By Marc Diederik Lauxtermann
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Additional info for Byzantine Poetry from Pisides to Geometres: Texts and contexts; Epigrams in ...
LAUXTERMANN, JÖB 45 (1995) 371. 44 Part One: Texts and Contexts great interest to the iconophile opponents, even epigrams that never made it. The badly written verses in Laura Z 126 survived because the manuscript was probably copied either at the behest of Constantine Dalassenos himself, one of his relatives, or one of his most intimate friends (given the fact that the date of the epigrams and the date of the manuscript practically coincide). Rough drafts are extremely interesting because they highlight a pivotal phase in the production of epigrams, which is as important as it is difficult to pinpoint, namely the moment when the poet showed his work to the patron in order to get his approval.
Well, says Ignatios, probably because “you and the one who bids you” (s7 te kaò Ö kal0n) prefer the laming iambics of the original version to the prosodically correct verses I have written. Here we clearly see the mechanisms of patronage. Constantine Asekretis is acting as the middleman. He is asked by unnamed persons in the higher bureaucracy (to¦ß aœt8sasi and Ö kal0n) to take care that empresses Irene and Theodora are praised in verses that do not fall short of the expectations of people at the court – prosodically correct iambics celebrating the cult of the icons.
This refers once again to the actual performance of the poem, for the choir has been hired to sing the intercalary distichs, including this one (whereas the strophes are sung by a soloist). In the next strophe, the poet directly addresses the audience present at the recital of the poem and asks them to witness the wedding ceremonies. Look at the thorny rose of love, listen to the plectrum of desire! Bride and groom are all flames; temper their burning passion, yet kindle it lest it cool off! By using the imperative mood, the poet appeals for all those present to engage in the festivities, to look at what is going on before their eyes and to listen to his poem.
Byzantine Poetry from Pisides to Geometres: Texts and contexts; Epigrams in ... by Marc Diederik Lauxtermann