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Heliodorus of Emesa[1] (Greek: Ἡλιόδωρος ὁ Ἐμεσηνός) was a Greek writer for whom two ranges of dates are suggested, either about the 250s AD or in the aftermath of Julian's rule, that is shortly after 363.[2] Heliodorus of Emesa is known for the ancient Greek novel or romance called the Aethiopica (Greek: Αἰθιοπικά) (the Ethiopian Story) or sometimes "Theagenes and Chariclea" (Greek: Θεαγένης και Χαρίκλεια).

According to his own statement, his father's name was Theodosius and he belonged to a family of priests of the sun. Socrates Scholasticus (5th century AD) identifies the author of Aethiopica with a certain Heliodorus, bishop of Trikka, but the name Heliodorus was a common one. Nicephorus Callistus (14th century) expands this story, relating that the work was written in the early years of this bishop before he became a Christian and that, when forced either to disown it or resign his bishopric, he preferred resignation. Most scholars reject this identification.[3]

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Other ancient Greek novelists:

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  1. ^ From Emesa, Syria.
  2. ^ Robin Lane Fox, Pagans and Christians, 1989, p. 137.
  3. ^ Holzberg, Niklas. The Ancient Novel. 1995. p. 78; Bowersock, Glanwill W. The Aethiopica of Heliodorus and the Historia Augusta. In: Historiae Augustae Colloquia n.s. 2, Colloquium Genevense 1991. p. 43. In Historiae Augustae Colloquium Genevense, 1991; Wright, F.A. Introduction to Aethiopica., n.d.; Glenn Most, "Allegory and narrative in Heliodorus," in Simon Swain, Stephen Harrison, Jas Elsner (eds.), Severan Culture (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007).

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