Sunday, March 27, 2022


A Compendious Climax

Ovid, Fasti 3.21 (tr. Anne and Peter Wiseman):
Mars sees her, desires what he's seen, and takes possession of what he's desired.

Mars videt hanc visamque cupit potiturque cupita.
Commentators (e.g. F.A. Paley, Hermann Peter, Franz Bömer, S.J. Heyworth; James George Frazer is unavailable to me) don't mention that this is an example of the rhetorical device known as ladder, climax, or gradatio. Older authorities do mention it, e.g. Martin Fogelmark, Dissertatio Academica, Quid sibi velit Climax, sive Gradatio Rhetorum (Uppsala: L.M. Höjer, 1757), p. 10.

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