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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2018

Xenophon’s ‘Round Trip’: Geography as Narrative Consistency in the Ephesiaka

Andrea Capra


A careful examination of Xenophon’s geography reveals a circular pattern and a neat if rudimentary technique of entrelacement. Such an arrangement (i. e. the characters’ ’round trip’) squares well with Xenophon’s orali(istic) style and accounts for its open-ended structure: far from being a shortcoming, this feature is best interpreted in the light of ancient poetics, and helps us to understand a number of alleged problems in this novel, such as the difference in style between the first (extra-circular, in fact) scene and the frantic adventures forming the core of the story. The circular pattern thus reinforces the case against the epitome theory in books 2-5.

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston