Ekphrasis in Latin Epic

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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1. Introduction: recent ways of looking at ekphrasis

Lausberg’s standard handbook of literary rhetoric defines ekphrasis as “the detailed description of a person or an object”. The entry cross-references the Latin term evidentia, “the vividly detailed depiction of a broadly conceived whole object through the enumeration of (real or invented) observable details” (Lausberg 1998: §810, §1133). Bartsch and Elsner (2007: i) summarize the multifarious power of this figure with admirable clarity:

Lausberg’s standard handbook of literary rhetoric defines ekphrasis as “the detailed description of a person or an object”. The entry cross-references the Latin term

evidentia

, “the vividly detailed depiction of a broadly conceived whole object through the enumeration of (real or…

3756 words

Citation: Bernstein, Neil. "Ekphrasis in Latin Epic". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 July 2020 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=19589, accessed 14 July 2024.]

19589 Ekphrasis in Latin Epic 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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