''For happy is he who speaks to listening ears’: writing and reading paraenetic poetry in Late Byzantium (1204-1453)'.

01 October 2023 → 10 May 2027
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Greek language
    • Literatures in Greek
manuscript studies byzantine poetry reader - response criticism
Project description

This research project aims to investigate medieval Greek paraenetic poetry in the Palaiologan Period (1204-1453), through an in-depth study of its socio-cultural and literary relevance, its readers, and its connection to monastic and non-monastic environments. It seeks to understand its Sitz im Leben and the transformative potential of such literature in late Byzantine ethical and moral thought. This project will be the first to create a corpus of paraenetic texts and to publish previously unknown texts belonging to this genre. Paraenetic poetry will be examined both from a diachronic and sinchronic perspective. In a diachronic perspective, it will analyze its connections with biblical and early Christian Paraenesis, and in a synchronic perspective, it will juxtapose this genre with related ones. As part of this study, we will examine how extensive the impact of texts like these was on readers, how they shaped communities, as well as how they contributed to the creation and formation of the identity of people belonging to such communities. For this type of analysis, it is necessary to examine the production and consumption of texts by concrete historical communities, both monastic and non-monastic. Thus, an investigation of these texts' Sitz im Leben proves to be extremely relevant.