‘As You Go Up to Mount Coryphum You See by the Road an Olive Tree (…)’ | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 75, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268



In ancient literature, visual experience of the environment is created through vivid descriptions of landscapes, cityscapes, and buildings. The world is created before the mind’s eye of the readers through ekphrastic depiction, and the readers become eyewitnesses to the scenes described. They are captivated and persuaded to accept the speaker’s point of view. This renders ekphrastic visualisation a powerful rhetorical strategy and pedagogical tool due to its ability to influence emotions and to elicit appropriate reactions. This article focuses on exemplary descriptions of landscapes in ancient factual and fictional literature and the ethical implications evoked through the readers’ becoming eyewitnesses to ‘real’ and ‘fictive’ landscapes.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Dio Chrysostom; ekphrasis; ethics; gardens; landscape; Longus; New Testament; Pausanias
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