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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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Tomas Hägg

author of the Greek novel Aithiopika (Ethiopian Story), is known chiefly through this novel and its last words which read: “Such is the conclusion of the book Aithiopika concerning Theagenes and Chariclea written by a Phoenician from Emesa in western Syria modern Homs a descendant of Helius the Sun god the son of Theodosius Heliodorus The classical Greek language and bookish style show that Heliodorus had received a solid Greek education It is reported in Byzantine sources that he wrote the novel in his youth before later in life becoming Christian bishop of Trikka modern Trikkala in Thessaly in Greece presumably under the reign of Emperor Theodosius I r 379 395 If we take the novel s ending at face value Heliodorus moved from a hereditary position in the sun cult for which Emesa was famous to becoming a Christian priest and from Syria to Greece The novel itself ...

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Suʾda  

Allen J. Fromherz

semi-historical Berber princess, was a main character in the Sira al Hilaliyya, the epic saga of the great Arab migration into North Africa in the eleventh century. Coming from the drought-stricken Arabian Peninsula and known for their warrior prowess on camelback, these Hilali Arabs were sent to Tunisia as a punishment for the Berbers breaking away from the Fatimid Caliphate in Cairo. One of the great classics of the Sira al Hilaliyya is a poignant portrait of the clash of two cultures, Berber and Arab, even as it insists on moments of reconciliation and the possibilities of peace through the theme of love transcending duty to one’s family, tribe, and people. At times Berber characters, especially women such as Suʾda were portrayed as even more noble than the Arab heroes themselves. Most closely analogous to the Dido character in the Roman epic The Aeneid Suʾda was the ...

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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 ...