what is a porohyrogene

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please help what is a porohyrogene?

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2003


Greek word: Porphyrogene which suggests porphyrogenitus " born to the purple" that is a reference to the king in Poe's poem "The Haunted Palace". The Greek word was actually the title of a Byzantine Emperor, Constantine VII, a man of letters Poe wrote about critically.(Mabbott:"Complete Poems" p. 318). Says something about Usher's artistic inclinations I suppose and the hoary sense of the dead past.

I see some other Byzantine Empire references in Poe such as "Irene" but nothing as involved as Elizabeth Barrett Browning's writings about that period. Yeats of course is the most famous employer of Byzantine allusions but most people today tend to miss small references and think first of pagan Greece.

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2003

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