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Project

David, our Orpheus: Reception, Rewritings and Adaptations of the Psalms in Byzantine Poetry.

The Psalms, being an important corpus of biblical poetic texts, have influenced the entire history of

European literature and religious culture. Early Christian and Byzantine readers recognized the

poetical features of the Psalms, and psalmody (i.e. the practice of singing the Psalms in divine

worship) was a typical exercise of monastic life. The proposed research will analyze how the Greek

Psalms are reflected in various kinds of late antique and Byzantine poetry. This connection has been

overlooked so far but will strongly contribute to an insight into the reception of the Bible in the

Middle Ages. We will explore different kinds of poetical texts selected from different periods, in

order to ensure a variety of perspectives. The corpus will include metrical paratexts referring to the

Psalms, that is: epigrams that praise David (often as the new Orpheus) and his Psalms. These poems

are transmitted along with the Psalms themselves and attest to the persistence of a particular

poetic taste in the transmission of the biblical text. They will be the object of a monograph,

including a critical edition and translation. Another field of investigation will be constituted by

paraphrases of the Psalms in verse from very different periods, which will be studied as examples of

interpretation, rewriting and creative appropriation at once.

Date:1 Jan 2018 →  31 Dec 2021
Keywords:Byzantine Poetry