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Stylistic devices

By Bitmap, in 'Grammar Tips And Examples', Apr 30, 2019.

  1. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    In this thread, I have compiled a list of stylistic devices with a special focus on Latin. I did so because a lot of resources you find on the internet leave a lot to be desired, and hardly anywhere are there any Latin examples to be found. In my examples, I tried to focus on classical sources like Caesar and Cicero for prose and Vergil, Horace, Ovid and (by some extension) Catullus for poetry, even though I have included other examples as well.

    The devices are sorted in 4 categories: tropes, sound-related schemes, word-related schemes, sentence-related schemes.

    versibus antiquis stat res humana metrisque,
    rhetoricaque fluit priscus ab arte decor.
    "unde," rogas, "veteris venit haec facundia linguae?
    unde venit iuveni mollis in aure sonus?"
    "Caesar," ais, "Cicero, Maro, Flaccus, Naso, Catullus:
    sermo tam validus, tam gravis, unde venit?"
    paucula collegi, quae tanta ingentia tractent.
    haec lege: collectis doctior ito meis!

    Dantius ingenii plenus complevit abunde
    exemplis tabulam notitiisque novis.
    gratia sit vobis, qui me iuvistis, amici!
    bis refero grates! gratia habenda ter est!
    maxima at assiduae, quae iterumque iterumque legebas
    consiliisque aderas, gratia, Sarah, tibi est!

    A. Tropes

    Adynaton (ἀδύνατον "impossible) - the use of an impossible condition or premise for something to indicate that it will never happen.

    Namque prius siccis phocae pascentur in arvis
    vestitusque freto vivet leo, dulcia mella
    sudabunt taxi, confusis legibus anni
    messem tristis hiems, aestas tractabit olivam,
    ante dabit flores autumnus, ver dabit uvas,
    quam taceat, Meliboee, tuas mea fistula laudes. (Nem. ecl. 1,75-80)

    Allegory (ἀλληγορία "veiled language") - basically an accumulation of many metaphors to create an even denser verbal picture.
    • (...) nec tuas umquam ratis ad eos scopulos appulisses ad quos Sex. Titi adflictam navem et in quibus C. Deciani naufragium fortunarum videres. (Cic. Rab. perd. 25)
      • This does not literally refer to any nautic situation, but Cicero uses a lot of metaphors from sea travels to make his argument more vivid.
    Euphemism (εὐφημισμός "use of an auspicious word for an inauspicious one") - using a milder term for reasons of decorum or even superstition. Especially in relation to death or obscenity.
    • suae vitae durius consulere = "to take care of your life too roughly" = "to lay hand on yourself"
    • infelix Dido, verus mihi nuntius ergo / venerat exstinctam ferroque extrema secutam? (Verg. Aen. 6,456f.)
      • ferro extrema sequi = "to pursue the utmost with the sword" = "to commit suicide"
    • paelice laeva / uteris et Veneri servit amica manus. (Mar. 9,41f.)
    Hyperbole (ὑπερβολή "exaggeration") - an exaggeration that goes beyond the credible.
    • [Pompeius] plura bello gessit quam ceteri legerunt. (Cic. Manil. 25)
    pro duce Neritio docti mala nostra poetae
    scribite: Neritio nam mala plura tuli. (Ov. tris. 1,57f.) Neritius = Odysseus

    Irony (εἰρωνεία "dissimulation") - what is said is the opposite of what is meant.
    • Gallia vastatur; quae pax potest esse certior? (Cic. Phil. 8,5)
    Litotes (λιτότης "understatement") - a relatively high degree of something is expressed by negating the opposite.
    • non ignoro = "I know very well".
    • itaque feci non invitus ut prodessem multis rogatu tuo. (Cic. am. 1,4) - non invitus = libentissime.
    Metaphor (μεταφορά "transfer") - transfer of a word (or word group) into another (unrelated) sphere of meaning. It is different from a simile (q.v.) in that it has no expression of comparison like quasi, velut, sicut etc.
    • fulmina fortunae - "lightning bolts of fortune" meaning "great misfortune"
    ignoscant augusta mihi loca dique locorum!
    venit in hoc illa fulmen ab arce caput. (Ov. tris. 1,1,72f.)
    -> fulmen - Augustus gets compared to Iuppiter; fulmen stands for the punishment Ovid received from Augustus (he was sent to exile) and the misfortune by which Ovid was struck.
    • Love as military service:
      • militat omnis amans, et habet sua castra Cupido; / Attice, crede mihi, militat omnis amans. (Ov. am. 1,9,1f.)
      • principio, quod amare velis, reperire labora, / qui nova nunc primum miles in arma venis. (Ov. ars. 35f.)
    • gemino cum consule Magnus / ille tremor Ponti saevique repertor Hydaspis / et piratarum scopulus. (Petr. sat. 123)
      • Pompeius is depicted as the "quiver of the Black Sea", i.e. the downfall of Mithridates, and as a "rock" that causes the pirates to suffer shipwreck.
    Metonymy (μετωνυμία "change of name") - replacing a word or term with another one with which it has some relationship. So unlike a metaphor, you do not really leave the same sphere of meaning. I have a rather broad view of what a metonymy is. Some sources make a distinction between metonymy and what they call "synecdoche" or "pars pro toto", but I subsume all of that under the term of metonymy. There are a lot of different examples.

    Author instead of opus: Ciceronem saepe legimus. = "We often read a lot of Cicero's books"
    Deity instead of the abstract concept the deity is responsible for: Mars = "war"; Venus = "love, sexuality"; Musa, Apollo = "poetry"
    Organ of perception instead of perception: vereor ne vana surdis auribus cecinerim. (Liv. 40,8)
    Material instead of the product: ferrum = "iron" = "sword"
    Container instead of contents: "The kettle is boiling."
    Institution instead of person: "She phoned the hospital."
    Capital city instead of country: "The relationship between Paris and Berlin has improved."
    Region of origin instead of product: "That's a nice Bordeaux!"
    Singular instead of plural: Romani hostem superaverunt.
    Possession instead of owner: "The Porsche left without paying!"
    Result instead of action: "Win two weeks of vacation!"
    Pars pro toto: tecta, limen, penates = "house"; carina, puppis = "ship"; caput = "human"
    Totum pro parte: "Our school won the Latin tournament" - 'school' stands for a school team.
    Antonomasia: A proper name is replaced by a paraphrase that would usually be its apposition: divom pater atque hominum rex for Iuppiter (Verg. Aen. 1,65); dux Troianus for Aeneas (Verg. Aen. 4,124)

    Personification - introducing concrete things as well as abstract and collective terms as acting personae.
    • etenim, si mecum patria, quae mihi vita mea multo est carior, si cuncta Italia, si omnis res publica loquatur (...). (Cic. Cat. 1,11,27)
    Simile - similarly to a metaphor (q.v.), a word or a group of words are projected on another, unrelated sphere of meaning. However, unlike a metaphor, a simile uses expressions of comparison like quasi, ut, velut, sicut, tam ... quam ... etc.

    scilicet ut victus repetit gladiator harenam,
    et redit in tumidas naufraga puppis aquas.
    forsitan ut quondam Teuthrantia regna tenenti,
    sic mihi res eadem vulnus opemque feret,
    Musaque, quam movit, motam quoque leniet iram:
    exorant magnos carmina saepe deos. (Ov. tris. 2,19-22)

    tigris ut auditis diversa valle duorum
    exstimulata fame mugitibus armentorum
    nescit, utro potius ruat, et ruere ardet utroque,
    sic dubius Perseus, dextra laevane feratur,
    Molpea traiecti submovit vulnere cruris
    contentusque fuga est (...). (Ov. met. 5,164-169)

    B. Sound-Related Schemes

    Alliteration - repetition of identical initial consonant sounds in successive or closely associated syllables within a group of words.
    • O Tite, tute, Tati, tibi tanta, tyranne tulisti. (En. ann. 109)
    Assonance - a recurring resemblence of vowel sounds in the syllables of a sequence of words.

    o saepe mecum tempus in ultimum
    deducte Bruto militiae duce,
    quis te redonavit Quiritem
    dis patriis Italoque caelo,
    >>
    Pompei, meorum prime sodalium,
    cum quo morantem saepe diem mero
    fregi, coronatus nitentis
    malobathro Syrio capillos? (Hor. car. 2,7,1-8)

    ipse cava solans aegrum testudine amorem
    te, dulcis coniunx, te solo in litore secum,
    te veniente die, te decedente canebat. (Verg. georg. 4, 464-466)
    --> A reference to Orpheus singing about Eurydike.

    Homoioteleuton (ὁμοιοτέλευτον "ending alike") - the same final sound recurs in corresponding units ... basically the forerunner of rhyme.
    • [homo] sine re, sine fide, sine spe, sine sede. (Cic. Cael. 78)
    • quot caelum stellas, tot habet tua Roma puellas. (Ov. ars 1,59)
    • veni, vidi, vici. (Caesar)
    Onomatopoeia (ὀνοματοποιία "the making of names") - mirroring the meaning of a word or a phrase by the phonetic design of the expression.
    • A lot of word coinages are based on onomatopoeiae: ululare; cuculare; sibilare; murmur; susurrus.
    • quadripedante putrem sonitu quatit ungula campum. (Verg. Aen. 8,596)
      • Rataplan of hooves.
    • hinc tibi, quae semper, vicino ab limite saepes / Hyblaeis apibus florem depasta salicti / saepe levi somnum suadebit inire susurro. (Verg. ecl. 1,53-55)
      • The humming of bees.
    • nec satis est, ipsos etiam pedibusque manuque / turbavere lacus imoque e gurgite mollem / huc illuc limum saltu movere maligno. (Ov. met. 6,363-5)
      • The alteration of i- and u/o-sounds imitates the stomping.
    • quamvis sint sub aqua, sub aqua maledicere temptant. (Ov. met. 6,376)
      • The quacking of frogs.
    C. Word-Related Schemes

    Apo koinou (ἀπό κοινοῦ "from a common thing") - one word (or word group) semantically (and often also grammatically) refers to two different word groups at the same time.
    • heu quoties fidem mutatosque deos flebit! (Hor. car. 1,5,6)
      • mutata / mutati are both, the fides and the dei.
    • duabus urbibus eversis inimicissimis huic imperio non modo praesentia verum etiam futura bella delevit. (Cic. am. 3,11)
      • huic imperio can refer to both inimicissimis (as a dative governed by the adjective) and to the main clause as a dative of reference. It's not unlikely that the author had both options in mind, that both are equally valid and that both are actually supposed to be implied.
    Anaphor(a) (ἀναφορά "repetition, bringing back again") - repetition of the same word at the beginning of the following sentence or clause.

    a! quotiens aliquo dixi properante 'quid urges?
    vel quo festinas ire, vel unde, vide.'
    a! quotiens certam me sum mentitus habere
    horam, propositae quae foret apta viae.
    ter limen tetigi, ter sum reuocatus, et ipse
    indulgens animo pes mihi tardus erat. (Ov. tris. 1,3,51-56)

    Enallage (ἐναλλαγή "interchange") - a shift in grammatical dependencies. Typically, an adjective refers grammatically to one noun and semantically to a different one. Also called hypallage or transferred epithet.

    Seu caperis primis et adhuc crescentibus annis,
    Ante oculos veniet vera puella tuos. (Ov. ars 1,61f.)
    -> It is not the years that are growing. What is meant is that the girl is not fully grown up, yet.
    • multum ille et terris iactatus et alto / vi superum saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram. (Verg. Aen. 1,3f.)
      • memorem grammatically agrees with iram; however, it is more likely that it is Iuno who is memor, i.e. she remembers all the things that are enumerated further down in the prooemium.
    Epiphora (ἐπιφορά "bringing to") - repetition of the same word a the end of sentences (or parts of sentences).
    • de exsilio reducti multi a mortuo, civitas data non solum singulis, sed nationibus et provinciis universis a mortuo, immunitatibus infinitis sublata vectigalia a mortuo. (Cic. Phil. 1,24)
    Figura etymologica - a special kind of pleonasm (q.v.) where two (or more) different words of the same etymological origin are joined together to create a denser, more emphatic picture.
    • nec languere diu patitur dolor. excitor illo, / excitor et summa "Thesea!" voce voco. (Ov. her. 10,35f.: Ar. Thes.)
    • ego hac nocte quae praecessit proxima / mirum atque inscitum somniavi somnium. (Plaut. Per. 596f.)
    • In the context of figurae etymologicae, verbs that are actually intransitive can become transitive: vitam vivere; servitutem servire; pugnam pugnare.
    • maiorum nemo servitutem servivit. (Cic. top. 29)
    Geminatio - immediate repetition of a word somewhere in the sentence. A special case of a geminatio is called anadiplosis (ἀναδίπλωσις "duplication") where a word at the end of a word group or a verse is immediately repeated in the following word group or verse.
    • fuit, fuit ista quondam in hac re publica virtus, ut viri fortes acrioribus suppliciis civem perniciosum quam acerbissimum hostem coercerent. Habemus senatus consultum in te, Catilina, vehemens et grave, non deest rei publicae consilium neque auctoritas huius ordinis; nos, nos, dico aperte, consules desumus. (Cic. Cat. 1,3)
    • est hic, est animus lucis contemptor et istum / qui vita bene credat emi, quo tendis, honorem. (Verg. Aen. 9,205f.)
    • Anadiplosis
      • consul videt; hic tamen vivit. vivit? immo vero etiam in senatum venit (...). (Cic. Cat. 1,2)
      • quamvis sint sub aqua, sub aqua maledicere temptant. (Ov. met. 6,376)
    Hendiadys (ἓν διά δυοῖν "one through two") - one thing or idea is expressed by 2 words usually joined by "and" (or one of its Latin equivalents). I have come across different definitions of this device.
    • hinc enim illa et apud Graecos exempla, Miltiadem victorem domitoremque Persarum (...) vitam (...) in civium vinclis profudisse, et Themistoclem patria quam liberavisset pulsum atque proterritum (...) in barbariae sinus confugisse. (Cic. rep. 1,5)
    • si non his tantus fructus ostenderetur, et si ex his studiis delectatio sola peteretur, tamen (ut opinor) hanc animi adversionem humanissimam ac liberalissimam iudicaretis. (Cic. Ar. 16)
    Hyperbaton (ὑπερβατόν "set off") - separation of two words by one or more words. Often used to create tension.
    • tantamne unius hominis incredibilis ac divina virtus tam brevi tempore lucem adferre rei publicae potuit (...)? (Cic. Manil. 33)
    • Word picture- the word order can sometimes even mirror the content when using a hyperbaton.
      • speluncam Dido dux et Troianus eandem / deveniunt. (Verg. Aen. 4,165f.)
        • the speluncam eandem ("the same cave") surrounds Dido and Aeneas (= dux Troianus) who are inside the cave.
      • celsa sedet Aeolus arce. (Verg. Aen. 1,56)
    • Synchysis(σύγχυσις "mixture") - interlocked word order of 2 adjective-noun expressions after the model A-B-A-B.
      • caesis summae custodibus arcis (Verg. Aen. 2,166)
      • posita fallacis imagine tauri (Ov. met. 3,1)
    • Golden line- a dactylic hexametre that consists of 2 adjectives, 2 nouns and a verb and follows the structure A-B-Verb-A-B. In its purest form, the 2 adjectives precede the verb.
      • lurida terribiles miscent aconita novercae. (Ov. met. 1,147)
      • aurea purpuream subnectit fibula vestem. (Verg. Aen. 4,139)
    Oxymoron (ὀξύμωρον "pointedly foolish") - a formulation which is put together from two fundamentally contradictory expressions and which may seem absurd or paradoxical - at least at first glance (cf. D - paradox).

    quippe ubi temperiem sumpsere umorque calorque,
    concipiunt, et ab his oriuntur cuncta duobus,
    cumque sit ignis aquae pugnax, vapor umidus omnes
    res creat, et discors concordia fetibus apta est. (Ov. met. 1,430-433)

    parcus deorum cultor et infrequens,
    insanientis dum sapientiae
    consultus erro, nunc retrorsum
    vela dare atque iterare cursus
    >>
    cogor relictos. (Hor. car. 1,34,1-5)

    Paronomasia (παρονομασία "assonance") - play upon words which sound alike, but have different senses.
    • Often in collocations and proverbs: urbi et orbi; dum spiro, spero; quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi.
    • nam inceptiost amentium, haud amantium. (Ter. Andr. 218)
    Pleonasm / tautology (ταὐτολογία "saying the same") - superfluous amplification: the same thing is expressed by numerous words that essentially mean the same thing.
    • "Pretentious academic prose" (Pacifica)
    • primus ibi ante omnes magna comitante caterva / Laocoon ardens summa decurrit ab arce. (Verg. Aen. 2,40)
    • ecce anus in mediis residens annosa puellis / sacra facit Tacitae. (Ov. fas. 2,571f.)
    Prolepsis (πρόληψις "anticipation") - expressing the consequences or the intention of an action by means of a predicative adjective.
    • centum quisque parabat / inicere anguipedum captivo bracchia caelo. (Ov. met. 1,184)
      • Each of the 100 Titans (anguipedes) decided to lay hand on the sky in order to capture it.
    Polyptoton (πολύπτωτον "with/in many cases") - the same word gets repeated in (a) different form(s) (usually declined or conjugated differently).
    • sed ut tum ad senem senex de senectute, sic hoc libro ad amicum amicissimus scripsi de amicitia. (Cic. am. 1,5)
    • spectatum veniunt, veniunt spectentur ut ipsae. (Ov. ars 1,99)
    Tmesis (τμῆσις "cutting") - the splitting of a word. Very common in Greek; in Latin mainly done with the prefixes of verbs or with forms of qui-cumque, although Ennius provided a particularly entertaining example.
    • saxo cere comminuit brum. (Enn. ann. frag. 609) cerebrum = "brain, head": "He split his head with a stone."
    • qui te cumque manent isto certamine casus / et me, Turne, manent. (Verg. Aen. 12,61f.)
    • et quodcumque mihi pomum novus educat annus, / libatum agricolae ponitur ante deo. (Tib. 1,1,14)
      • NB ponitur ante as a tmesis of anteponitur is only one possible interpretation of this verse. Other scholars consider ante to be referring to libatum. However, understanding it as a tmesis is a valid interpretation.
    Zeugma (ζεῦγμα "bond") - using a verb only once in a sentence to refer to two (or more) nouns although it semantically has different meanings and implications with the respective nouns (or doesn't fit with one of them at all).
    • manus ac supplices voces ad Tiberium tendens immoto eius vultu excipitur. (Tac. ann. 2,29)
    • "When he asked, 'What in heaven?' she made no reply, up her mind, and a dash to the door." (The Limeliters - Have Some Madeira My Dear)
    D. Sentence-Related Schemes

    Antithesis (ἀντίθεσις "opposite") - contrasting juxtaposition of two opposite ideas.
    • concordia parvae res crescunt, discordia maximae dilabuntur. (Sall. Iurg. 10)
    Ovid opposes Odysseus to himself in his Tristia arguing that he himself had to suffer much more:
    pro duce Neritio docti mala nostra poetae
    scribite: Neritio nam mala plura tuli.
    ille breui spatio multis errauit in annis
    inter Dulichias Iliacasque domos:
    nos freta sideribus totis distantia mensos
    sors tulit in Geticos Sarmaticosque sinus.
    ille habuit fidamque manum sociosque fideles:
    me profugum comites deseruere mei.
    ille suam laetus patriam uictorque petebat:
    a patria fugi uictus et exul ego. (Ov. tris. 1,5,57-66)

    Aposiopesis (ἀποσιώπησις "becoming silent") - deliberately interrupting a sentence.
    • de nostrum enim omnium — non audeo totum dicere. (Cic. Mil. 12,33)
    • "at quasdam uitio" — quicumque hoc concipit, errat. (Ov. tris. 2,277)
    ille mi par esse deo videtur,
    ille, si fas est, superare divos,
    qui sedens adversus identidem te
    spectat et audit
    >>
    dulce ridentem, misero quod omnis
    eripit sensus mihi: nam simul te,
    Lesbia, aspexi, nihil est super mi
    <vocis in ore> (Cat. 51)
    --> The last verse is a conjecture; in the manuscripts, that verse is actually missing. The context of the poem suggests that Catullus may have left it out intentionally.

    Apostrophe (ἀποστροφή "turning away") - turning away from the reader (usually of a 3rd person narrator) in order to directly address another person or thing.

    terretur minimo pennae stridore columba,
    unguibus, accipiter, saucia facta tuis. (Ov. 1,1,75f.)
    -> accipiter (hawk) is in the vocative here.

    fortunati ambo! si quid mea carmina possunt,
    nulla dies umquam memori vos eximet aevo. (Verg. Aen. 9,446f.)
    -> Vergil addresses Nisus and Euryalus after they raided a camp of the Rutulians at night, where they both died.

    Asyndeton (ἀσύνδετον "unconnected, loose") - enumeration of multiple items without any conjunctions. Often as a tricolon (cf. polysyndeton).
    • veni, vidi, vici. (Caesar)
    • polliceor hoc vobis, patres conscripti, tantam in nobis consulibus fore diligentiam, tantam in vobis auctoritatem, tantam in equitibus Romanis virtutem, tantam in omnibus bonis consensionem, ut Catilinae profectione omnia patefacta, inlustrata, oppressa, vindicata esse videatis. (Cic. Cat. 1,12,32)
    • Mantua me genuit, Calabri rapuere, tenet nunc / Parthenope; cecini pascua, rura, duces. (Epitaph on Vergil's grave, cited in Suet. Verg. 36)
    Chiasmus (χιασμός "diagonal arrangement, form of an X") - corresponding parts of two sentences (or parts of a sentence) are placed over cross:
    • multo maior alacritas studiumque pugnandi maius exercitui iniectum est. (Caes. Gall. 1,46,4)
    maior alacritas
    ----X----
    studium maius

    Mulciber in Troiam, pro Troia stabat Apollo;
    aequa Venus Teucris, Pallas iniqua fuit. (Ov. tris. 1,2,5f.)

    Climax (κλῖμαξ "ladder") - enumeration of multiple words with an increasing intensity. Often as a tricolon (3 items).
    • tum denique interficiere, cum iam nemo tam inprobus, tam perditus, tam tui similis inveniri poterit, qui id non iure factum esse fateatur. (Cic. Cat. 1,2,5)
    • veni, vidi, vici. (Caesar)
    Ellipsis (ἔλλειψις "falling short, defect") - intentionally omitting a word (or sometimes an even greater unit). Usually the reader or listener can easily identify the missing part from context; in most cases a form of esse or a verbum dicendi is missing.
    • quis ergo iste optimus quisque? numero, si quaeris, innumerabiles. (Cic. Ses. 65, 97)
      • est is missing.
    • cum Iuno aeternum servans sub pectore volnus / haec secum: "Mene incepto desistere victam?" (Verg. Aen. 1,36f.)
      • a word like dixit or cogitavit is missing. (cf. Verg. Aen. 2,42)
    Hysteron proteron (ὕστερον πρότερον "the latter thing first") - a later event is mentioned first due to its importance while the chronologically earlier event follows.
    • moriamur et in media arma ruamus! / una salus victis nullam sperare salutem! (Verg. Aen. 2,353f.)
    Paradox (παράδοξον "contrary to expection/opinion") - a phrase that conflates two contradicting ideas and - at least at first glance - appears to be inconsistent or illogical (cf. C - oxymoron).

    inque epulis epulas quaerit; quodque urbibus esse,
    quodque satis poterat populo, non sufficit uni,
    plusque cupit, quo plura suam demittit in alvum.
    (...)
    utque rapax ignis non umquam alimenta recusat
    innumerasque trabes cremat et, quo copia maior
    est data, plura petit turbaque voracior ipsa est:
    sic epulas omnes Erysichthonis ora profani
    accipiunt poscuntque simul. cibus omnis in illo
    causa cibi est, semperque locus fit inanis edendo. (Ov. met. 8,832-842)
    --> The more Erysichthon eats, the hungrier he gets. This was the punishment he received from Ceres for chopping trees in her sacred grove.

    una salus victis nullam sperare salutem. (Verg. Aen. 2,354)

    odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris.
    nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior. (Cat. 85)

    Parallelism (παραλληλισμός "placing side by side") - same construction of syntactic units in 2 or more subsequent sentences or parts of a sentence.
    • concordia parvae res crescunt, discordia maximae dilabuntur. (Sall. Iurg. 10)
    quae tu reddideris ego primus pocula sumam,
    et, qua tu biberis, hac ego parte bibam. (Ov. am. 1,4,31f.)
    --> I gave the same colour to the parts of speech that correspond to each other.

    Polysyndeton (πολυσύνδετον "many tied together") - enumeration of multiple items using a conjunction every single time. Often found as a tricolon (cf. asyndeton).
    • liberosne? quos neque ut convenire potuerit neque qua ratione inducere neque ubi neque per quos neque qua spe aut quo pretio potes ostendere. (Cic. S. Rosc. 29,79)
    • manet alta mente repostum / iudicium Paridis spretaeque iniuria formae / et genus invisum et rapti Ganymedis honores. (Verg. Aen. 1,26-28)
    Praeteritio (also called apophasis: ἀπόφασις "denial") - the orator (or narrator) announces that he or she will not speak about a certain issue or thing, and in saying so ends up doing just that with even greater emphasis.
    • nam illa nimis antiqua praetereo, quod C. Servilius Ahala Sp. Maelium novis rebus studentem manu sua occidit. (Cic Cat. 1,1,3)
    • itaque primum illum actum istius vitae turpissimum et flagitiosissimum praetermittam. Nihil a me de pueritiae suae flagitiis peccatisque audiet, nihil ex illa impura adulescentia sua; quae qualis fuerit aut meministis, aut ex eo quem sui simillimum produxit recognoscere potestis. (Cic. Ver. 2,1,32)
    Rhetorical question - a question to which the orator or narrator either expects no answer because the answer is obvious to everyone, or which he answers himself. As such, a rhetorical question is actually to be understood as a statement or a demand rather than an actual question.
    • quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia? (Cic. Cat. 1,1,1)
    • at regina dolos - quis fallere possit amantem? - / praesensit, motusque excepit prima futuros. (Verg. Aen. 4,296f.)
    • quid vetat et stellas, ut quaeque oriturque caditque, / dicere? promissi pars sit et ista mei. (Ov. fas. 1,295f.)
    Syllepsis (σύλληψις "conjunction") - this may be on the border between a grammatical category and a stylistic device, but I decided to include it anyway. One part of speech grammatically refers to two (or more) other parts of speech at the same time. Unlike a zeugma (q.v.), there is no semantic dissonance; unlike an apo koinou (q.v.), the relationship to the corresponding parts of speech is obvious and clear-cut. NB this is a disctinction I make which may not be shared in other sources.
    • dolores autem si qui incurrunt, numquam vim tantam habent, ut non plus habeat sapiens, quod gaudeat, quam quod angatur. (Cic. fin. 1,62)
      • dolores is the subject of both the conditional clause and the main clause. It has to be said that this is also the regular way of constructing such a sentence in classical prose.
    • Caesar, postquam ex Menapiis in Treveros venit, duabus de causis Rhenum transire constituit. (Caes. Gall. 6,9,1)
    Last edited by Pacifica, May 17, 2019
    Ignis Umbra, Wryly, Dantius and 5 others like this.
  2. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Note to potential readers who may not realize this: most of these stylistic devices aren't exclusive to Latin. They're found in other languages (including English) as well. :)
    Last edited by Pacifica, May 4, 2019
    Bitmap and Ignis Umbra like this.
  3. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    From Livy 40.8: sed interdum spes animum subibat deflagrare iras uestras, purgari suspiciones posse. etiam hostes armis positis foedus icisse, et priuatas multorum simultates finitas: subituram uobis aliquando germanitatis memoriam, puerilis quondam simplicitatis consuetudinisque inter uos, meorum denique praeceptorum, quae uereor ne uana surdis auribus cecinerim.

    For material instead of the product, why not one of the many instances of ferrum for "sword"?
    Bitmap likes this.
  4. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena


    Thank you! I will shorten it to that phrase, though :)


    Thank you for that, too ... sometimes you don't see the wood for the trees :)
  5. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Looks good. When I first saw that phrase I was surprised that it existed in Latin as well as English.
  6. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena

    Well, a lot of human communication actually functions on the basis of metonymies and metaphors. In that respect, you can discover a lot of similarities across (even unrelated) languages.
  7. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Canada
    Wow -- this post looks incredibly comprehensive! I will have to go through it slowly when I have some free time. :) Thanks, Bitmap!
  8. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Canada
    One thing you might consider making, Bitmap, is a quiz for people to test themselves after they have read the post: matching the word with the definition (easy level) and/or identifying these techniques in previously unseen passages (harder).
  9. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    • saxo cere comminuit brum. (Enn. ann. frag. 609) cerebrum = "brain, head": "He split his head with a stone."
    Incidentally also a word picture, since the brain is literally split throughout the sentence
    Also attributed to Ennius, though more dubious, is Massili portabant iuvenes ad litora tanas for Massilitanas (Massilian women).
    Bitmap likes this.
  10. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Lol, that poem at the beginning is amazing
    Bitmap likes this.
  11. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena

    I could do that, but it would be beyond the scope of what I was trying to achieve. I just wanted an overview over the most important stylistic devices in Latin literature on the basis of some actual Latin examples... it really pissed me off when I looked for LATIN stylistic devices on the internet just to find lists (on LATIN stylistic devices) that were filled with examples from English or German, but not Latin ... and if it was Latin, it often ended up being some random colluction rather than an actual reference to Latin literature.

    If people want to have some practise on stylistic devices they could A) look at the prologue epigram and see what kinds of stylistic devices the naive (note that the t is missing!!) amateur poet was trying to use (bonus question: they could figure out the 3 Ancient loci he was trying to echo ;)) ... or they could B) post their questions in a separate thread and I'd be happy to provide help and exercises (I wonder if that's a zeugma ...).
    Callaina likes this.
  12. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Doesn't look like one to me.
  13. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    I think it is, though not a particularly interesting one

    Zeugma is defined in different ways, though, some stricter than others
  14. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Canada
    "Help" is abstract, whereas "exercises" is concrete. Not sure whether that's different enough to count as a zeugma.

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