Greek roman (more rarely, “antique romance”) is a genre of Greek and Roman literature of the first and fourth centuries AD. e.
The Greek writers themselves called their “novels” “acts”, “stories” or “books”. The term " novel " in relation to these works was first applied by Pierre-Daniel Yue in 1670 .
“Figuratively speaking, one can say that already the transition from the Iliad to the Odyssey (and likewise from the Mahabharata to the Ramayana ) is the first step towards the novel. However, in the ancient world, the romanization process of the heroic epic did not go far, and the role of the heroic epic in the real genesis of the novel was small, although some echoes of the Odyssey structure are felt in the novel. Hellenistic love poetry, elegiac and idyllic , with their strong lyrical-epic element, new comedy , legends and myths, including oriental pseudo-historical plots, took part in the formation of the Greek novel, which arose in the Hellenistic period and reached its peak in Roman times. All of these sources were extensively processed with extensive use of rhetorical techniques even before the appearance of a second sophistry . As a model of "passions" heroes are used not so much heroic myths as myths about dying and resurrection heroes acting as passive victims (hence, by the way, such popular motifs of the novel as sacrificing a heroine and her chastity necessary for ritual sacrifice , imaginary death, etc.). " 
The five surviving Greek novels make up the canon:
- " A Tale of the Love of Khere and Kalliroya " by Khariton of Aphrodisias (II century)
- " The Tale of Gabrokom and Antia " by Xenophon of Ephesus (II century)
- " Leucippus and Clito-font " by Achilles Taty (II century)
- " Daphnis and Chloe " Long (II century)
- " Ethiopic " Heliodor (III — IV century)
In addition, there is one non-canonical Greek novel, the Klimentins (III century), a work of ancient Christian literature on a typical subject of separation and family union.
The anonymous Apollonius of Tyr is preserved in a Latin translation, which is why it gained immense popularity and influence in the Middle Ages (as opposed to untranslated Greek novels).
Two novels are preserved in the retelling:
- " Babylon " Iamblichus (II century)
- " Incredible Adventures on the Other Side of Thule " by Anthony Diogenes (II century)
Since the end of the 19th century, about a dozen fragments were found on papyrus belonging to known and unknown novels in different parts of Egypt , including excerpts from the so-called “ Novel on Nina ” (I century BC), about Princess Hione (I— II centuries AD.), About Herpillides (beginning of II century AD.), About Metiocho and Parthenope and fragments about Calligon (II century AD.). Of particular importance are the fragments of the “Phoenician story” by Lollian, the novels about Iolaus, Davlis and Tinufis: in their subject matter, they are close not to the Greek “love” novel, but to the Roman “satirical”.
There are very few things in common with the canonical Greek novel that have pseudo-historical and “hagiographic” narratives: “ The Story of Alexander the Great ” (II — I century BC), “ The Story of the Destruction of Troy ” by Dareth , “The Diary of the Trojan War ” by Diktis and “ Life Apollonia of Tyana " Philostratus .
Latin works have a different genre nature  , which are also called novels:
- " Metamorphosis " Apulea
- " Satirikon " Petronius (partially preserved)
All of these Greek and Latin works are in no way varieties of a single “genre,” or even genetically related genres. In fact, this is a heterogeneous set, conditionally united under one name only in a prospective relation, due to the fact that they all had a meaning (different and at different times) for the genesis of the novel of the Middle Ages and the New Age.
According to the radical theory of Olga Freudenberg, the genre of the Greek novel includes the gospels and early lives .  Later, Northrop Fry  and Frank Kermode  arrived at similar conclusions.
The earliest novels (about Nina, about Alexander) are of a pseudo-historical nature and written with an eye to the didactic tradition of Xenophon's “ Cyropedia ”. Based on this, it was often assumed that the evolution of the Greek novel proceeded from the narratives of the ideal monarch towards the gradual strengthening of the love line and the crowding out of the historical component.
However, the version of the novel about Alexander known to us was created in the III century, and the entertaining works of Daret and Diktis appeared even later. Therefore, according to another hypothesis, after the novel about Nina (in which the historical and love lines are balanced) the genre was divided into two parallel branches, an adventure-loving and an adventure-historical.
Exploring the Greek Novel
The first scientific study of the origins of the Greek novel was the work of Erwin Rode “Der griechische Roman und seine Vorläufer” (1876) - according to Olga Freudenberg ’s scathing remark, “The history of studying the Greek novel is very easy: Erwin Rode started it and finished it.”  Nevertheless, papyrus finds forced to revise both the dating of individual novels and the chronology of the genre as a whole. The thesis of Rode about the origin of the novel in the era of the second sophistry turned out to be completely untenable.
- Meletinsky, E., Introduction to the historical poetics of the epos and novel, M., 1986.
- Meletinsky, E. Introduction to the historical poetics of the epos and novel. M., 1986:
“In addition to a whole series of Greek romance novels in high style from the ancient era, two more works in Latin of another kind have come down to us, which, however, are also called novels in scientific literature. It is about the "Satyricon" ("Satura") of Petronius and the Golden Ass ("Metamorphoses") of Apuleius. In reality, the genre nature of these works is rather complicated and uncertain, but the perspective of movement towards the novel, and the novel in its domestic, satirical, “low” form, certainly exists and is of fundamental interest, especially in light of the later stages of the history of the European novel (the transition from knightly novels to the cunning). "
- Freidenberg O. M. The Gospel is a type of Greek novel. - Atheist. 1930. No. 59, December.
- N. Frye, The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance (1976).
- F. Kermode, The Genesis of Secrecy: On the Interpretation of Narrative (1979).
- O. M. Freudenberg: "Introduction to the Greek novel . " Archive O. M. Freudenberg
- Polyakova S. About the antique novel
- Ilyushechkin V. REFLECTION OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY IN ANTIQUE ROMANS // Culture of Ancient Rome. T. 2. M., 1985
- Antique novel. Sb.staty. M., 1969.
- Olga Freudenberg . < Introduction to the Greek novel > // Dialogue. Carnival. Chronotope, 1995, № 4
- Olga Freudenberg. The poetics of the plot and genre . M., 1997. Greek novel, p. 245-254.
- Bakhtin M. M. Epic and the novel
- Meletinsky EM. Introduction to the historical poetics of the epos and the novel. M., 1986.
- Veselovsky A. N. Selected articles. Leningrad, 1939.
- Yue P.-D. A treatise on the emergence of novels / Trans. EP Grechanaya // Literary manifestos of Western European classicists. M., 1980.