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EPOCHS OF
GREEK ECCLESIASTICAL POETRY441st ed. only, p. B.

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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