Digenes Akritas

Digenes Akritas is an epic written in Greek, probably first put to page in the 12th century even though it existed beforehand. The story is about the fighting along the Byzantine frontier. Since the Greek Christians are fighting Arab (instead of Turkish or Kurdish) Muslims, it is possible that the border fighting of the Hamdanid period informed the development of the epic. The story opens with an Arab Muslim emir who captures a Greek Christian woman as he fights the Byzantines and he falls in love with her. He converts to Christianity in order to marry her and they have a son, the hero named “Border Lord of Two People”: Digenes Akritas. Here is a brief explanation of the epic.

Digenes Akritas was a very popular figure on ceramics in the 12-13th century, as seen here, fighting a dragon:

Here is a snippet from the epic, which sets up his father’s conversion: