. The Bible contains a number of types of literature similar to and evolved from ancient literature from other cultures. I do not consider terms like fiction versus non-fiction. One thing lacking in the classification of ancient literature is the cultural perspective and style such as I believe the structure and style of many parts especially the moral narratives like the story of Job in the Tanakh and some of the NT is influenced by Greek style of literature.

    I proposed something like this from memory. At this point just a rough shot subject to discussion

    1) Legal including government records.Roman records are excellent examples.
    2) Commercial involving economics and trade.
    3} Historical records and accounts of events such as wars and battles.
    4) Narratives of events and persons set in history, such as the gospels.
    5) Literature many evolved from oral narratives such as Creation narratives and morality and wisdom narratives such as those in the Tanakh. The characters maybe real in history or fictional. The book of Job being an example of a long 'wisdom narrative.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 05-04-2022, 11:52 AM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  • #2
    Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
    The different classification of ancient literature (three categories?) was asked in a previous thread. I consider the different types of classification a confusing. I wrote a paper in college on this, and still research the problem today. The following are examples od different types of classification that I was familiar with: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_genre and https://techlyfire.com/how-is-ancien...re-classified/

    Some classifications separate out the Bible in a different category, but I disagree. The Bible contains a number of types of literature similar to and evolved from ancient literature from other cultures. I do not consider terms like fiction versus non-fiction. One thing lacking in the classification of ancient literature is the cultural perspective and style such as I believe the structure and style of many parts especially the moral narratives like the story of Job in the Tanakh and some of the NT is influenced by Greek style of literature.

    I proposed something like this from memory. At this point just a rough shot subject to discussion

    1) Legal including government records.Roman records are excellent examples.
    2) Commercial involving economics and trade.
    3} Historical records and accounts of events such as wars and battles.
    4) Narratives of events and persons set in history, such as the gospels.
    5) Literature many evolved from oral narratives such as Creation narratives and morality and wisdom narratives such as those in the Tanakh. The characters maybe real in history or fictional. The book of Job being an example of a long 'wisdom narrative.
    I am not entirely sure what point you are trying to make.

    We know there was a plethora of different genres of literature from the Graeco-Roman world ranging from poetry, novels, through religious texts and writings, into philosophy, histories, mathematics, and the natural sciences, personal correspondence and official documents, as well as epigraphy.
    "It ain't necessarily so
    The things that you're liable
    To read in the Bible
    It ain't necessarily so
    ."

    Sportin' Life
    Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

      I am not entirely sure what point you are trying to make.

      We know there was a plethora of different genres of literature from the Graeco-Roman world ranging from poetry, novels, through religious texts and writings, into philosophy, histories, mathematics, and the natural sciences, personal correspondence and official documents, as well as epigraphy.
      My point id: You reuested rogue six to name 3 categories of documents. What three categories are you referring to? How are they relevant to the discussion considering the different ways ancient literature is classified? Whether ancient document is a poem or a book is not really relevant, but the nature of the content is. Questions such as how the documents o [ike the gospels and the writing os Philo are classified is very relevant. Example: The writing od Philo have a known author and time they were written. The gospels are of unknown author. evolved edited content, and date of of the various stages of of the compilation is unknown.

      I consider them evolved narratives compiled, edited and redacted after the time they refer to set in the history and culture of the time. Philo's writing are historical writings of known time and authorship. Based on this I consider Philo's writings more reliable than the gospels.



      Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
      Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
      But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

      go with the flow the river knows . . .

      Frank

      I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post

        My point id: You reuested rogue six to name 3 categories of documents.
        Did ? Where? Could you provide a quote of what I wrote?


        "It ain't necessarily so
        The things that you're liable
        To read in the Bible
        It ain't necessarily so
        ."

        Sportin' Life
        Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
          Did ? Where? Could you provide a quote of what I wrote?
          post #118 - https://theologyweb.com/campus/forum...e3#post1375317

          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
          There are several different categories of ancient literature, which specific ones are you referencing?
          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

          go with the flow the river knows . . .

          Frank

          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
            Hence I did not ask him to "name 3 categories of documents". And, as I acknowledged to you, we know there was a plethora of different genres of literature from the Graeco-Roman world.
            "It ain't necessarily so
            The things that you're liable
            To read in the Bible
            It ain't necessarily so
            ."

            Sportin' Life
            Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

              Hence I did not ask him to "name 3 categories of documents". And, as I acknowledged to you, we know there was a plethora of different genres of literature from the Graeco-Roman world.
              Small point, you asked the question concerning classification of documents. Yes, the classification of documents is important and how people consider how the documents are considered reliable. Are the Historical eyewitness accounts? Are they later evolved religious narratives based on the authors and editors over time based on oral accounts and possibly simply biographies?

              How are Philo's writings in contrast classified? How about Josephus and other writers after the life of Jesus.

              Yes, the issue of how the documents are classified is very, very relevant to the subject. There has already brought up how reliable different documents are considered as reliable based on how the would be classified to be reliable as to the events that took place around the time of the life of Jesus..
              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

              go with the flow the river knows . . .

              Frank

              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post

                Small point, you asked the question concerning classification of documents. Yes, the classification of documents is important and how people consider how the documents are considered reliable. Are the Historical eyewitness accounts? Are they later evolved religious narratives based on the authors and editors over time based on oral accounts and possibly simply biographies?

                How are Philo's writings in contrast classified? How about Josephus and other writers after the life of Jesus.

                Yes, the issue of how the documents are classified is very, very relevant to the subject. There has already brought up how reliable different documents are considered as reliable based on how the would be classified to be reliable as to the events that took place around the time of the life of Jesus..
                Both Philo and Josephus are important as they are our two contemporary [and very near contemporary] sources for various events. For the First Jewish War, Josephus is our main primary source. However, we have to consider a degree of bias. Was Pilate really as cruel and arrogant as both Jewish writers suggest? We also have to remember that Josephus' account of the war was being written for his patrons and again a degree of bias must be considered.

                Neither writer is overly concerned with Jesus - Philo never mentions him and Josephus gives us two references - one a laconic aside in relation to the extra-judicial killing of James - and the so called Testimonium Flavianum over which much scholarly ink has been spilled. Another near contemporary Jewish writer [Justus of Tiberias] in a work that was still extant in the 9th century made no reference to the man. Some here have liked to contend that the lost works of Justus might have been concerned with Jesus but without evidence that remains speculation on their part.

                The short answer to all this is that in his contemporary setting this man, a peasant Jewish rebel executed for sedition by the governor of Judaea, was absolutely no importance.

                "It ain't necessarily so
                The things that you're liable
                To read in the Bible
                It ain't necessarily so
                ."

                Sportin' Life
                Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                Comment

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