Writing and Reading Byzantine Secular Poetry, 1025-1081

Hardcover | August 17, 2014

byFloris Bernard

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In the mid-eleventh century, secular Byzantine poetry attained a hitherto unseen degree of wit, vividness, and personal involvement, chiefly exemplified in the poetry of Christophoros Mitylenaios, Ioannes Mauropous, and Michael Psellos. This is the first volume to consider this poetic activityas a whole, critically reconsidering modern assumptions about Byzantine poetry, and focusing on Byzantine conceptions of the role of poetry in society.By providing a detailed account of the various media through which poetry was presented to its readers, and by tracing the initial circulation of poems, this volume takes an interest in the Byzantine reader and his/her reading habits and strategies, allowing aspects of performance and visualrepresentation, rarely addressed, to come to the fore. It also examines the social interests that motivated the composition of poetry, establishing a connection with the extraordinary social mobility of the time. Self-representative strategies are analyzed against the background of an unstable elitestruggling to find moral justification, which allows the study to raise the question of patronage, examine the discourse used by poets to secure material rewards, and explain the social dynamics of dedicatory epigrams. Finally, gift exchange is explored as a medium that underlines the value ofpoetry and confirms the exclusive nature of intellectual friendship.

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In the mid-eleventh century, secular Byzantine poetry attained a hitherto unseen degree of wit, vividness, and personal involvement, chiefly exemplified in the poetry of Christophoros Mitylenaios, Ioannes Mauropous, and Michael Psellos. This is the first volume to consider this poetic activityas a whole, critically reconsidering modern...

Floris Bernard studied Classics in Ghent and Athens, and obtained a PhD in Literature at Ghent University with a dissertation on eleventh-century poetry. He was a Fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington DC and is currently post-doctoral research fellow in Ghent.

other books by Floris Bernard

Format:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:August 17, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198703740

ISBN - 13:9780198703747

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Table of Contents

List of FiguresList of AbbreviationsNote to the Reader1. Introduction2. Concepts3. Readings4. Collections5. Ambitions6. Education7. Competitions8. PatronageConclusionsBibliographyGeneral IndexIndex of PoemsIndex of Manuscripts