Style-switching in the Grottaferrata Text of Digenes Akrites

Dietrich R.

Revue des études byzantines, vol.64, pp.365-368, 2006 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 64
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.3406/rebyz.2006.2398
  • Title of Journal : Revue des études byzantines
  • Page Numbers: pp.365-368


Although scholars have investigated many of the historical and literary aspects of the sole
surviving Byzantine epic, Digenes Akrites, since the discovery of the first text in the 19th century,
the aspect of style-switching has not been previously examined. This article examines the use of
style-switching, the use of foreign words and terms for literary effect, in the Grottaferrata text of
Digenes Akrites. It demonstrates that the use and distribution of words of Arabic origin in the text
are not random, but a deliberate technique by the writer to create a foreign 'atmosphere' in those
passages where Arabs are the main characters or the events take place in Arab territory.