The Stylistic Category of Clarity (Σαφήνεια, Explanatio, Perspicuitas, Claritas) in the Eyes of Greek and Roman Writers
Keywords:clarity, perspicuity, stylistic category, literary aesthetics, ancient poetics, artistic style, stylistic decorum, ancient rhetoric
Stylistic Category of Clarity (Σαφήνεια, Explanatio, Perspicuitas, Claritas) in the Eyes of Greek and Roman Writers
The concept of clarity and the closely related idea of colour were of great importance not only for the formulation of classical ideas connected with the theory of beaux arts, but also for the creation of concepts related to the ancient academic and philosophical discourse, mainly via the use of light/shadow/colour metaphors to express and envisage the problems discussed. These were of special importance for what is commonly referred to as ancient literary aesthetics, which is the product of ideas originating in classical philosophical literary theory, practice and critique. It is to this very area of aesthetic and literary meanings of clarity that I would like to devote the present paper. However, the bulk of preserved testimonies, both direct (i.e. directly and normatively formulated) and indirect (i.e. resulting from the immanent poetics of the work), as well as the fact that they are multi-layered, compel me to narrow my analysis to the concept of clarity (σαφήνεια, claritas) as a stylistic category in ancient rhetoric and poetics, based exclusively on concepts expressed by classical Greek and Latin authors.
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