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This chapter gives an overview of how Byzantines conceptualized “poetry.” It argues that from the Byzantine point of view, poetry only differs from prose in a very formal way, namely that it is written in verse. Both prose and poetry belonged to the category of logoi, the only label that was very frequently used, in contrast to the term “poetry,” which was reserved for the ancient poetry studied at schools. Many authors considered (and exploited) the difference between their own prose texts and poems as a primarily formal one. Nevertheless, poetry did have some functions that set it apart from prose, even if these features are for us less expected. The quality of “bound speech” gained a spiritual dimension, since verse was seen as a restrained form of discourse, also from a moral point of view. Finally, the chapter gives a brief overview of the social contexts for which (learned) poetry was the medium of choice: as an inscription, as paratext in a wide sense, as a piece of personal introspection, as invective, as summaries (often of a didactic nature), and as highly public ceremonial pieces.
Keywords
Byzantine poetry, verse, meter, logoi, paratext, invective

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MLA
Bernard, Floris, and Kristoffel Demoen. “Poetry?” The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Literature, edited by Stratis Papaioannou, Oxford University Press, 2021, pp. 365–80, doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199351763.013.25.
APA
Bernard, F., & Demoen, K. (2021). Poetry? In S. Papaioannou (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of Byzantine literature (pp. 365–380). https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199351763.013.25
Chicago author-date
Bernard, Floris, and Kristoffel Demoen. 2021. “Poetry?” In The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Literature, edited by Stratis Papaioannou, 365–80. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199351763.013.25.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Bernard, Floris, and Kristoffel Demoen. 2021. “Poetry?” In The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Literature, ed by. Stratis Papaioannou, 365–380. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199351763.013.25.
Vancouver
1.
Bernard F, Demoen K. Poetry? In: Papaioannou S, editor. The Oxford handbook of Byzantine literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2021. p. 365–80.
IEEE
[1]
F. Bernard and K. Demoen, “Poetry?,” in The Oxford handbook of Byzantine literature, S. Papaioannou, Ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021, pp. 365–380.
@incollection{7198041,
  abstract     = {{This chapter gives an overview of how Byzantines conceptualized “poetry.” It argues that from the Byzantine point of view, poetry only differs from prose in a very formal way, namely that it is written in verse. Both prose and poetry belonged to the category of logoi, the only label that was very frequently used, in contrast to the term “poetry,” which was reserved for the ancient poetry studied at schools. Many authors considered (and exploited) the difference between their own prose texts and poems as a primarily formal one. Nevertheless, poetry did have some functions that set it apart from prose, even if these features are for us less expected. The quality of “bound speech” gained a spiritual dimension, since verse was seen as a restrained form of discourse, also from a moral point of view. Finally, the chapter gives a brief overview of the social contexts for which (learned) poetry was the medium of choice: as an inscription, as paratext in a wide sense, as a piece of personal introspection, as invective, as summaries (often of a didactic nature), and as highly public ceremonial pieces.}},
  author       = {{Bernard, Floris and Demoen, Kristoffel}},
  booktitle    = {{The Oxford handbook of Byzantine literature}},
  editor       = {{Papaioannou, Stratis}},
  isbn         = {{9780199351763}},
  keywords     = {{Byzantine poetry,verse,meter,logoi,paratext,invective}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{365--380}},
  publisher    = {{Oxford University Press}},
  title        = {{Poetry?}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199351763.013.25}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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