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Digital Classical Philology

Ancient Greek and Latin in the Digital Revolution

Ed. by Berti, Monica

Series:Age of Access? Grundfragen der Informationsgesellschaft 10

Open Access
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Publication Date:
August 2019
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Intertextuality as Viral Phrases: Roses and Lilies

Coffee, Neil


This article addresses the phenomenon of “viral intertextuality,” or instances of distinct language that appear serially over multiple literary works. It demonstrates how current digital methods make instances of viral intertextuality much easier to detect. It argues for the value of reading such chains of similar phrases together. And it points toward possible improvements in digital detection and analysis methods that would further facilitate this kind of reading. The illustrative example is Vergil’s description of Lavinia’s blush at Aeneid 12.67-69, along with its predecessor and successor passages.

Citation Information

Neil Coffee (2019). Intertextuality as Viral Phrases: Roses and Lilies. In Monica Berti (Editor), Digital Classical Philology: Ancient Greek and Latin in the Digital Revolution (pp. 177–200). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110599572-011

Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110599572

Online ISBN: 9783110599572

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston. BY-NC-ND 4.0 This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

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