Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Enargeia, Living Presence and Persuasion in Roman Rhetoric, Literature, Visual Art and Theatre

Subproject of "Art, Agency, and Living Presence in Early Modern Italy".

2005 - 2008
Caroline van Eck
NWO Vici NWO Vici

This research starts  from the concept of enargeiaor vividness, which is discussed as persuasive technique in the handbooks on poetics and rhetoric. Making use of such techniques as metaphor and description, the poet or orator was urged to create such a vivid presence for his subject that his audience almost believed they could see it. This concept offers an ideal starting point to study how visuality was conceptualised in antique texts on rhetoric and literature, but also in philosophy, the visual arts and in the theatre. It makes it possible to examine why and how plastic, mental and verbal images were considered the most effective means of communication and persuasion.

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