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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2018

Arcadia Revisited: Material Gardens and Virtual Spaces in Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe and in Roman Landscape Painting

Martina Meyer


The interplay between wild nature and artfully constructed space is the focal point for this discussion of the relationship between Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe and Augustan landscape painting. The combined effect of nature and artifice affects the perceptual and conceptual reaction of the viewer to both both real and imagined space. The goal of Longus’ art lies in imitating the skill with which a painted image can project a convincing sensation of pastoral harmony, where the deception of the senses is more pleasing than the materiality of the real. In the discussion that follows I shall explore the correspondence between material space and imagined space by identifying the characteristics of painting that produce the effect of ‘Golden Age’ reality, upon which the reader’s emotional experience of Longus’ novel depends.

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