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date: 28 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Byzantine verse-writing cannot be easily categorized into dramatic, epic, and lyric poetry. Poetry and other forms of Byzantine literature have an element of function. In Byzantium, poems, at least those written in the learned language, were commonly written on behalf of a patron, and they almost always served a particular function. In order to better understand Byzantine poetry, its underlying aesthetic principles must be taken into account, along with its role in the life of contemporary society. With respect to Byzantine literature, Karl Krumbacher classified texts according to whether they were written in the learned language or in the vernacular. He further subdivided learned poetry into ecclesiastical and secular poetry. This article examines Byzantine poetry and romances. It first makes a distinction between liturgical and non-liturgical poetry before turning to vernacular poetry, which includes epic and romance, mendicant poems, and verse chronicles.

Keywords: Byzantium, poetry, Byzantine literature, Karl Krumbacher, learned language, vernacular poetry, epic, romance, mendicant poems, verse chronicles

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