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date: 02 December 2022



  • John Wight Duff
  •  and M. Winterbottom


Color (Gk. chrōma), ‘colour’ was used generally of cast or complexion of style. But in *declamation it took on a specialized sense of the ‘gloss’ put on a case argued in a controversia, usually serving to palliate an offence. It is one of the main rubrics of L. *Annaeus Seneca (1)'s collection, which gives many examples. Colours could be far-fetched (Controv. 1. 6. 9) or plain silly (9. 4. 22). In the case of the virgin who survived being thrown for her sins from the Tarpeian rock, *Iunius Otho suggested that ‘she prepared for her punishment and practised falling from the time when she began her offence’ (ibid. 1. 3. 11). The same Otho was author of four books of colours, now lost. In Greek theory, chrōma was equivalent to metathesis aitias, ‘shift of cause’. See rhetoric, latin.


  • Latin Literature

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