Intertextuality and Intervisuality in Heliodorus

Giuseppe Zanetto


This article focuses on the opening scene of Heliodorus’ novel, a very elaborate ekphrasis that results in a famously sophisticated interplay between visual and textual data. My aim is to trace their interrelation back to the Odyssey’s Mnesterophonìa, the obvious model of the scene. I also try to show that Heliodorus, while conjuring up the Odyssey, integrates into his narrative the later tradition relevant to the Mnesterophonìa, which had of course a rich reception, both literary and iconographic. All in all, Heliodorus emerges as a master of inter­textuality as well as of intervisuality.


Greek Novel; Heliodorus; Intertextuality; Intervisuality

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