Gli aggettivi poetici ξουθóς e ξουθóπτερος: significato e potenzialità allusiva

E. Firinu


Scholars are divided on the interpretation of the epithet ξουθóς, for it is not clear if the adjective refers to some kind of colour, movement and/or sound. Anyway, by analysing the referents, the author seeks to shed light on the contexts in which both ξουθóς and ξουθóπτερος appear. In addition, by comparing it with other polysemous adjectives of the same kind, it is argued that originally the word seemed to to refer to a vibrating movement, perhaps connected with a certain light effect; but, unlike other polysemous epithets, it also developed the sense of sound (deriving from the concept of rapid motion). This values makes ξουθóς and ξουθóπτερος two perfect poetic and especially dramatic words, apt to contexts in which authors need to create a mimetic multi-faceted image and to evoke such performative elements as light, movement, sound or, at least, only some of them.

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