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Litanic Verse I

Origines, Iberia, Slavia et Europa Media


Witold Sadowski, Magdalena Kowalska and Magdalena Maria Kubas

The book contains comparative analyses of the development of litanic verse in European poetry, from medieval to modern times. Litanic verse is based on different syntactic devices, such as enumeration, parallelism, anaphora and epiphora. However, it is not to be seen merely as a convention of versification as the popularity of different variants of the verse in Europe reflects the religious, intellectual, social and political history of various European regions. The essays in the first volume focus on the origins of the Litany (the Near East, Greece, Byzantium, Rome), as well as the emergence of litanic verse in the Iberian languages (Castilian, Catalan, Galician, Portuguese) and Slavic and Central European literatures (Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Serbian, Russian).

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Southern Slavs: At the Meeting Point of Traditions


The presence of a litanic verse tradition, or rather the lack of such a tradition, in South Slavic literature and art necessitates an introduction to the general characteristics of this geo-cultural area (to a greater or lesser extent considering its ever-changing borders throughout its history). At present this region is inhabited by Slavs, but also by non-Slavic peoples, mostly Albanians. Geographically speaking, it covers the area known as the Balkans: to the west there are the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, to the east the Black and Marmara Seas, to the north the Danube River as far as the mouth of the Sava River, then on to Kupa and Gorski Kotar, and finally the Adriatic coast around Rijeka. To the south of the Balkans there is the Peloponnesian Peninsula. Historically, the lands belonged to Greek, Illyrian, and Avar tribes, before becoming, from the sixth century onwards, the territory of the Slavs and Bulgarians prior to the Turkish conquest. Currently, the Balkan countries include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Turkey, Serbia, Croatia, and, due to its political dependence, Slovenia (as it was part of the former Yugoslavia), although historically and culturally they also include Romania. All the countries and their languages belong to the Balkan linguistic league. However, the problems that arose as a result of state relativism, and its nineteenth-century origins, created a situation in which the individual claims of the modern states to the ancient authors, who are considered to be the representatives of different...

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