Brill’s New Pauly

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(337 words)

[German version]

('Lack of clarity' sc. of expression); corresponds with the Greek noun σκότος (skótos, 'darkness') with the adjective σκοτεινός (skoteinós); ἀσάφεια (asápheia, 'unclearness').

Obscuritas is a central term in ancient rhetorical and literary-aesthetic discussions. For the Greeks, obscuritas has a positive connotation in the context of solemn inspirational mantic art and oracles in particular, but as a quality of the language of poetry , it is a matter of controversy. In the Frogs of Aristophanes, the archaic-obscure Aeschylus and the modern-perspicuous …

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Walde, Christine (Basle), “Obscuritas”, 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 01 December 2020 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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