The Neotericoi Neoterics or the Neoteric period refers to avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 poets and their poetry, specifically those Greek and Latin poets in the Hellenistic Period (323 BC
323 BC
Year 323 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Longus and Cerretanus...

 onwards) who propagated a new style of Greek poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

, deliberately turning away from the classical Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

ic epic poetry
Epic poetry
An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...


Their poems featured small-scale personal themes, instead of the feats of ancient heroes and gods. Although these poems might seem to address superficial subjects, they are subtle and accomplished works of art.

Greek Neoterics

The most famous of these were the Alexandrian
Alexandrian is either:* an adjective referring to a place called Alexandria, as in Alexandrian text-type* a person from and/or inhabiting a city called Alexandria...

The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

Callimachus was a native of the Greek colony of Cyrene, Libya. He was a noted poet, critic and scholar at the Library of Alexandria and enjoyed the patronage of the Egyptian–Greek Pharaohs Ptolemy II Philadelphus and Ptolemy III Euergetes...

, the author of many epigrams, and Theocritus
Theocritus , the creator of ancient Greek bucolic poetry, flourished in the 3rd century BC.-Life:Little is known of Theocritus beyond what can be inferred from his writings. We must, however, handle these with some caution, since some of the poems commonly attributed to him have little claim to...

, a bucolic poet from Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...


Latin Neoterics

Influenced by the Greek Neoterics, the Latin Neoterics or poetae novi (writing in the 1st century BC) rejected traditional social and literary norms. Their poetry is characterized by tight construction, a playful use of genre
Genre , Greek: genos, γένος) is the term for any category of literature or other forms of art or culture, e.g. music, and in general, any type of discourse, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres are formed by conventions that change over time...

, punning, and complex allusions. The most significant surviving Latin Neoteric is Catullus
Gaius Valerius Catullus was a Latin poet of the Republican period. His surviving works are still read widely, and continue to influence poetry and other forms of art.-Biography:...

. The modern edition of his works derives from a single codex, which appeared in the 14th century in his hometown of Verona, but now is lost. His poetry exemplifies the elegant vocabulary, meter, and sound, which the Neoterics sought, while balancing it with the equally important allusive element of their style.

Latin poets normally classified as neoterics are Catullus
Gaius Valerius Catullus was a Latin poet of the Republican period. His surviving works are still read widely, and continue to influence poetry and other forms of art.-Biography:...

 and his fellow poets such as Helvius Cinna
Helvius Cinna
Gaius Helvius Cinna was an influential neoteric poet of the late Roman Republic, a little older than the generation of Catullus and Calvus.His magnum opus Zmyrna established his literary fame; a mythological epic poem focused on the incestuous love of Smyrna for her father Cinyras, treated after...

, Publius Valerius Cato
Publius Valerius Cato
Publius Valerius Cato was a Roman poet and grammarian. He is of importance as the leader of the new school of poetry. Its followers rejected the national epic and drama in favor of the artificial mythological epics and elegies of the Alexandrian school, and preferred Euphorion of Chalcis to Ennius...

, Marcus Furius Bibaculus
Marcus Furius Bibaculus
Marcus Furius Bibaculus , Roman poet, flourished during the last century of the republic.According to Jerome, he was born at Cremona, and probably lived to a great age. He wrote satirical poems after the manner of Catullus, whose bitterness he rivaled, according to Quintilian , in his iambics...

, Quintus Cornificius etc. Some neoteric stylistic features can also be seen in the works of Virgil
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...

, who was one generation younger than the poetae novi. They were occasionally the subject of scorn from older, more traditionally minded Romans such as Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

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