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Article expanded to include a detailed survey of “ekphrasis” in Greek literature. Bibliography updated to incorporate recent scholarship.

Updated on 27 July 2017. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 18 January 2019

Summary and Keywords

Ekphrasis refers to the literary and rhetorical trope of summoning up—through words—an impression of a visual stimulus, object, or scene. As critical trope, the word ekphrasis (ἔκφρασις) is attested from the first century ce onwards: it is discussed in the Imperial Greek Progymnasmata, where it is defined as a “descriptive speech which brings the subject shown before the eyes with visual vividness.”

Keywords: Ekphrasis (ecphrasis), visual-verbal relations, rhetoric, Progymnasmata, enargeia, vividness, Homeric shield of Achilles

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