For hexology, the study of hex signs, see Hex sign.

A hexalogy (from Greek ἑξα- hexa-, "six" and -λογία -logia, "discourse") is a compound literary or narrative work that is made up of six distinct works. The word apparently first appeared in English as a borrowing from German, in discussions of August Bungert's Wagnerian opera cycle entitled Homerische Welt based on the Iliad and the Odyssey.[1] (He planned two tetralogies, but the third and fourth operas of the eight were never written.) Both pentalogie and hexalogie were used by Théophile Gautier in 1859.[2] In 1923 the word was applied by an American reviewer to Johannes V. Jensen's The Long Journey.[3]


Examples of works which have been described as hexalogies are:

Hexalogy Dates Author Medium
Der Biberpelz and Der rote Hahn[4] 1893–1901 Gerhart Hauptmann two three-act plays
The Long Journey[3] 1908–1922 Johannes V. Jensen novels
Aus dem bürgerlichen Heldenleben[5] 1911–1922 Carl Sternheim plays
The Four Winds of Love[6] 1937–1945 Compton Mackenzie novels
Fortunes of War[7] 1960–1980 Olivia Manning novels


  1. William Foster Apthorp. The opera, past and present: an historical sketch. Scribner, 1901. Page 204.
    Arthur Elson. Modern Composers of Europe. L.C. Page and Company, 1904. Page 76.
  2. Théophile Gautier. Histoire de l'art dramatique en France depuis vingt-cinq ans, Volume 5. Magnin, Blanchard et compagnie, 1859. Page 220.
  3. 1 2 The Bookman: a review of books and life. Dodd, Mead and Company, 1923. Volume 57, page 209.
  4. Eberhard Hilscher. Gerhart Hauptmann: Leben und Werk: mit bisher unpublizierten Materialien aus dem Manuskriptnachlass des Dichters. Athenäum, 1988. Page 166.
  5. The German theatre: a symposium. Edited by Ronald Hayman. Wolff, 1975. Page 113.
  6. Spartacus Educational, citing biographer Gavin Wallace.
  7. Lorna Sage, Germaine Greer, Elaine Showalter. The Cambridge guide to women's writing in English. Cambridge University Press, 1999. Page 389.
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