Tropes and figures
Manilian style as a reflection of astrological tradition
Poetry and astrology are both essentially metaphorical. The starry firmament as a whole can be understood as a sum of metaphors, since the human mind first transposes its surrounding real world up to the sky, and then this transfer from earth up to heaven is followed by a reverse movement from heaven down to earth, in which the figures and movements of the constellations are related back to human life by prognostication. Thus, subject matter and poetry are more closely related to one another in the Astronomica than in other didatic poems: figures may have astrological meaning, including mythical examples, comparison, repetition, verbal oxymoron, and nominal polyptoton, as do such tropes as—beside metaphor and its special case, hyperbole—metonymy, ambiguity, and polysemy. It is thus all the more dangerous to try to interpret Manilius without taking account of the astrological tradition that underlies his poem.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.