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Wandering Poets and Other Essays on Late Greek Literature and Philosophy$
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Alan Cameron

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190268947

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190268947.001.0001

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Poetry and Literary Culture in Late Antiquity

Poetry and Literary Culture in Late Antiquity

(p.163) 8 Poetry and Literary Culture in Late Antiquity
Wandering Poets and Other Essays on Late Greek Literature and Philosophy

Alan Cameron

Oxford University Press

After a phase of apparent decline, Greek and Latin poetry made a remarkable comeback in late antiquity. This chapter describes with many examples the spread in this period of verse to literary fields previously confined to prose, such as panegyric. But where one might have expected poetry to track the changes in the spoken language of Greek and Latin, instead it remained overwhelmingly classical, using traditional quantitative meters. In a Greco-Roman culture, Latin literature was heavily influenced by classical and Hellenistic Greek literature, above all in the continued importance it placed on traditional Greek mythology in Byzantine, Christian, times. Accounts of the mythical origin of cities, for example, enjoyed a considerable revival.

Keywords:   Greek mythology, classicizing poetry, late antiquity, panegyric, quantitative meter, Greco-Roman world, Byzantium

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