Technical Ekphrasis in Greek and Roman Science and Literature: The Written Machine between Alexandria and Rome

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9781107077300: Technical Ekphrasis in Greek and Roman Science and Literature: The Written Machine between Alexandria and Rome
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Ekphrasis is familiar as a rhetorical tool for inducing enargeia, the vivid sense that a reader or listener is actually in the presence of the objects described. This book focuses on the ekphrastic techniques used in ancient Greek and Roman literature to describe technological artifacts. Since the literary discourse on technology extended beyond technical texts, this book explores 'technical ekphrasis' in a wide range of genres, including history, poetry, and philosophy as well as mechanical, scientific, and mathematical works. Technical authors like Philo of Byzantium, Vitruvius, Hero of Alexandria, and Claudius Ptolemy are put into dialogue with close contemporaries in other genres, like Diodorus Siculus, Cicero, Ovid, and Aelius Theon. The treatment of 'technical ekphrasis' here covers the techniques of description, the interaction of verbal and visual elements, the role of instructions, and the balance between describing the artifact's material qualities and the other bodies of knowledge it evokes.

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How does an ancient historian describing a catapult at war differ from an ancient engineer writing a guide for building them? This book puts ancient technical texts into dialogue with broader fields of contemporary literature, analyzing the rhetorical techniques that gave technological artifacts a vivid virtual presence for the reader.

About the Author:

Courtney Roby is Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics at Cornell University. Her research interests include the literary techniques used in scientific and technical texts from the ancient Mediterranean, the interaction of verbal and visual elements in those texts, and the role of the imagination in ancient scientific discourse.

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Book Description CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Ekphrasis is familiar as a rhetorical tool for inducing enargeia, the vivid sense that a reader or listener is actually in the presence of the objects described. This book focuses on the ekphrastic techniques used in ancient Greek and Roman literature to describe technological artifacts. Since the literary discourse on technology extended beyond technical texts, this book explores technical ekphrasis in a wide range of genres, including history, poetry, and philosophy as well as mechanical, scientific, and mathematical works. Technical authors like Philo of Byzantium, Vitruvius, Hero of Alexandria, and Claudius Ptolemy are put into dialogue with close contemporaries in other genres, like Diodorus Siculus, Cicero, Ovid, and Aelius Theon. The treatment of technical ekphrasis here covers the techniques of description, the interaction of verbal and visual elements, the role of instructions, and the balance between describing the artifact s material qualities and the other bodies of knowledge it evokes. Seller Inventory # AAA9781107077300

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