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The Captor's Image – Greek Culture in Roman Ecphrasis - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Captor's Image: Greek Culture in Roman Ecphrasis

Basil Dufallo


An influential view of ecphrasis (the literary description of art objects) treats it primarily as a way for authors to write about their own texts, and even to insist upon the aesthetic dominance of the literary text over the visual image. This book argues for the inadequacy of this view in the case of ancient Rome, and the need to see Roman ecphrasis, with its prevalent focus on Hellenic images, as a site of subtle, ongoing competition between Greek and Roman cultures. Through close readings of ecphrases in a wide range of Latin authors—including Plautus, Terence, Catullus, Horace, Vergil, Pr ... More

Keywords: ancient novel, Roman comedy, cultural competition, cultural hybridity, ecphrasis, epic, patronage, philhellenism, satire

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199735877
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735877.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Basil Dufallo, author
University of Michigan