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[German version]

In literary theory a palindrome, corresponding to παλίνδρομος (palíndromos, 'running backwards'), denotes a sequence of letters - a word, sentence or verse (versus supinus, recurrens; [2. 278f.] on Mart. 2,86,1-2; cf. Sid. Epist. 9,14,4-6) - that can also be read backwards with the same or a different sense, occasionally resulting also in the same or a different verse.

A palindrome in the strict sense corresponds to itself mirror-wise from the middle outwards. Thus in Late Antiquity 'crab verse' (καρκίνος/karkínos or καρκινωτόν/karkinōtón) was a familiar for…

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Gärtner, Hans Armin (Heidelberg), “Palindrome”, 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 17 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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