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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
Tunnels 2007–2013 Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams Novels
Mortal Instruments' 2007–2014 Cassandra Clare Novels
Fortunes of War[7] 1960–1980 Olivia Manning Novels
Resident Evil 2002–2016 Capcom Films
The Lord of the Rings[8] 1954–1955 J. R. R. Tolkien 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. ^ a b 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 Archived 2012-09-28 at the Wayback Machine, 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.
  8. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. “Notes on the Text.” ; The Lord of the Rings, 50th Anniversary ed., HarperCollinsPublishers, 2013.