Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 04 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

By examining variations in scale and techniques of expansion and contraction in Thucydides’ narrative, the essay identifies a mimetic principle in his writing—that the presentation of an episode in the work should normally be proportionate to its significance. Significance, however, is not measured by purely military factors. In fact, expansion is often an indicator of intense suffering, pathos. Among the techniques of expansion and compression discussed are allusions, superlatives, figures of speech (such as litotes), direct and indirect discourse, day-by-day narrative, enargeia (vividness) and thematic repetition (“reprise”). Many of these techniques, although not all, were also discussed among the ancient rhetoricians, who were alert to their emotional power.

Keywords: mimesis, figures of speech, pathos, Mycalessus, quarries of Syracuse, enargeia, vividness, rhetoric, day-by-day narrative, narratology

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.