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Embodied historiography

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Abstract

This paper argues that although scholars recognize the use of rhetorical devices in historiography, they overlook a deeper connection that has the potential to enrich our understanding of the historians&#8217; art and their potential impact on their audiences. Evaluating Latin narrative structured by embodied and extended metaphor, the author considers the rhetorical device of enargeia and evaluates its definition and use in terms of mental simulation. Exploring the possible role of embodied linguistic processing in the writing and reception of narrated experience, the author finds that historiography displays a narrative strategy centered on eliciting sensorimotor activity, and suggests that the narrative of Tacitus&#8217; <i>Annales</i> &#8220;works&#8221; persuasively and affectively by exploiting this narrative strategy to create specific models for reasoning about historical events.

References

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