October 28, 2021

The idyll (from the lat. Idyllĭum, and this from the gr. Εἰδύλλιον, short poem) is a literary subgenre of Greek lyric poetry of Hellenism, the most characteristic of the bucolic, created by the Sicilian poet Theocritus and then followed by Mosco and Bión of Smyrna, with a love theme, dialogued between shepherds and developed in a pleasant or paradisiacal nature, which its creator identifies with the landscape of Arcadia. Its equivalent in later Latin or Roman literature is the eclogue. The idyll is written in Doric dialect and dactyl hexameter, a verse associated however with the most prestigious form of Greek poetry, the epic. The scenes of the idyll are rural, the protagonists are shepherds, cowboys or goatherds, there are cattle that graze and a multitude of pastoral terms. The theme is usually erotic and the songs and music are continually present. In many of them the dialogue, the monologue or the story alternates with songs or singing competitions, an element that makes music intervene and that will remain for posterity as one of the typical signs of pastoral care. The themes of these songs are usually erotic or mythical. The bucolic derivations of the idyll gave rise to the eclogues of the Latin Virgilio, Calpurnio Siculus and Nemesiano, to the Latin eclogues of the humanists Francesco Petrarca, Giovanni Pontano, Mantuano and others, to the pastoral novel of the Renaissance Jacopo Sannazaro and his imitators Europeans, among them Jorge de Montemayor, Philip Sidney, Honoré d'Urfé etcetera, and the eclogues in the vulgar language of Garcilaso de la Vega, Pierre de Ronsard and many others.

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