Euanthes and the World of Rhetoric in Achilles Tatius’ Leucippe and Cleitophon


  • Katherine A. McHugh



Within Leucippe and Cleitophon, Achilles Tatius inserts three extremely detailed ekphraseis of paintings, all of which stand out amongst the many other descriptive passages in the novel. This paper explores the rhetorical background of the author’s use of ekphrasis, and focuses in particular on the artist ‘Euanthes’ who is named at 3,6,3 as the painter of the images of Andromeda and Prometheus. It seeks to prove that Euanthes is entirely a construction of the author and that the name is representative of the world of rhetoric prominent in much of the literature of the 2nd Century AD. The rhetorical nature of the other ekphraseis of paintings in Leucippe and Cleitophon is also explored in order to support the interpretation of Euanthes as being part of an author’s in-joke with his educated readers.

Author Biography

Katherine A. McHugh

Katherine McHugh has just completed an MScR in Classics from the University of Edinburgh, expected to graduate in November 2019. Her dissertation is entitled Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ and Parody in Lucian’s ‘Verae Historiae’, and focusses on the Odyssey as a structural and narratological template for the Verae Historiae.