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Panagiotis Agapitos: Late Antique or Early Byzantine? The shifting beginnings of Byzantine Literature

Thursday, May 16, 2013
5:15 – 7:00 pm
Bulding 110, Room 112
Join us at 5:00pm for light refreshments.
The aim of this talk is twofold. On the one hand, it examines the epistemological reasons behind the shifting beginnings of Byzantine literature, a shift that covers a period of four centuries (AD 300-700), as well as the methodological problems for the study of Byzantine literature (however one might define of these two words) resulting from the rise of Late Antiquity as a new historical period and a new field of studies. On the other hand, the paper proposes a series of four textually immanent criteria and seven internal operative principles by means of which a different methodological approach to the “beginning” of Byzantine literature can be reached. For this purpose two authors, one writing in Greek and one writing in Latin will be used as the textual basis for establishing a structural break in literary production. For the purpose of controlling this proposal a comparison with important but highly debated monument will be made. 
Panagiotis A. Agapitos is Professor of Byzantine Literature and Culture at the University of Cyprus. His research interests focus on textual and literary criticism, with an emphasis on Byzantine rhetoric and poetics, fiction in Byzantium and the representation of death in Byzantine literature. He has published most recentlyBetween History and Fiction: Medieval Narratives between History and Fiction: From the Centre to the Periphery of Europe, 1100-1400 (Copenhagen 2012), a volume edited with L. B. Mortensen.