Late Antiquity I (S. Zuenelli)

This chapter examines the reception of traditional epic patterns in Graeco-Roman epic poetry in Late Antiquity. The analysis focuses on the use and function of the most important narrative patterns and type scenes (proem, catalogue, ekphrasis, simile, prophecies and dreams) in the most prominent extant epic poems of this period.

First, an overview of epic poetry in Late Antiquity and its socio-historical background in general is given before, secondly, the reception of the traditional epic patterns is discussed with a selection of the most relevant examples. This study will focus on the innovative character of late ancient epic poetry in its use and implementation of traditional structural elements from classical epic. Thirdly, a comprehensive list of the aforementioned traditional structural elements and narrative patterns employed in late ancient epic is provided in the form of an appendix to facilitate future research in this field.