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The proverbs and their collections

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Chapter Summary

In the presentation of the corpus, most of the demotic and Greek collections investigated contain claims for their authorship. These claims involve one or more references to a single learned man who is supposed to be the author of the proverbs. However, almost all scholars who have studied these collections have expressed their strong belief that these claims are pseudepigraphic. With the case of authorship, references to an audience in the demotic and Greek collections seem to function as literary devices. Directly linked to the identity of an audience is the purpose of the demotic and Greek collections. All the demotic and Greek collections involve the use of organizational devices that group together proverbs on the basis of various criteria. The authorship, audience, and purpose mentioned in the frames of demotic collections revolve around the Egyptian literary topos of a father instructing his son.

Keywords: authorship; demotic collections; Greek collections; proverbs



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