Visual iconicity in Latin poetry

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This paper aims to assess the role of visual iconicity in Latin poetry. Even though major Latin poems include, indeed, a good deal of verses that succeed in recreating mimetically the subject matter by exploiting the potential of word ordering &#8211; a good case in point is Aen. IV 165 <i>speluncam Dido dux et Troianus eandem</i>, where the word order enables the reader to visualize Dido and Aeneas inside the cave &#8211; to date visual iconicity has not attracted very much attention from classical scholars. By singling out the major patterns of visual iconicity in Latin poetry, this paper will make a case for its relevance to literary history. It will reinforce, through textual evidence, the non-arbitrariness of the iconic interpretation applied to classical texts.


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