Rubor in Virgil’s Work Cover Image

Rubor în opera vergiliană
Rubor in Virgil’s Work

Author(s): Maria Subi
Subject(s): Philology
Published by: Editura Universităţii de Vest din Timişoara
Keywords: rubor; red; purple; flowers; aurora; facial colour

Summary/Abstract: In his works, Virgil, a poet of a rare sensitivity, presents an idealised image of nature obtained by avoiding the cool colours and by depicting the visible world in warmer and brighter colors. This is why Price talks about “the warm glow of reds” (1883: 18), which shines through his descriptions and which is translated with the help of certain frequently used terms such as: rŭbor,-ōris ʻred, rednessʼ; rŭber (3) ʻred, reddish, umberʼ, rŭbĭcundus (3) ʻruddyʼ; rŭbens,-ntis ʻred, crimsonʼ; rŭbĕo2, rŭbŭi ʻto be red, to be ruddyʼ; rŭbesco3, rŭbŭi ʻto blush, to reddenʼ. These terms are constantly associated with the colour purple (murex, ostrum, purpura) and with other valuable things (aurum, gemmae etc.) as an expression of luxury, elegance and opulence, elements that defined the Roman society of those times. At the same time, the words derived from rubor are used to limn the purple spring, the redness of the plain, of the fruits, of the flowers, the rose glow of the aurora or the vesperal shades. Furthermore, these lexemes can also be found in portrait descriptions where they serve as a representation of the facial colour determined by various feelings. We are refering to rubor pudibundus here, which reflects the red of desire as well as the red of eros, and which interferes with the pure white from Virgil’s lines in order to configure, in a chromatic manner, the meeting between virgin and sexuality. Being open to many suggestions and symbols, red – described by rubor and members of the same word family (adjectives or verbs) – is artistically emphasised in a significant number of poetic depictions distinguished by the beauty, the freshness and the brilliance of their images, which impress with their marked pictorial quality.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 54
  • Page Range: 51-62
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Romanian