Acrostics and Telestichs in Latin Poetry: Case Studies and Research Perspectives

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Acrostics and Telestichs in Latin Poetry: Case Studies and Research Perspectives

Date and place: March-April 2025; Università degli Studi di Torino, Torino

Appel à contributions
Date limite : 30th September 2024


Much discussion has been made around lusus in ancient poetry: are they intentional stylistic features created by poets or strings of letters that fortuitously make up meaningful words? Can we reconstruct the artistic techniques and literary conventions within the intellectual relationship between author and reader, which enable the latter to identify the cryptograms embedded in poems? The new tools developed in Digital Humanities, combined with the analysis based on textual hermeneutics, allow us to deepen this theme of debate, especially the question of of the intentionality or randomness of lusus, as well as their success within Latin literature, from its origins to the Late Antiquity.

This conference focuses on acrostics and telestichs in Latin poetry, and tries to answer some of these questions. The first session of the conference will include presentations by scholars who have made significant contributions to this topic; on the second day, speakers interested in the conference are invited to propose their papers on acrostics and telestichs. Each presentation will be 25-30 minutes long.
Prospective speakers are invited to send an abstract (max. 500 words + essential bibliography) must be sent as a Word document, joint with a CV (max. 1 page), to the
organizing committee (federica.lazzerini[at], which will forward them anonymously to the scientific committee for evaluation. In the spirit of a fruitful exchange of ideas, participants will be asked to prepare a written version of their speech, along with a short bibliography, two weeks before the conference which will be share with all those who will attend the event. The aim is to give the opportunity to consult all the papers in advance: for this reason, everyone is asked to prepare at least one question on all papers, so as to facilitate critical debate on the matter.
The conference proceedings will be published by an internation Editor following a double-peer review process and with the approval of the scientific committee. Contributors who wish to have their presentation included in the proceeding volume will be asked to send their chapter no later than June 30th, 2025.


Organisation : Alberto CROTTO (Università di Torino), Andrea BALBO (Università di Torino), Ermanno MALASPINA (Università di Torino), Alessandro SCHIESARO (Scuola Normale Superiore)
Contact : federica.lazzerini[at]