Mental Pictures in a Rustic Setting: Ekphrasis in Virgil's Georgics
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For the better part of the last century, the literary and rhetorical term ekphrasis has been applied primarily to poetic descriptions of art and architecture. Best known for its application to such famous examples as the shield of Achilles (Iliad 18) or the relief sculptures of the Trojan War within the temple of Juno in Carthage (Aeneid 1), ekphrasis has a much wider scope of application than has been previously supposed. I intend to analyze descriptive passages in Virgil’s Georgics with a view to supporting a broader definition of ekphrasis while also evaluating the advantages and disadvantages involved with the methodology of categorizing such passages.