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The Colors of the «Aeneid»


Robert Edgeworth

In composing his masterpiece, the Aeneid, Vergil used colors as none of his predecessors had done. In place of the largely formulaic and functional employment of color, Vergil wove a complex network of chromatic allusions, linking episode to episode, developing a set of color themes or «chords» which strongly influence the reader's response to key passages in the epic. This study further argues that Vergil anticipated a favorite device of modern film makers by «shooting» certain sections of the poem in color and others in black and white. Long appreciated for its intellectual and ethical dimensions, the Aeneid must also be seen as a masterful appeal to the senses.
Contents: Color in Classical Literature - Color in the Aeneid - Vergil as Colorist.