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Wandering Poets and Other Essays on Late Greek Literature and Philosophy$
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Alan Cameron

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190268947

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190268947.001.0001

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Wandering Poets

Wandering Poets

A Literary Movement in Byzantine Egypt

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Wandering Poets
Source:
Wandering Poets and Other Essays on Late Greek Literature and Philosophy
Author(s):

Alan Cameron

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190268947.003.0001

This chapter shows that in late antiquity most Greek poets came from Upper Egypt rather than the traditional centers. They were mostly professional poets who traveled widely in search of patrons. In a period which saw the triumph of Christianity and the decline and eventual proscription of worship of the old gods, many of these poets were pagans. Though little remains of their work, which is anyway unlikely to have been of a high order, their existence and activity cast important light on the social, cultural, and political life of the later Empire. They were often men of learning, shrewd and worldly, equally proficient in the arts of poetry and politics.

Keywords:   professional poets, Upper Egypt, late antiquity, pagans, neoplatonism

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