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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2018

Why doesn’t Habrocomes run away from Aegialeus and his Mummified Wife?: Horror and the Ancient Novel

Edmund P. Cueva

Abstract

Scholarship on the ancient novel does not engage what the novelists, or, for that matter, other ancient authors, considered or thought of as ‘horror’. This essay examines novel passages that may be said to stir horror in the reader and relies on modern horror theory to determine if the ancients wrote what we would call ‘horror’. For example, in Xenophon 5,1-2 Habrocomes does not react with disgust/revulsion when introduced to the mummified body of Thelxinoe, he does not run away or show any discomfort with what is unmistakably a weird state of necrophilia. Why do these circumstances not horrify Habrocomes? Did they elicit horror in the ancient reader? Do they horrify the modern reader?

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston