The idea that language could appeal to the imagination of readers and listeners was current in Antiquity and was discussed in technical texts under the headings of phantasia, enargeia or evidentia and taught through the exercise of ekphrasis. In this seminar we will look at the definitions and discussions of these phenomena in ancient Greek and Latin texts and analyse examples of their use in Greek poetry, rhetoric, prose fiction and historiography mostly from the Imperial period (2nd-6th centuries CE) in order to understand how they functioned. We will also look at the theories of perception and imagination current in ancient philosophical texts and at recent studies in the fields of neuroscience and cognitive science.