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Hymns Of The Eastern Church by John Mason Neale

EPOCHS OF GREEK ECCLESIASTICAL POETRY

Like that of the Latin, the Poetry of the Greek Church may be divided into three epochs: --

I. That of formation, while it was gradually throwing off the bondage of classical metres, and inventing and perfecting its various styles; and this ends about A.D.726.

II. That of perfection: which, as we shall see, nearly coincides with the period of the Iconoclastic Controversy, A.D.726-820.

III. That of decadence: when the effeteness of an effeminate Court, and the dissolution of a decaying Empire, reduced ecclesiastical poetry, by slow degrees, to a stilted bombast, giving great words to little meaning, heaping up epithet on epithe, tricking out common-places in diction more and more gorgeous, till sense and simplicity are alike sought in vain. A.D.820-1400.

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