'Modern Greek' in 'Byzantium'? The notion of 'early modern' in Greek studies

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Date
2009
Authors
Kaplanis, Tassos A.
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Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek
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Abstract
When does modern Greek literature begin? Modern Greek and Byzantine scholarship have used various terms in the past in order to describe the same texts of the so-called vernacular Greek literature. Thus, the Epic of Digenis Akritis, the Chronicle of Moreas, the Paleologan Romances, the poems of Sachlikis, Kornaros, Chortatsis, to name but a few, have all been described as “Byzantine”, “late medieval/protoneohellenic”, “medieval”, “late Byzantine, Renaissance and post-Byzantine”, “modern”, “early modern”, even “Neograeca Medii Aevi”. Although most of these terms can easily be proved a-historical anachronisms (“modern Greek” but also “medieval” and “Byzantine” were completely unknown to the peoples/cultures they aim to describe), one can argue for their necessity, provided that they at least describe accurately literary and related phenomena. In this paper, I will advocate the use of the term “early modern” as the best and most accurate description for this “vernacular” Greek literature in all related contexts (linguistic, historical, social) and I will also reshape its boundaries, gesturing both forward and backward (12th–early 19th c.).
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Greek Research, Greece, Australia, Tassos A. Kaplanis
Citation
Kaplanis, Tassos A. 2009. 'Modern Greek' in 'Byzantium'? The notion of 'early modern' in Greek studies. In E. Close, G. Couvalis, G. Frazis, M. Palaktsoglou, and M. Tsianikas (eds.) "Greek Research in Australia: Proceedings of the Biennial International Conference of Greek Studies, Flinders University June 2007", Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek: Adelaide, 343-356.