Title: Στίχοι υφαντοί : Βυζαντινά αρ–ιστουργήματα
Stichoi yfantoi: Vyzantina ar-istourgimata
- Woven verses : Byzantine masterpieces
Source document: Neograeca Bohemica. 2016, vol. 16, iss. , pp. -138
License: Not specified license
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The present study offers a general overview of Byzantine visual poetry, based on older studies including works by Paul Speck (1964; 2003), Odysseas Lampsidis (1982), Wolfram Hörandner (1990; 2009) and Ulrich Ernst (1991), focusing on a special poetical form where the text is interwoven with other intexts (e.g. acro-, meso- and telestics). These poetical forms are called carmina cancellata or carmina quadrata in Latin and Gittergedichte in German. The Greek term "woven verses" [στίχοι υφαντοί] was introduced by Eustathios of Thessalonike (c. 1110–1195). But this type is scarcely known in modern studies of visual poetry. One of the main aims of the present study is therefore to emphasize the importance of the Greek term στίχοι υφαντοί as a terminus technicus for the Byzantine examples, as they differ in their metric construction from the Latin ones. The study associates the form with the general metaphor of text as a woven texture. The paper compares Byzantine and Latin examples as well as Modern Greek visual poetry. In addition, it examines the instrumentalization of the genre as a tool of propaganda, as an imperial and mannerist form, raising questions concerning the mediality and public presentation of Byzantine visual poems.