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Blushing Beauty. Characterizing Blushes in Chariton's Callirhoe

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image of Mnemosyne

This paper contributes to the study of the characterization of Callirhoe, the heroine in Chariton of Aphrodisias' ancient Greek novel of the same name (first/second century AD). By proposing a new reading of Callirhoe's character, I suggest that it is time to revise some of the widely-held views on the characterization of Greek novel protagonists. Starting from the assumption that both invariable and variable physical features of a literary character's appearance were likely to be understood by the ancient readers as indices of its character, I briefly deal with the absence of invariable physical features in Callirhoe's representation. Subsequently, I focus on one variable physical feature, namely blushing, and argue that Chariton uses this feature to construct an evolution in Callirhoe's character.

Affiliations: 1: Stanford University, Classics Department, Building 20, MC: 2080, Main Quad, Stanford, CA 94305-2080, USA


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