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A delightful look at the epic literary history of the short, poetic genre of the epigram From Nestor’s inscribed cup to tombstones, bathroom walls, and Twitter tweets, the ability to express oneself concisely and elegantly, continues to be an important part of literary history unlike any other. This book examines the entire history of the epigram, from its beginnings as a purely epigraphic phenomenon in the Greek world, where it moved from being just a note attached to physical objects to an actual literary form of expression, to its zenith in late 1st century Rome, and further through a period of stagnation up to its last blooming, just before the beginning of the Dark Ages. A Companion to Ancient Epigram offers the first ever full-scale treatment of the genre from a broad international perspective. The book is divided into six parts, the first of which covers certain typical characteristics of the genre, examines aspects that are central to our understanding of epigram, and discusses its relation to other literary genres. The subsequent four parts present a diachronic history of epigram, from archaic Greece, Hellenistic Greece, and Latin and Greek epigrams at Rome, all the way up to late antiquity, with a concluding section looking at the heritage of ancient epigram from the Middle Ages up to modern times. Provides a comprehensive overview of the history of the epigram The first single-volume book to examine the entire history of the genre Scholarly interest in Greek and Roman epigram has steadily increased over the past fifty years Looks at not only the origins of the epigram but at the later literary tradition A Companion to Ancient Epigram will be of great interest to scholars and students of literature, world literature, and ancient and general history. It will also be an excellent addition to the shelf of any public and university library.