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Encyclopedia > Acritic songs

The acritic songs (Greek: ακριτικά τραγούδιαfrontiersmen songs) are the heroic or epic poetry that emerged from 10th century Byzantium, inspired by the almost continuous state of warfare with the Arabs in eastern Asia Minor. It gave birth to several Byzantine romances, most famous of all being the Digenis Acritas, setting up what is considered to be the beginnings of modern Greek literature. This article is about the type of character. ... The epic is a broadly defined genre of poetry, and one of the major forms of narrative literature. ... Byzantine Empire at its greatest extent c. ... The Arabs (Arabic: عرب ) are an ethnic group found throughout the Middle East and North Africa. ... Anatolia (Greek: ανατολη anatole, rising of the sun or East; compare Orient and Levant, by popular etymology Turkish Anadolu to ana mother and dolu filled), also called by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is a region of Southwest Asia which corresponds today to... Byzantine Empire at its greatest extent c. ... Digenis Acritas (Greek: Διγενής Ακρίτας) is the most famous epic poem that emerged out of the 12th century Byzantine Empire, following the Acritic songs tradition. ... // Main article: Ancient Greek literature Ancient Greek literature refers to literature written in Ancient Greek from the oldest surviving written works in the Greek language until the 4th century and the rise of the Byzantine Empire. ...

Contents

Subject

Medieval plate depicting acrites as inspired by literature
Medieval plate depicting acrites as inspired by literature

Written in Medieval Greek, the acritic songs deal with the ανδραγαθίες (heroic deeds) of ακρίτες (frontiersmen), warriors that lived near the Arab frontiers and fought against the enemy. The constant state of war in the region and the repeated confrontations with the Arabs inspired poets to write down tales of chivalry as a response to society that wished to be informed or hear details, whether factual or imaginary, for the adventures caused by enemy invasions or the martial valor of their countrymen who drove them out. The fate of the inhabitants who after each invasion often had to face the loss of family members as well as their own pain is also a major theme. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Medieval Greek (Μεσαιωνική Ελληνική) is a linguistic term that describes the fourth period in the history of the Greek language. ... The Arabs (Arabic: عرب ) are an ethnic group found throughout the Middle East and North Africa. ... Bors Dilemma - he chooses to save a maiden rather than his brother Lionel Chivalry[1] is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood. ...


The invasion and reposte, the hatred for the invader, the desire for revenge, the fate of female prisoners and the endeavours undertaken to their rescue, all inspire the poet who, based on direct narrations by eyewitnesses, organizes and develops this pool of information and emotions into a live language with an easily rememberable verse. The poet too narrates in recitation, or in a simple, recurring and easily taught pace the enslavement, duels, massacres, escapements, the release of captives and often the bonds of affection between kidnappers and women that lead to marriage and reconciliation.


Origins

The majority of academics trace the origins of Byzantine acritic romance in the oral epic poetry of the 9th - 10th century. Greek scholar Socrates Kougeas (Σωκράτης Κουγέας) dates the earliest reference to oral epics of the 10th century, in a speech given by bishop Arethas of Caesaria condemning the local αγύρται (agyrtae - the Greek counterpart of French troubadors) of Paphlagonia for glorifying violent acts instead of the saints and god. Kougeas amply observed that Arethas suggest a tradition developed at that time exactly in central Asia Minor which was the cradle of acritic literature. The preservation of such important oral songs in Asia Minor up to 1922 when the entire region was depopulated of Greeks proves that Kougeas' assumption is valid. As a literary genre, romance or chivalric romance refers to a style of heroic prose and verse narrative current in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... For the article about the night club in West Hollywood, California, see: Troubadour (nightclub). ... Paphlagonia was an ancient area on the Black Sea coast of north central Anatolia, situated between Bithynia and Pontus, and separated from Phrygia (later, Galatia) by a prolongation to the east of the Bithynian Olympus. ... Anatolia (Greek: ανατολη anatole, rising of the sun or East; compare Orient and Levant, by popular etymology Turkish Anadolu to ana mother and dolu filled), also called by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is a region of Southwest Asia which corresponds today to...


These folkish singers may have been professionals, or semi-professionals that temporarily abandoned their jobs to sing their songs by pay. This tradition remains today in Cyprus with the ποιηταράδες (chanters) that sing regularly in festivals and holidays.


A famous Theory from de specialist Roderick Beaton says that the poem of Digenis Akritas was first written in the Imperial Capital, Constantinople, at the 12th century, by elements from the military land-owner Aristocracy, originary from the Empire´s Asian provinces. Which had fleed to the capital after the turkish invasion at the mid-eleventh century.


They did it as a form to maintain alive their culture that gave a great deal to warrior skills, pernonal honour, courage and an aristocratic way-of-life.


Background

With the Arab expansion in the late 7th century came a life of warfare for the residents of easternmost territories. Syria was occupied in 640 and from then on, every year, Saracens attempted invasions in Asia Minor carrying captives on their way back. Cities were usually retaken by the Byzantine army, with the exception of Tarsus and Adana that remained under occupation until the 10th century, but each year after the invaders left the pain and suffering of the inhabitants remained along with their despair for their beloved ones that were missing. This continuous state of warfare set the stage for acritic poetry. For the rugby club Saracens see Saracens (rugby club) The term Saracen comes from Greek sarakenoi. ... In tetrapods, the tarsi are the cluster of bones in the foot between the tibia and fibula and the metatarsus. ... Adana (the ancient Antioch in Cilicia or Antioch on the Sarus) is the capital of Adana Province in Turkey. ...


The hero of these poems, the Ακρίτης (Acrites), is the personification of all Byzantine soldiers that guarded those territories. As early as emperor Alexander Severus soldiers were vested with land that would pass on to their sons in exchange for their service in the army. Justinian consolidated these lands as tax-free, the owners of whom Procopius names as λιμιτανέοι (limitanei). With the creation of the Byzantine theme system the landowners were given further privileges, that also excluded lakes from taxes. During the reign of Constantine Porphyrogenitus acritic lands were not allowed to be sold, even with the consent of the owner. This was necessary for the preservation of cavalry which was important for dealing with thieves (απελάτες). Following Byzantine successes against the Arabs after the 10th century, the borderlands were stabilized, tensions between them settled down and attention was diverted away from foreign affairs towards internal dangers. Heroine (female hero) redirects here. ... An emperor is a (male) monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. ... Alexander Severus Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexandrus (October 1, 208- March 18?, 235), commonly called Alexander Severus, Roman emperor from 222 to 235, was born at Arca Caesarea in Palestine. ... Justinian depicted on one of the famous mosaics of the Basilica of San Vitale. ... Procopius of Caesarea (in Greek Προκόπιος, c. ... Limitanei were border guards in the armies of the late Roman Empire. ... The themata in 950. ... Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos (the Purple-born) ( 905 – November 9, 959) was the son of Byzantine emperor Leo VI and nephew of Alexander III. He earned his nickname as the legitimate (or more accurately legitimized) son of Leo, as opposed to the others who claimed the throne during his lifetime. ...


Poems

Most poems did not survive the Ottoman occupation of Greece, and only a fraction remains of the original number of works, yet the ones we do hold today were famous enough to have existed in enough copies to survive. The most well known oral songs were written down and copied in great numbers, the most exceptional case being the Digenis Acritas which was well known even in western Europe outside the Byzantine empire. Motto دولت ابد مدت Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (The Eternal State) Anthem Ottoman imperial anthem Borders in 1680, see: list of territories Capital Söğüt (1299–1326) Bursa (1326–65) Edirne (1365–1453) Constantinople (Ä°stanbul, 1453–1922) Language(s) Ottoman Turkish Government Monarchy Sultans  - 1281–1326 Osman I  - 1918–22 Mehmed VI... World map showing the location of Europe. ... Byzantine Empire at its greatest extent c. ...


The most important acritic romances are: As a literary genre, romance or chivalric romance refers to a style of heroic prose and verse narrative current in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. ...

  • Digenis Acritas (Διγενής Ακρίτας).
  • Andronicus' Steed (Ο Ανδρόνικος και ο Μαύρος του).
  • Son of Andronicus (Ο υιός του Ανδρόνικου).
  • Song of Armoures (Το άσμα του Αρμούρη).

Digenis Acritas (Greek: Διγενής Ακρίτας) is the most famous epic poem that emerged out of the 12th century Byzantine Empire, following the Acritic songs tradition. ...

Legacy

Acritis, as a representation of acritic poetry, is greatly influential in modern Greek literature. Besides its prose of popular idiom which went on to influence and shape modern Greek, the poems themselves were nationalistic enough in character that they became a symbol of Greek continuity. Byzantine nationalism during the formation of the Greek state and in the age of the utopic new Greek Great Idea was widened and intensified. Kostis Palamas, among the greatest of Greek poets, was preparing his own version of Digenis Acrites before his death. Byzantine history as part of Greece's wider history derives from historian Constantine Paparregopoulus and it is that which inspired Palamas in one of his poems ("Αναπαίστους") to praise the hero of Digenis Acrites as the connecting link between Greece of the Persian Wars and Greece of 1821: Eugène Delacroixs Liberty Leading the People, symbolising French nationalism during the July Revolution. ... “Hellas” redirects here. ... The Megali Idea (Greek: Μεγάλη Ιδέα, lit. ... This article needs to be wikified. ... Byzantine Empire at its greatest extent c. ... Constantine Paparregopoulus (1815-1891) was a nineteenth century Greek historian greatly influential in Greece and abroad for his original reasearch in Byzantine history as well as in other fields of Greek studies. ... The Greco-Persian Wars or Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between the Greek world and the Persian Empire that started about 500 BC and lasted until 448 BC. The term can also refer to the continual warfare of the Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire against the Parthians and... Combatants Greek guerilla forces Ottoman Empire forces Commanders Kolokotronis Vrionis, Ibrahim Pasha Strength Casualties {{{notes}}} The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution, was a successful war waged by the Greeks between 1821 and 1827 to win independence from the Ottoman Empire. ...

Ο Ακρίτας είμαι, Χάροντα,
δέν παιρνώ μέ τά χρόνια,
Είμ' εγώ η ακατάλυτη ψυχή τών Σαλαμίνων,
στήν Εφτάλοφην έφερα το σπαθί τών Ελλήνων.

It is I, Acritas, Death,
years wont fade me away,
I'm the indestructible soul of Salamis,
bringing to Sevenhill, the sword of the Greeks. Combatants Greek city-states Persia, Halicarnassus Commanders Eurybiades of Sparta Themistocles of Athens Adeimantus of Corinth Aristides of Athens Xerxes I of Persia, Ariamenes †, Artemisia Strength 366-380 ships a 1,000-1,207 ships [1]b Casualties 40 ships 500 ships a Herodotus gives 378 of the alliance, but... Map of Constantinople. ...

With the defeat of Greece in the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922) signaling the death of the Greek Great Idea, and along with population exchange that emptied Asia Minor of Greeks, the legend of Acritas was weakened, although not completely erased. After the Second World War, Nikos Kazantzakis planned on writing his own poem centered on Acritas, who this time would not be the personification of a nation but of the higher and continuous spiritual fight of man. Its historical context would not be Byzantine. Combatants Greece Turkish Revolutionaries Commanders Ali Fethi Okyar, Ismet Inonu, Mustafa Kemal Strength Casualties The Greco–Turkish War of 1919–1922, also called the War in Asia Minor, and (in Turkey) a part of the Turkish War of Independence, was a war between Greece and Turkey fought in the wake... Megali Idea (Μεγάλη Ιδέα) (Greek for Great Idea) is a concept of Greek nationalism expressing the goal of establishing a Greek state that encompasses all ethnic Greeks. ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... Nikos Kazantzakis (Greek: Νίκος Καζαντζάκης) (February 18, 1883, Heraklion, Crete, Greece - October 26, 1957, Freiburg, Germany), author of poems, novels, essays, plays, and travel books, was arguably the most important and most translated Greek writer and philosopher of the 20th century. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Acrinet (1121 words)
It is important to note that we should put the label acritic to songs that describe specific heroes of the regional aristocracy and not to just any song, regardless of content, born in a frontier region.
Precursors to the acritic songs are thought to be the bylines, Russian epic songs, attached to the oral tradition.
Guy Saunier, Professor at the Sorbonne, who holds the acritic songs to be a subcategory of Greek heroic folksongs, illuminates the symbolic aspect of some of the protagonists of the acritic cycle.
Acritic songs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (992 words)
The acritic songs (Greek: ακριτικά τραγούδια — frontiersmen songs) are the heroic or epic poetry that emerged from 10th century Byzantium, inspired by the almost continuous state of warfare with the Arabs in eastern Asia Minor.
The majority of academics trace the origins of Byzantine acritic romance in the oral epic poetry of the 9th - 10th century.
Acritis, as a representation of acritic poetry, is greatly influential in modern Greek literature.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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