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Glossary of Poetic Terms
Introduction Ancient Greek literature The periods Archaic period, to the end of the 6th century bc Classical period, 5th and 4th centuries bc Hellenistic and Greco-Roman periods The genres Epic narrative Lyric poetry Tragedy Comedy History Rhetoric and oratory Philosophical prose Late forms of poetry Late forms of prose Byzantine literature General characteristics Principal forms of writing Nonliturgical poetry Liturgical poetry Historical works Rhetoric Modern Greek literature after Post-Byzantine period Independence and after Old Athenian School Heptanesian School Demoticism and folklorism, — Literature after See Article History.
Ancient Greek literature Of the literature of ancient Greece only a relatively small proportion survives. The periods The history of ancient Greek literature may be divided into three periods: Archaic to the end of the 6th century bc ; Classical 5th and 4th centuries bc ; and Hellenistic and Greco-Roman 3rd century bc onward. Start Your Free Trial Today. Load Next Page. Additional Reading. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Glossary of Poetic Terms.
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Abecedarian Related to acrostic, a poem in which the first letter of each line or stanza follows sequentially through the alphabet. Accentual verse Verse whose meter is determined by the number of stressed accented syllables—regardless of the total number of syllables—in each line. Accentual-syllabic verse Verse whose meter is determined by the number and alternation of its stressed and unstressed syllables, organized into feet.
From line to line, the number of stresses accents may vary, but the total number of syllables within each line is fixed. The majority of English poems from the Renaissance to the 19th century are written according to this metrical system. Acmeism An early 20th-century Russian school of poetry that rejected the vagueness and emotionality of Symbolism in favor of Imagist clarity and texture.
Acrostic A poem in which the first letter of each line spells out a word, name, or phrase when read vertically.
Allegory An extended metaphor in which the characters, places, and objects in a narrative carry figurative meaning. Alliteration The repetition of initial stressed, consonant sounds in a series of words within a phrase or verse line.
Allusion A brief, intentional reference to a historical, mythic, or literary person, place, event, or movement. Ambiguity A word, statement, or situation with two or more possible meanings is said to be ambiguous. In my case it is a very general one — that material well-being and with it high culture are dependent on economic complexity, which is fragile; when an economy collapses as I believe happened at the end of the Roman empire , the consequences are dire.
The aggressive Justinian is roundly condemned, and presented, implicitly but unambiguously, as a sixth-century George W. The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America Houghton Mifflin , which I have only excluded from consideration alongside our seven books because it is very different in style and approach.
It is not a conventional history book and does not focus specifically on the late empire; rather it is a detailed and intelligent exploration of different aspects of ancient Roman and modern American society, drawing out the contrasts between the two as much as, if not more than, the parallels. In the case of Goffart, Heather and Halsall this is not so, though Goffart does reveal some modern anxieties of his own over German nationalism. Europeans, and their descendents the North Americans, have had it very good for four or five centuries, thanks to their dominance military, political, economic, cultural, even religious over the globe.
Romans had it very good for about the same number of centuries. Are we in the modern West headed in the same direction? It is interesting to explore a notable absence from these books. We do not identify with the Romans of Constantinople in the same way as we identify with the Romans of Rome. This also means that we, and all these books, can largely ignore the great crisis that faced the East Roman empire two centuries after the fall of the West — the rise of the Arabs and of Islam.
This is very convenient, because it means we Europeans, and peoples of European descent, while getting deeply preoccupied by our own barbarians and their role in history as all these books testify , can ignore the much more important, but also much more sensitive, issue of the role of Arab and Muslim invasions in overturning the world order during the seventh century. In a world where life appears to be getting better, why are we in the grip of a suicide epidemic?
Profound weaknesses leave us open to political warfare from Russia and China—weaknesses which they are ruthlessly exploiting. The Decline and Fall Industry. Bryan Ward-Perkins. Slice 1. Tags Fall of Rome.
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A Strange Rush for the Exit In a world where life appears to be getting better, why are we in the grip of a suicide epidemic?