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(3,503 words)

(ἔκφρασις; ékphrasis)

I. Literature

A. Greek

[German version]

1. Definition

In the rhetorical terminology of the Imperial period, ekphrasis is a description which aims at vividness (ἐνάργεια, enárgeia) (thus in Rhet. Her., Theon, Hermogenes, Aphthonius, etc.), that is, a description which tries to bring its object clearly in front of the readers' eyes: persons, things, situations, cities, seasons, celebrations, etc. (cf. [8; 17]). The object was not specified until Nicolaus…

Cite this page
Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence), Reitz, Christiane (Rostock) and Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike (Potsdam), “Ekphrasis”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 30 May 2020 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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