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Heliodoros's "Sources": Intertextuality, Paternity, and the Nile River in the "Aithiopika"

David F. Elmer
Transactions of the American Philological Association (1974-)
Vol. 138, No. 2 (Autumn, 2008), pp. 411-450
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40212091
Page Count: 40
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Heliodoros's "Sources": Intertextuality, Paternity, and the Nile River in the "Aithiopika"
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Abstract

Kharikleia, the heroine of Heliodoros's Aithiopikay shares with the novel a tripartite identity; she is a metaphor for the incorporation of multiple literary models into a single text. Heliodoros sets up the Nile river as a figure for the heterogeneity of both heroine and book. The implication is that the discovery of the source of the Nile will mean the discovery of a single, true identity. Ultimately, however, the figure of the Nile casts doubt on whether genealogy, as the search for a point of origin, is a useful way of understanding the nature of hybrid entities such as Kharikleia and her text.

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