How should we define vernacular literature?
By Martin Hinterberger
Paper given at the conference Unlocking the Potential of Texts: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Medieval Greek at the University of Cambridge (2006)
Introduction: Originally I was given the task of clarifying the distinction between vernacular and learned literature. I have no definitive answer to the question “How should we define vernacular literature?” Instead I can only offer some remarks which I hope will be helpful. Afterwards, I shall present to you certain texts and then consider whether they belong to the category of vernacular literature or not. I shall focus on the period prior to 1500, in other words, up to the end of the Byzantine era. In the following, therefore, I will treat vernacular literature as part of Byzantine Literature.