Learning in Byzantium: a socio-literary study of Greek didactic poetry in the 11th and 12th century

01 November 2021 → 31 October 2025
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Literatures in Greek
    • Medieval literature
    • Poetics
    • Literary history
didactic poetry literary sociology Medieval education in Byzantium
Project description

Didactic poetry was a popular genre in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. After a lull in production between the 6th and 10th century, we see a resurgence of Greek didactic poetry in the 11th and 12th century, related to the political and socio-cultural circumstances of the Byzantine empire. Many works written in these two centuries have not been published yet, and those that have are largely understudied. As such, our knowledge of Byzantine didactic poetry is rather limited. This project strives to change that through a corpus-based literary analysis combined with historical contextualisation. In doing so, I aim to answer the following research question: “What characterizes Greek didactic poetry of the 11th and 12th century and how did the socio-cultural context of this period and the defining aspects of this literary genre influence each other?”