Brill’s New Pauly

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(1,998 words)

(Lat. figura; Greek σχῆμα/schêma; French figure).

[German version]

A. Overview

Figures are formal phenomena of language beyond the grammatical primary structure. In rhetoric they are treated in the context of  elocutio under the category ornatus (decoration) and are mostly defined as deviations from normal language usage; if they are few in number, it is considered as paucity of expression (Quint. Inst. 9,…

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Walde, Christine (Basle), “Figures”, 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 19 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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