Abbreviating, excerpting and epitomising is a complex intellectual process. Throughout antiquity, both producers and users of texts relied on abridgements and compilations to manage the store of knowledge. Different formats – like epitome, excerpt, florilegium, anthology, gnomologion – flourished from the classical period onward.
This collection looks at the changing socioliterary conditions that created a need for these accessible formats, and investigates the literary and learning mechanisms that were deployed to create condensed texts, across generic and thematic boundaries.
In 26 studies, these processes are described and analysed in different fields of literature and specialist knowledge.
Gregor Vogt-Spira, Athenaeum 104, 2016/1