• The dedicatory epistle in an historical perspective: a brief overview

    Author(s):
    Demmy Verbeke (see profile)
    Date:
    2011
    Subject(s):
    Book history
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/wf51-3n44
    Abstract:
    This communication offers a brief history of the dedicatory epistle, i.e. the public act by which a book is dedicated, openly and permanently, to a specific person or group. The origin is traced to Graeco-Roman Antiquity, where we find the first dedicatory epistles in the work of Archimedes. The practice became well established by Late Antiquity, and persisted without much change in either form or formulation during the Middle Ages. The heyday lies in the sixteenth century, but the practice slowly fell out of favour afterwards, until the traditional functions of the dedicatory epistle were absorbed by other preliminaries such as prefaces.
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    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 weeks ago
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