an extended and detailed literary description of any object, real or imaginary. ‘There are ekphraseis of faces and objects and places and ages and many other things’ (Hermogenes Προγυμνάσματα 10; cf. Dionysius Halicarnassensis Ars rhetorica 10. 17, Lucian, Quomodo historia conscribenda sit 20, Apthonius, Progymnasmata 12). The rhetoricians thus systematized into a rhetorical exercise (progymnasma) a poetic technique stretching from the description of the shield of Achilles in the Iliad to that of Hagia Sophia by Paulus Silentiarius. Most were of works of art. Ekphraseis was a work by Callistratus (5), and Eikones was the title of works by Philostratus (see Philostrati), Lucian, and others.
P. Friedländer, Johannes von Gaza und Paulus Silentiarius (1912);Find this resource:
D. Fowler, Journal of Roman Studies 1991, 25ff.;Find this resource:
J. A. W. Heffernan, The Museum of Words: The Poetics of Ekphrasis from Homer to Ashbery (1993).Find this resource: