2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

Western Influence on Late Byzantine Literature
Thomas W. Lecaque
Prof. Claire Peckosh, Faculty Mentor

Over a span of time ranging from the beginning of the Crusades until the fall of Constantinople, Western contact changed the character of Byzantine literature. Through a look at four works, we can see how new literary forms were brought to the East. The first of these, the Digensis Akritis, is the only example of a Byzantine heroic epic, written in a chanson de geste form similar to its contemporary, Song of Roland. The three others-Velthandros and Chrysandza, Kallimachos and Chrysorroi, and Livistros and Rodamni-are romances, products of the culture that arose in the Morea after the Fourth Crusade. Incorporating Western ideas such as contemporary backgrounds with supernatural motifs and the castle motif with Greek elements from traditional novels and the vestiges of Byzantine institutions, these poems represent the cultural assimilation of the Latin East into the revitalized Byzantine state of the thirteenth and fourteenth century.

Keywords: medieval, morea, literature, byzantine, epic, romances, greek


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 17-3
Location: OP 2121
Time: 10:15

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