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Abstract

Written in 1095 by the otherwise unknown monk Philippos, the Dioptra combined established literary traditions with trends that characterised the literature of the 12th century. The 7134 (or 7217 in a second redaction) political verses are structured in five books: the Klauthmoi, a catanyctic poem addressed to the soul; and four books of dialogue between the body and the soul, personified as a maid and mistress respectively. The mistress poses various theological and anthropological questions, which the maid answers based on patristic and scriptural sources. The poem achieved great popularity in the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine periods. In the 14th century it was translated into Middle Bulgarian Church Slavonic.

In: A Companion to Byzantine Poetry