Ancient Greek literature
| Hellenistic poetry ： ウィキペディア英語版|
Ancient Greek literature refers to literature written in the Ancient Greek language from the earliest texts until roughly the rise of the Byzantine Empire.
Homer is often regarded as the greatest of all Greek writers.
== Classical and pre-classical antiquity ==
This period of Greek literature stretches from Homer until the 4th century BC and the rise of Alexander the Great. The earliest known Greek writings are Mycenaean, written in the Linear B syllabary on clay tablets. These documents contain prosaic records largely concerned with trade (lists, inventories, receipts, etc.); no real literature has been discovered. Several theories have been advanced to explain this curious absence. One is that Mycenaean literature, like the works of Homer and other epic poems, was passed on orally, since the Linear B syllabary is not well-suited to recording the sounds of Greek (see phonemic principle).
Greek literature was divided in well-defined literary genres, each one having a compulsory formal structure, about both dialect and metrics. The first division was between prose and poetry. Fictional literature was written in verse, while scientific literature was in prose. Within the poetry we could separate three super-genres: epic, lyric and drama. We can observe here that the Greek terminology has become the common European terminology about literary genres. Lyric and drama were further divided into more genres: lyric in four (elegiac, iambic, monodic lyric and choral lyric); drama in three (tragedy, comedy and pastoral drama). About literature in prose there was more freedom; the main areas were historiography, philosophy and political rhetoric.
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