Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Word of Mouth
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Word of Mouth: Fama and Its Personifications in Art and Literature from Ancient Rome to the Middle Ages

Gianni Guastella


The Roman term fama described a far-reaching communicative phenomenon founded on ‘speaking’ (fari): a way of representing ‘what is said’, as well as talk and its production. It indicates information’s journey by ‘word of mouth’ within communities of people who spread rumours and hearsay, express common hopes and anxieties, and share opinions about other members of the same community or about ‘famous’ contemporary or long-dead personages. Underlying this process is a mechanism of chain-like propagation of (mainly) word-of-mouth transmission of information across a complex transfer network of un ... More

Keywords: Fama, personification, hearsay, glory, ancient, communication, medieval, representation, Virgil, Ovid, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Chaucer

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198724292
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724292.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gianni Guastella, author
Professor of Latin Language and Literature, University of Siena