Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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(654 words)


This article covers the rhetorical term ‘chiasm’ (alternately ‘chiasmus’), which describes an inverted parallel structure, i. e., A-B-B-A, where these letters stand for words, ideas, or grammatical structures. This article also details the term’s etymology and history (said to be used first by the fourth century Attic orator Isocrates), including examples in Greek prose, as well as a discussion of the related (and seemingly more ancient) rhetorical device known as ‘chiastic structure’.

The term ‘chiasm’, alternately ‘chiasm…

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Valerie Hannon Smitherman, “Chiasm”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis. Consulted online on 26 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_SIM_00000425>
First published online: 2013

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