The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Literature

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This volume, the first ever of its kind in English, introduces and surveys Greek literature in Byzantium (330 - 1453 CE). In twenty-five chapters composed by leading specialists, The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Literature surveys the immense body of Greek literature produced from the fourth to the fifteenth century CE and advances a nuanced understanding of what "literature" was in Byzantium. This volume is structured in four sections. The first, "Materials, Norms, Codes," presents basic structures for understanding the history of Byzantine literature like language, manuscript book culture, theories of literature, and systems of textual memory. The second, "Forms," deals with the how Byzantine literature works: oral discourse and "text"; storytelling; rhetoric; re-writing; verse; and song. The third section ("Agents") focuses on the creators of Byzantine literature, both its producers and its recipients. The final section, entitled "Translation, Transmission, Edition," surveys the three main ways by which we access Byzantine Greek literature today: translations into other Byzantine languages during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages; Byzantine and post-Byzantine manuscripts; and modern printed editions. The volume concludes with an essay that offers a view of the recent past--as well as the likely future--of Byzantine literary studies.

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