Chromatic Adjectives in Virgil’s Aeneid Cover Image

Adjective cromatice în Eneida vergiliană
Chromatic Adjectives in Virgil’s Aeneid

Author(s): Maria Subi
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Editura Universităţii de Vest din Timişoara
Keywords: aereus “coppery”; aureus “golden”; caeruleus “azure; indigo; cerulean; sapphire; dark; black”; ferreus “iron”; marmoreus “marble”; niveus “snow-white”; purpureus “made of purple; purple”; roseus “rosy; rose-tinted; rose-colored; pink; pinkish”; sanguineu

Summary/Abstract: A thorough reading of the Aeneid reveals the presence of a very large number of adjectival derivatives obtained by attaching the suffix -eus to nouns designating objects which are distinctly coloured. Specifically, such adjectives as aureus “golden” and purpureus “made of purple, purple”, argenteus “silvery” and marmoreus “marble”, aereus “coppery” and ferreus “iron” plastically reflect the colours incorporated in their corresponding precious materials or metals. Numerous are also the adjectives evoking various nuances of red: flame-red and firered, purple red, rose’s red or blood-red. Poetic epithets to take into account too are niveus, suggestively related to the whiteness of the snow, and lacteus, hinting at the milk’s white. Other epithets to be considered are croceus and luteus, denoting the yellow of flowers, as well as caeruleus, symbolising the color of the sky or sea. By shifting from the sphere of precious metals and materials to the vegetal, celestial, marine, or human realms, Virgil’s palette of colors becomes enriched with a variety of tones and shades destined to entice and charm.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 50
  • Page Range: 123-130
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: Romanian