Cinquecento mythographic descriptions of Neptune

Luba Freedman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Cinquecento mythographers were the first post-classical authors to pay attention to Neptune's external appearance. The literary portrait of Neptune is an invention of Renaissance mythographers. They combine elements of ancient literary descriptions of the god himself and of representations in art. Whatever ancient work of art was mentioned in classical literature, i.e., whether one actually executed or only imagined by an ancient author, it was selected by the Renaissance mythographers, notably by Giraldi and Cartari, mainly because it often had a striking character. They adopted the ancient division of Neptune types into tranquil and stormy in order not only to highlight the deity's action, but also to add certain new features in descriptions of his appearance.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)44-53
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of the Classical Tradition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1995


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