The Adjective Niger in Virgil’s Work Cover Image

Adjectivul niger în opera vergiliană
The Adjective Niger in Virgil’s Work

Author(s): Maria Subi
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Editura Universităţii de Vest din Timişoara
Keywords: niger (3); black; dark; night; hell; clouds; storm

Summary/Abstract: The adjective niger (3) ‘black, wretched, sinister, fatal’ occupies an important place amongst Virgilian chromatic terms, as its dark tone harmonizes with the atmosphere of melancholy and sorrow found in the work of the Latin poet. Used in opposition to albus(3) – the white of light, the white of day – niger(3) symbolically relates to the black of night (gloomy, ominous) or to the vast Hell, equally dominated by the same dark colour. An attribute of the night and of Hades, niger takes on a markedly negative value which is noticeable in all its contextual uses (e.g. its association with other elements, such as the dust, the darkness of woods, the clouds or the storm), just as black always remains a symbol of ugliness, destruction and evil.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 51-52
  • Page Range: 81-87
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: Romanian