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Ancient LettersClassical and Late Antique Epistolography$
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Ruth Morello and A. D. Morrison

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199203956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199203956.001.0001

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Back to Fronto: Doctor and Patient in his Correspondence with an Emperor *

Back to Fronto: Doctor and Patient in his Correspondence with an Emperor *

(p.235) 10 Back to Fronto: Doctor and Patient in his Correspondence with an Emperor*
Ancient Letters

Annelise Freisenbruch

Oxford University Press

This chapter re-evaluates Fronto's letters within the traditions of epistolary scholarship and against the backdrop of a surge of interest in the epistolarity of the letter collections of antiquity. Because Fronto has a valuable role to play in the call for a reassessment of the Roman letter-writing voice and identity, his correspondence with his pupil, emperor-in-the-making Marcus Aurelius, is examined. The recurring narrative of sickness and health that features in over eighty of the extant letters between Fronto and Marcus Aurelius is examined, with a particular emphasis on the ailments of the former. This chapter explores the pressing question of whether Fronto and Marcus Aurelius' letters should be regarded as simply reflecting the trend of their age to open up about one's state of health, or whether there is something more pointed, more calculated about such an epistolary narrative.

Keywords:   Fronto, Marcus Aurelius, ancient letters, sickness and health, Roman letter-writing voice, epistolarity

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