Letters were an important medium of everyday communication in the ancient Mediterranean. Soon after its emergence, the epistolary form was adopted by educated elites and transformed into a literary genre, which developed distinctive markers and was used, for instance, to give political advice, to convey philosophical ideas, or to establish and foster ties with peers. A particular type of this genre is the letter cast in verse, or epistolary poem, which merges the form and function of the letter with stylistic elements of poetry. In Greek literature, epistolary poetry is first safely attested in the fourth century AD and would enjoy a lasting presence throughout the Byzantine and early modern periods. The present volume introduces the reader to this hitherto unexplored chapter of post-classical Greek literature through an anthology of exemplary epistolary poems in the original Greek with facing English translation. This collection, which covers a broad chronological range from late antique epigrams of the Greek Anthology to the poetry of western humanists, is accompanied by exegetical commentaries on the anthologized texts and by critical essays discussing questions of genre, literary composition, and historical and social contexts of selected epistolary poems.
A Companion to Byzantine Epistolography introduces and contextualizes the culture of Byzantine letter-writing from various socio-historical, material and literary angles. While this culture was long regarded as an ivory-tower pastime of intellectual elites, the eighteen essays in this volume, authored by leading experts in the field, show that epistolography had a vital presence in many areas of Byzantine society, literature and art. The chapters offer discussions of different types of letters and intersections with non-epistolary genres, their social functions as media of communication and performance, their representations in visual and narrative genres, and their uses in modern scholarship. The volume thus contributes to a more nuanced understanding of letter-writing in the Byzantine Empire and beyond.
Il modello teorico di una poetica rituale proposta da D. Yatromanolakis e O. Roilos fonda una nuova problematica che si basa sulla inscrizione di forme rituali in più vasti sistemi d'espressione culturali e sociopolitici all'interno di varie tradizioni del mondo greco. Il "caso greco", col suo materiale sterminato, contrassegnato da svariate continuità e discontinuità, spesso pieno di rimaneggiamenti ideologicamente ispirati nell'arco di tre millenni, offre un terreno certamente impegnativo ma fecondo per indagini comparative. L'ipotesi è verificata in tre precisi ambiti di ricerca: Saffo e la lirica greca arcaica, il romanzo bizantino del XII secolo e l'opera poetica di Odysseas Elytis.
This work offers the first systematic and interdisciplinary study of the poetics of the twelfth-century medieval Greek novel. This book investigates the complex ways in which rhetorical theory and practice constructed the overarching cultural aesthetics that conditioned the production and reception of the genre of the novel in twelfth-century Byzantine society. By examining the indigenous rhetorical concept of amphoteroglossia, this book probes unexplored aspects of the re-inscription of inherited allegorical, comic, and rhetorical modes in the Komnenian novels, and offers new methodological directions for the study of Byzantine secular literature in its cultural complexities. The creative re-appropriation of the established generic conventions of the ancient Greek novel by the medieval Greek novelists, it is argued in this wide-ranging study, has invested these works with a dynamic dialogism. In this book, Roilos shows that this interdiscursivity functions on two pivotal axes: on the paradigmatic axis of previously sanctioned ancient Greek and--less evidently but equally significantly--Christian literature, and on the syntagmatic axis of allusions to the broader twelfth-century Byzantine cultural context.
The book Towards a Ritual Poetics by Dimitrios Yatromanolakis, Assistant Professor of Classical Studies at John Hopkins University, and Panagiotis Roilos, Assistant Professor of Modern Greek Studies at Harvard University, is an interdisciplinary study regarding the incorporation of the rituals in cultural expression at different moments of Hellenic history. Three representative and slightly researched cases are examined, in a wide time framework, through which a methodological model is proposed, the notion of ritual poetics, aiming at comparing different aspects between rituals and socio-political expression.