Byzantine Poetry in the ‘Long’ Twelfth Century (1081–1204): Texts and Contexts

(FWF project: P28959 01.10.2016–31.01.2020)


Byzantine poetry up to the year 1081 has been comprehensively studied over the last ten years thanks to the studies “Byzantine Poetry from Pisides to Geometres” and “Writing and Reading Byzantine Secular Poetry, 1025–1081” by Marc Lauxtermann and Floris Bernard, respectively. By contrast, the poetry produced in the Komnenian period has received less scholarly attention. The project “Byzantine Poetry in the ‘Long’ Twelfth Century (1081–1204): Texts and Contexts” aims to take the first steps towards filling this gap in the study and appreciation of poetry written during this period.

Court poetry, didactic poetry, satire and schedography in verse, and poems concerned with the “rhetoric of poverty” are some popular twelfth-century genres which represent the use of verse for heterogeneous purposes and various addressees or commissioners during the twelfth century. Although many of these genres were not new, their production during this period is significantly larger in comparison with that of the immediately preceding and following centuries.

The main aim of the project is to investigate Komnenian poetry in conjunction with its various contexts of production and delivery (court, classroom, theatron, church etc.) and on the basis of heterogeneous discursive forms and genres (e.g., epos, satire, and didactic, occasional and epistolary poetry). It examines various aspects associated with Komnenian poetry (e.g. patronage, authorship, circulation and mobility of texts, education system, and performance) and describes its prominent place in the literary production and socio-cultural context of the entire twelfth-century. It also takes into consideration the poetic production in the periphery of the empire (e.g. Sicily and Athens) and the works of lesser known or anonymous poets.

PROGRAMME OF THE CONFERENCE "BYZANTINE POETRY IN THE 'LONG' TWELFTH CENTURY (1081-1204)", JUNE 13-15, 2018

Images of the conference, June 13-15, 2018 ((c) A. Rhoby)

PROGRAMME OF THE EVENING LECTURE, JUNE 17, 2019

Cooperation partners


• Dr. Eirini Afentoulidou-Leitgeb–Austrian Academy of Sciences (project “The Dioptra of Philippos Monotropos”) • Prof. Theodora Antonopoulou–Athens University (Byzantine literature and philology) • Prof. Floris Bernard–Ghent University (11th-century poetry) • Prof. Kristoffel Demoen–Ghent University (project “Database of Byzantine Book Epigrams”) • Prof. Ivan Drpić–University of Washington (Art History and epigrams) • Prof. Wolfram Hörandner–Austrian Academy of Sciences (Byzantine literature and philology) • Prof. Elizabeth Jeffreys–University of Oxford (project “Manganeios Prodromos”) • Prof. Michael Jeffreys–University of Oxford (project “Manganeios Prodromos”) • Prof. Marc Lauxtermann–University of Oxford (Byzantine Poetry 'Text and Context') • Prof. Przemyslaw Marciniak–University of Silesia, Katowice (project “An Intellectual History of Twelfth-Century Byzantium–Appropriation and Transformation of Ancient Literature”) • Dr. Georgi Parpulov–University of Birmingham (Art History and manuscripts) • Prof. Claudia Rapp–University of Vienna/Austrian Academy of Sciences (Social History) • Prof. Juan Signes Codoñer–University of Valladolid (project “El autor bizantino”) • Dr. Foteini Spingou–University of Edinburgh (project “Anthologizing the Occasion: Medieval Poetic Anthologies and Cultural Memory”) • Dr. Alexandra Wassiliou-Seibt–Austrian Academy of Sciences (project “Metrical Legends on Byzantine Lead Seals”)