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Theodore Prodromos: Writing Poetry and Schedography in Twelfth-Century Constantinople

Nikolaos Zagklas, University of Silesia, Fellow 2015–2016

I spent my fellowship term expanding my doctoral thesis, “Writing Poetry and Schedography in Twelfth-Century Constantinople,” into a book manuscript. The prospectus has been accepted by Oxford University Press. This book will be the first critical study of a corpus of ninety-five neglected poems of various genres by Theodore Prodromos, the most skilled and celebrated poet in twelfth-century Constantinople. It explores the circulation of these poems within the historical and sociocultural context of the Komnenian period and beyond. It demonstrates that many of these poems, when viewed in the context of Prodromos’s innovative schedographic project, served many functions. It will, thus, illustrate for the first time that Prodromos’s roles as court poet and teacher were inextricably linked and of significant importance for understanding his poetic craft.

I also completed an article on the relationship between prose and verse in twelfth-century Byzantine literary culture. This is the first detailed study to explore works written in mixed form (the so-called prosimetrum), twinned works (in prose and verse), and triplets of works (in prose, verse, and schedography), as well as the phenomenon of polymetry. Moreover, I translated and discussed a group of poems by Theodore Prodromos, Niketas Eugenianos, and Gregory of Corinth for the forthcoming Medieval Texts on Art and Aesthetics (edited by Charles Barber and F. Spingou); completed an article that includes the editio princeps of six anonymous poems preserved in a fourteenth-century manuscript; and began a chapter that examines the various trends of verse satire in the Komnenian and Palaiologan periods for a companion to Byzantine Satire (edited by I. Nilsson and P. Marciniak).