Ekphrasis (214 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

Litencyc Editors (Independent Scholar - Europe)
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The critical term Ekphrasis, derived from the Greek ecphrasis meaning description, originates with Greek Dionysius of Halicanarssus who taught rhetoric in Rome from 30 to 8 BCE and was a leading exponent of aesthetic and critical theory. Ekphrasis was part of the training of students to make such oral descriptions as seem to make subjects vividly present to the hearer. Appropriate subjects included people, actions, seasons, places and events. Classical Greek literature had also included moments where the narrator vividly evoked the perception of a work of art, as when Homer describes the shield of Achilles in the Iliad, Book 18. l. 483-608, and Ovid (43 BCE-17 CE), a contemporary of Dionysius, …

Citation: Editors, Litencyc. "Ekphrasis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 May 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1669, accessed 19 June 2021.]

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