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Michele Valerie Ronnick

Heliodorus, a.k.a. Heliodorus of Emesa in Syria, was a writer of Greek fiction. His novel, the Aethiopica, is the oldest of the extant Greek romances. The title is derived from the opening and closing scenes of the story, which takes place in the Ethiopian kingdom of Meroe. Little is known about Heliodorus’s personal life, but his writing shows us that he was steeped in the literature of his day and thoroughly acquainted with Greek authors, including Homer and Euripides. According to his own words, his father's name was Theodosius, he was Phoenician, and he belonged to what he called “the race of the sun.”

Three ecclesiastical historians, Socrates of Constaninople, Salminius Hermias Sozomenus from the fifth century c.e., and Nicephorus Callistus Xanthopoulos from the fourteenth century, report that the author of the Aethiopica was once bishop of the Thessalian city Tricca These sources which are today viewed skeptically ...

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Eric Gardner

writer and educator, was born Frank Johnson Webb in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He may have been the son of Frank Webb, a china packer and community activist; his mother's name is not known. Little is known of Webb's life prior to his marriage to Mary Webb, whose maiden name is unknown, in 1845. Webb apparently lived on the fringes of Philadelphia's black elite, and he seems to have been related to the Forten family by marriage.

Webb and his wife worked in clothing-related trades, and he participated in the Banneker Institute, an African American literary and debating society. When their business failed around 1854, the Webbs attempted to move to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Webb was denied passage because of his race, and this event was reported in several abolitionist newspapers.

In the meantime Mary Webb began giving dramatic readings. Harriet Beecher Stowe noticed her and wrote ...