Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

Get access

Allegory
(6,500 words)

Allegory: in Greek Ἀλληγορία signifies “saying” (ἀγορεύειν) some things but meaning others (ἄλλα: but).

This definition of allegory was given in the early imperial age by Heraclitus the grammarian, or rhetor, in his Homeric Allegories (5), an allegorical interpretation of the Homeric poems. This definition covers mainly the first of the two principal meanings of allegory:

1.  as a compositional method – writing an allegorical text, in which the literal level differs from its symbolic meaning(s) – and

2.  as the allegorical…

Cite this page
Ramelli, Ilaria L.E., “Allegory”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 25 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2589-7993_EECO_SIM_00000113>
First published online: 2020



▲   Back to top   ▲