Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Byzantine texts not only fulfil a wide range of functions within their cultural context of production, but are also carriers of literary meaning. By understanding such a meaning, we can better appreciate Byzantine culture as a whole. Due to a confluence of reasons, however, concerted efforts to apply literary criticism, partly with the support of literary theory, to a literary understanding of the texts written in Byzantium have been made only in the past three decades. The first attempts at literary criticism focused on texts that fit more easily into modern concepts of literature, such as the romances. This article discusses various theories used to study Byzantine literature, and presents indicative examples of studies that have used them. These theories, which range from socio-historical analysis of the texts to thematics, intertextuality, and reader-orientated approaches, can be used by critics interested in the interpretation of Byzantine literature. However, the article argues the importance of interdisciplinarity and theory, together with history as complementary methods in the application of literary criticism to Byzantine texts.

Keywords: Byzantium, literary theory, literary criticism, interdisciplinarity, theory, history, Byzantine literature, thematics, socio-historical analysis, intertextuality

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.