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Virginity Recast : Romanos and the Mother of God

Arentzen, Thomas LU (2014)
Abstract
The Virgin Mary has always stood out in the Christian scenery, yet in ever-changing guises. This study explores the characterization of the Virgin in the poetic works of Romanos the Melodist (ca. 490–560), the great composer of the so-called kontakion. Written for liturgical use, these dramatic songs soon became well-known and immensely popular. The most famous ones reveal a remarkable interest in and concern with the person of Mary, making the œuvre of Romanos both a pinnacle and a crux in the Mariological writings of sixth-century Constantinople.



What notions of the Virgin did his poetry evoke, as it made her tangible to the congregated assembly? The kontakia are dedicated to various festal occasions, but the ones... (More)
The Virgin Mary has always stood out in the Christian scenery, yet in ever-changing guises. This study explores the characterization of the Virgin in the poetic works of Romanos the Melodist (ca. 490–560), the great composer of the so-called kontakion. Written for liturgical use, these dramatic songs soon became well-known and immensely popular. The most famous ones reveal a remarkable interest in and concern with the person of Mary, making the œuvre of Romanos both a pinnacle and a crux in the Mariological writings of sixth-century Constantinople.



What notions of the Virgin did his poetry evoke, as it made her tangible to the congregated assembly? The kontakia are dedicated to various festal occasions, but the ones discussed in the present volume share a concentration on the Mother of God. Committed to a close reading of the hymns, the study is able to show that Romanos’ Mary appears neither as an ascetic virgin nor as a dogmatic virgin; in his songs we encounter a fertile Mother who mediates between Heaven and Earth, with parrhesia and power. Rather than a model or an object of contemplation she emerges as a relational figure to whom the Constantinopolitan people may turn for support and salvation. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Krueger, Derek, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Saint 6th cent, Romanus Melodus, Hymns, Greek (Byzantine), Virgin Mary – History of doctrines – 030–600, Virgin Mary – Annunciation, Virgin Mary – veneration, Bible – use in hymns, Akathists, Hymns – Theology, Theotokos, Nativity, Byzantine rite – Liturgy, Kontakion, Mariology, Orthodox Eastern Church – Liturgy, Orthodox Eastern Church – Hymns, Body, Human – religious aspects – Christianity, Late Antiquity, asceticism, breast feeding, gender and sexuality issues, Justinian Era.
pages
279 pages
publisher
Lund University
defense location
CTR
defense date
2014-03-07 13:15
ISBN
9789174738469
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5c93edb3-9de7-4f84-ad2d-62dce983d0ca (old id 4228137)
date added to LUP
2014-02-24 14:08:21
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:07
@phdthesis{5c93edb3-9de7-4f84-ad2d-62dce983d0ca,
  abstract     = {The Virgin Mary has always stood out in the Christian scenery, yet in ever-changing guises. This study explores the characterization of the Virgin in the poetic works of Romanos the Melodist (ca. 490–560), the great composer of the so-called kontakion. Written for liturgical use, these dramatic songs soon became well-known and immensely popular. The most famous ones reveal a remarkable interest in and concern with the person of Mary, making the œuvre of Romanos both a pinnacle and a crux in the Mariological writings of sixth-century Constantinople. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
What notions of the Virgin did his poetry evoke, as it made her tangible to the congregated assembly? The kontakia are dedicated to various festal occasions, but the ones discussed in the present volume share a concentration on the Mother of God. Committed to a close reading of the hymns, the study is able to show that Romanos’ Mary appears neither as an ascetic virgin nor as a dogmatic virgin; in his songs we encounter a fertile Mother who mediates between Heaven and Earth, with parrhesia and power. Rather than a model or an object of contemplation she emerges as a relational figure to whom the Constantinopolitan people may turn for support and salvation.},
  author       = {Arentzen, Thomas},
  isbn         = {9789174738469},
  keyword      = {Saint 6th cent,Romanus Melodus,Hymns,Greek (Byzantine),Virgin Mary – History of doctrines – 030–600,Virgin Mary – Annunciation,Virgin Mary – veneration,Bible – use in hymns,Akathists,Hymns – Theology,Theotokos,Nativity,Byzantine rite – Liturgy,Kontakion,Mariology,Orthodox Eastern Church – Liturgy,Orthodox Eastern Church – Hymns,Body,Human – religious aspects – Christianity,Late Antiquity,asceticism,breast feeding,gender and sexuality issues,Justinian Era.},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {279},
  publisher    = {Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Virginity Recast : Romanos and the Mother of God},
  year         = {2014},
}