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Works of art in ancient Greek novels. / Nicolo D'Alconzo
Swansea University Author: Nicolo D'Alconzo
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This thesis is a study on the use of works of art in Greek novels, based on the idea that the novelists understood it as one of the main features of their job. I recognise a coherent pattern whereby works of art are closely connected to protagonists and plot, which started already with first-century...
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This thesis is a study on the use of works of art in Greek novels, based on the idea that the novelists understood it as one of the main features of their job. I recognise a coherent pattern whereby works of art are closely connected to protagonists and plot, which started already with first-century novels and continued throughout. Chapter One explores rhetorical theory of ekphrasis in order to provide technical information on it as well as to reassess the notion that descriptions of paintings in novels were entirely dependent on rhetoric. Chapter Two starts the analysis of the feature of works of art in the genre by examining Chariton and Xenophon of Ephesus, and by making some considerations on the Ninus romance as well. It shows that works of had a relevant role before the introduction of ekphrasis of paintings, and also that novelists showed a tendency to employ, and innovate on, the ideas of their predecessors. Through close textual analysis of the relevant passages. Chapter Three details how Achilles Tatius composed the ekphraseis of paintings from literary as well as figurative models, and shows how he explored their potential by experimenting on the connection between description and narration. In an appendix, it also examines a possible connection between Achilles Tatius and Lucian. I see Achilles Tatius' descriptions as a prelude to the reflection on the nature of ekphrasis of paintings that can be found in Longus, mostly in the prologue of his novel. Chapter Four is dedicated to this, and connects it to the development of ekphrasis of paintings as an autonomous genre in the third century. Finally, Chapter Five considers Heliodorus as the recipient of this tradition, by looking closely at how he used the story of the birth of his heroine, who is born from a painting, to talk about the birth of his novel. The novelists became progressively aware that art was the expedient through which they could talk about the nature of their work.
Classical literature.;Art history.
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences