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tssN 0013-ri336
Ever since the hymns of Romanos Melodos became known to
sr:holarship through the efforts and work of C-ardinal J.-B. Pitrar and Karl
Krumbacher2, the kontakion has often been defined and its formal elements
described by such eminent scholars as Paul Maas3, C. A. Trypanisa, k. Mitsakiss, R.
J. Schork6, N. B. TomadakisT, and J. Grosdidier de Matonss. Although this formal
description, as we find it in these studies, also includes the prooimion andlor final
slrophe, I believe that there are still some aspects in connection with these two
elements that require further investigation. I have in particular identified three
such aspects: (i) to establish the various
of prooimion and final strophe;
(ii) the various forms of addresseese used; (iii) and the formal way in which the
I would like to express my gratitude towards the Institute for Research Development of the
IISRC for their financial aid towards the completion of this study. The author is solely responsible
for the trpinions expressed in this study.
I . J.-8. Pitra, Analecta Sacra Specilegio Solesmensi puata, l, Paris 1876; idem, Swtctus
Romonus veterum melofurwn princeps, Rome 1888,
2. K. Krumbacher, Die Akrostichis in der griechischm Kirchenpoesie, Mi.inchen lg04,Heft
iv, 551-692; Studim zu Romons, Sitzungsberichte der philos.-philol. und der histor. Klasse der
kgl.-bayer. Akademie der Wisse.nschaften, Mfinchen 1898, II, Heft I, 69-269; idem, Romous
und Kyriakos. Das Yerhiiltnis des Licdes olazarus, von Kyriakos nmt Liedc oludaso von
Romanos, ibid., Mtinchen t901, 693-763.
3. P. Maas, Das Kontakion, BZ 19 (1910) 285-306.
4. In P. Maas and C. A. Trypanis, Sotcti Romoi Melodi Cantica Contica gmuina, Oxford
1963, xi-xxxi.
5. K. Mitsakis, Bo(avtuil 'YpvoypaE{a,
Vol. I, Athens 19862.
6. R. J. Schork, The Sources of the Christological Hytns of Romons the Melodist,
l)rrlnrblished diss., Oxford 1957, Appendix III-N, 548-556.
7. N. I|. Tomadakis, Bu(avrwil 'Ypvoypwpla
rcal no{qog, Athens 1965.
[i. J.
de Matons, Romanos le Mllode et les origines de la potsie religieuse d
l)yzanrc, l':rris 1977; Idcnr, Kontakion et (hnorr:
l)i6ti: poprrlairc i llyzanr:e, Augtstinianum 20
(,l1)ri0) 1{)1-20:r.
1) Srrlrork, itt lltr: lwo;rJrpcntlirrrs rr:lilr,rl lo itt rrolc
lrus llrr:;rly lour:lrrrl rrlxrrr <ly1x'rrrrrrl
t,rtrlrltrssrtl. llow.vcr, nlllrorrglr lltcy rrrlrlrritt vrrlulrlrle ittIotttrlliort, lris strrrly rlrnrt,t'ns orrlv llrr:
ll4 (llrrirlolrrdlrtl
ltytrrrr", rrrr,l lrir rrrrrrlyrix is nrrrrrr.wlrrrt srrJx.rlililrl irr lrrrlrrrr., tlrrx lx'irrg rrol llrr'
lrlrir' ,rl ltrr rlrrrlr lrrlirrrr
rclraitt is itttrodurrrrl by llrrr prrxrirrria antl firral slroplrcsl('. My arralysis r:ovr.r's olly
the 59'gerruine'hyrrrns of the Oxlbrd edition (Vol. l). Rel'crcrrce lo thc lryrnrrs
therefore lbllows the numbering of the Oxlbrd edition (= 0), but tlrr: /exl ol' tlrr.
l-rench editionll has been used, except in the case ol 0.35,38-39,57-l-r{),
have not yet been edited in Sources chr6tiennes.
In defining the aspect
((type) we are at the same time louking liu (i) tlrr.
various hymnic elements which may constitute a specific prooimion, arrd (ii) th,.
way in which they are used, i.e., either on their own or in various t:orrrbirurlions,
Some of these elements or components which are used in the prooinria arrrl linnl
strophes are well-known and common elements within the context ol'tlrr: lryrrrrr irs
genre from as early as the Homeric Hymns and the subsequent Gret:k, lilrrrrlrr iurrl
Semitic cultic (liturgical) and literary (paraliturgical) hymns. They arc: rl<,xol,r;gy
(laus), prayer (precatio), confession (xffirivvlrcj angl admonition (paracrrcsis), all
in combination with or without thematic allusion. Before I turn to llrr: slxrcilic
occurring in the kontakia, a few remarks on each of thc alxrvr, lrslrrl
components will suffice.
1. Doxology in its broadest sense includes such aspects as praisc or
tion, adoration, thanksgiving and celebration. The prooimion to Konlakiorr 25
offers a good example of three of these elements in the order ol rrrkrrrrtiorr
(npooxuv6), praise (8o[ri(<,r), and celebration (Eoptri(<,rv).
2. The hymnic prayer occupies an important part in the kontakilr2, lrrrt is
more dominant in the final strophe than in the prooimia.
3. Confession is usually followed or preceded by a prayer for lirrgivcrrcss,:r*
we find, e.g., in the second prooimion to kontakion 10:3-9.
4. As poet-priest Romanos often addresses his audienr:e (irrr:lrrding lrirnscll'l
t:xhorting them (or himself) to avoid sin, usually expressed by tlrc lrortltivr,
lbrmal way in which the rclrairr is itttrrxlurrrl tltrorrglrorrt l partir.ulnr lryrrrrr vrrrrr,r,
lrrrl vrrry olir:tt thr: lttiuurr:r itt whir:h thc littal slrr4rlrr: is rrrrrrlrrrltrl rrrirtr:irk.s witlr tlr,'wrry irr
llrt olltr:r' prrrrrling slrophr:s hnve lxr:rr rrrrrrlrrrkrl lry lht. relrrrirr.
11. l'ilitrrl hy .1.
(irosdidicr rL' Mltons, Romunos k'Mthtdc. Il.ynncs I-l',!'nrit 11){i/r l{lttl,
rrr llrc Srrrrrr.s (llrrl.lirrrlrr.s
5r'r. r's1xr:irlly l.
(lrosrlirlir,r rlr Mrtlrlts, KotrlrrLrorr cl
(hrrrrr:,,Pulnrr,. rt llyzrrrrrt.,
rlsrr l.i
(i '1i,1'1,irrg,'llrr
l','"t l' irr llyr;rrrtirrrrr, lirn,k ()tthukrt'lharl.
(l1x;1r) irl 4l
J. I I. llnrkhrtizctt
subjurrr:tive or irnperative nrode.
21 offers an example in which the
addresses his own soul].
5. As mentioned above, in many instances these four specific hymnic
ck:mcnts may combine with thematic allusions of some kind, or the prooimion can
cvr:n r:onsist of only thematic allusion(s). In this connection it should be stated
r:krarly that Grosdidier de Matons has rightly rejected the idea that the object or
lurrctiorr of the prooimion is to summarize the general argument or plot of the
lrynrn, as is sometimes believed. With reference to thematic allusion one should
tk.:firre it with caution, as, e.g., Grosdidier de Matons has: it has as object, he writesla
rrde mettre en relief un des thdmes religieux auxquels I'auteur a tenu i donner de
I'importance dans son hymner, whereas the statement of Schork in this connection
tlocs not really fit the evidence. He writesrs: athey usually do display a thematic
r:orrespondence to the body of the hymn by serving as summaries of or intro-
dtrctions to the plot-action>. The prooimion to kontakion 4 may serve as illustra-
tion of this element. This prooimion is a good example of the fact that several
prooimia consist of only thematic allusions, the, other components being totally
absent. We have in these lines an allusion to the theme or subject matter of the
hymn (the massacre of the innocents) as well as to some of the characters involved
in the narrative (the Magi, Herod, the children) and also a reference to time (when
the King was born) and place (Bethlehem). It does not, however, offer us a sum-
mary or introduction to the plot-action at all.
In lbrmulating the various types of prooimia one should always be aware of the
variety of compositional technique Romanos is displalng within a few fixed types,
i.e., although a few <fixed> types can be identified, they do not display a rigidity of
form. The fixed types which I have identified have been classified on the basis of
the dominance of an element, while the presence of thematic allusion(s) must be
seen as general rule. The fixed types, four in number, are the following:
Type I: Ilpooiptov tfr npooEvlfi
Croup 1: In 6 prooimia the element of prayer is dominant: kontakion 11,17
(pro. I
18 (pro. I
50, 53, and 55 (pro. 4). Example: kontakion 17: prooimion 1:
tlrr: f irst line contains the invocatio, the second the direct prayer, and the third an
rrxtcrrsion of tlte invocatlo, lines 2-3 forming at the same time the refrain.
OrorrJr 2: Several prooimia are basically in the lbrm of a prayer but they
/r. (lroslirlir.r rk: Mrrkrns, Romtmo:s le M(htth'tt les origines,ll20. Sr, nlso.l. ll. ltrrrklrrrizor,
ltrrrrrrrros lM,.l,r,l,r*: l')ssrry olr llrr'lrrctics ol lris korrlnkiort tlt'rttrrrtlirrtr ol
(ilrrrslr (l\4rrrrs''l'rypatris
24]', BZ 71) (l{)r1{;) 2(;rt
I Ir Sr'lr,rr l. oy t'il ,
irtt:lude ttllttsiotrs lo llrl srrlr;r'r'l nrirllr:r or lo r:haractcrs ilrvolvr:rl in llt: lrilrlir.:rl
rtarrative. llowr:vcr, llrrs grorrp ilsr:ll rr:vcals some variely of t:rlrnposiliorr lo lx,
2.1 The prayr:r irrr:lurles a reference to the particular thenrc ol' tlrc
narrative: kontakion 4 (pro.2);7,8,10 (pro. 1), 12,31 (pro.')),:14,1r7 (prr,.2),
49 (pro. 1), 55 (pro. l/3\, and 59 (pro. 1-2).
2.2 The prayer includes thematic allusions which are of a lilrrrgir:ll or
soteriological nature: kontakion 13, 44 (pro, 2), 47 (pro.3), and 49 (pro. 2).
Group 3 represents a large number of prooimia, in which tlrt: llrcrrurlir.
allusions are presented in a more elaborate form than in group 2, Ihis grorrp ;rlso
reveals several variations.
3.1 Regarding the thematic allusion(s): most are in the second pr:rson styh.,
while two are in the third person styler6. In the second person style: korrtlkiorr
(pro.3), 10 (pro.2),17 (pro.2), 18 (pro.3),30 (pro.3),40 (pro. 1/2),42,41;
(pro. l/21, and 52. In the third person style: kontakion 9, 18 (pro. 2).
3.2 Regarding the prayer: in seven instances the prayer is uttered by rlrc
in five instances by a biblical character. In six instances the prayer is prr:r:r:rL.rl lry
confession. Of special importance in this category are those examples irr wlrir:lr tlr,.
poet addresses his own soull?, e.g., kontakion 5l and 56. Prooimia in rlrr.
prayer is uttered by the poet: kontakion 4 (pro. 3), 17 (pro. 2
40 (pro. 1/')1, 42,
46 (pro. 2), and 52.8y a biblical character: kontakion 9, 10 (pro. 2), {fl (pro
1/2), and 46 (pro. 1). Prayer preceded by confession or penitence: konrakiorr lo
(pro. 2), 18 (pro. 2/3), 47 (pro. 4/6),51.
Type II: Ilpoo{ptov tfiE 6o(d.oyiaE
Group 1: In 4 prooimia (kontakion 19, 25, 27 and 55 pro. 2) rlrr: lxrsi,.
t:fement is doxology which I have defined aslaus Dei or related religious objer:t, r..g.,
the cross, the resurrection etc., while 2 prooimia (36; 38 pro. I
nrtlrr.r'ol rr
po:xapr.ap6c,,61xcilpr,ov, or Bnclvo6 directed to human beings. 58 pro. 2 <:orrtirirrs rrrr
cxlrortation to joyful praise.
Oroup 2 con-sists of 6 prooimia in which lhe thernatirr allrrsiorr(s) :rrc nr(,r(.
rlorrrirrlnl than lhose of grorrp l. Two
rx:r:rrr wilhin t[ris grorrlr.
2.1 ln lltr: prooittria to korrtitkiorr 2i:l.vl 24 lltc llrrnralir: rr:lirrr:rr, loll,,w,rl
lry rLrxology.
l(i (
ll lrrr tlris ll Norrlcrr, Allrrtrtt.,.t lhrtr llttttt'rut'hungtr ztu l.lutttr'tt14rsrhttht.,rdrgiii:fl
Rrzlr, Slrrtlglrl lll|{i, 14it l{ilr
(:l (,rr,,rlr,lrrl
,1,'l\l,rlorlrr.Ilyntnt'r'. I. notr.?, 11; lll, nrtr. l:l'1.'1, irrrrl alr,ri
ll,,rrriurrrr l\t,'l,rrIrrr, I)rr lrlrr. l'r,-,ltp,r'l lllr,'1,,r unrl ' lt,rl,lrl^ rtr ] I('lll ,i4 ( Itll'{.i )
r lt It
6ti J ll. Jiurkhrrizcrr
2.2 ln kontakion 4 (pro. I
29 (pro. I
26 and 39 the thematic reference is
preceded by doxology. In 4 and 39 it is given as the reason for the doxology, in 26 it
is given as the result of the doxology, while in 29 (pro. 1) it forms the continuation
of the resurrection motive which is doxologized in the first part of the prooimion.
Group 3 consists of only one example (kontakion 23) in which the prayer
is preceded by a doxological reference to the adoration of the cross - cf. Type I
group 4.
Type III: Ilpooiptov tfiE napareoect4
In the following prooimia either exhortation to a devoted life or admonition
against a sinful life style is the dominant motive. They are: kontakion 21,44 (pro.
l/41,47 (pro. l/51, and 48.
l. In both prooimia I nd 4 of kontakion 44 the audience is exhorted to
imitate the virtue of Joseph, which implies a life of temperance and chastity (sexual
purity), pro. 1 stating the purpose, and pro. 4 the reason for this exhortation.
2. In both kontakion 47 (pro. 7\ and 2l the exhortation is followed by stating
the purpose, while the prooimion to 48 states the reason for the exhortation.
3. In prooimion 5 of 47 the poet admonishes his own soul for spending his life
in sinful passions.
Type IV: Ilpooiptov tfrE tno06oeaE
In most prooimia of the preceding types thematic allusion(s) are present to a
greater or lesser degree. The prooimia of type IV are basically thematic in nature,
although a large group concludes with a doxological refrain. These prooimia are:
1. without doxological refrain: kontakion 3, 20 (pro. 7/2),22 (pro. 1-3),28,
32 (pro. l-2),37,38 (pro.2), and 44 (pro.3),57 (pro. l-3),58 (pro. l).
2. with doxological refrain: kontakion 1, 5 (pro. l-2),6,74, 15 (here the
invocatio forms a doxology), 16 (pro. l-2),29 (pro. 2),30 (pro. l-21,31(pro. 1),
33, 35, 41, 43 and 53.
The second aspect regarding the form of the prooimion concerns the
addressees in the prooimion. In listing the various forms of address used in the
prooinria, I have differentiated between liturgit:al and t]rerratit: addrcssr:esrB.
firrms ol'addrcss ttr:r:ur itt all tylx:s ol r:lr:rrrr:nts listrxl and disr:ussrrl rrlx)vc, alld aro
ttllcrrrl by lrotlr
attrl lrilrlir,ll clurr;tt'lr:rs-
l: liturgunl
(a) (iotl
Irr nrgsl 9l'llr,, irrsllrrr.r:s llrc prx:l l,llrcsses
but it is ttol alwlys
I6 klow whethur it is tlrr: lirtlrr:r or llrc Sorr llrt: pot:t has in nrind. I lttvrt rtr','or',littFly
r:atr:gorized thesr: litk:s as olle suh<rlass, although nrany tilles, ol't:rtttrst:, nrrr wcll
rft:lined and clear cut as to which Divine Person they are referring lo. I lrrtvc lislcrl
the titles under their citation forms.
t. The following titles occur only once: A6yo6 (4 pro' 2);gdrc (5
iarp6q (8); pr.6vo6 &v*pr,d,Ptr1oc, (8); iledp<ov (13 -cf.46 pro. 1-2); Euvctdq (1/r);
rra,rfp 6rroup,7vrcc, (17 pro. 1);9r,),6oroploq (17 pro. 1); 6 rrotpilv 6 xaltrq (18
pro. 1); xpr,ri16 Stxcr6tato6 (34); &ypdvroq (35); ri0civatoq (1*9
riVa06q (51),6 8otip r6v &ya06v (41) and p6voq oixripp<ov (55 pro' ll)'
2. The title trutp<,rtl6 occurs in both prooimia of kollakiorr 40, lrrrl
notru6treoq in both of kontakion 59.
3. Three titles occur three times: navtoS6vapoq (8, 15, and 2tt); &lroq (irr
three prooimia to t8); and 6 oixtippr.<,rv (46 pro. 1-2; 47 pro' ll)'
4. Three titles occur four times each: Seon6rlq (30 pro. 3; 47 y',.11; 4l)
1-2\; @e6c (28;34,47;55 pro' 4); and Xprorbq (5 pro. 2;15;47 pr..r' ll
5. Two titles occur eight times each: Iotip in 8; 13; 26; lio
2; 4l;4ll
1; 54;55 pro.2. Or,trctv0ptono6 in 4 pro. 2-3; 12;17 pro. l;20 prr'' 2;
'10 1,ro'
,l; 4l and 47.
6. K6pro6 occurs sixteeu times: in 5 pro. l; l0 pro. 2;11;l'); l/r; lfl yr"' il;
ll{ pro. 1; 32 pro. 2; 36; 49 pro. l-2; 50; 52; 54. Ct. 55 pro' 2: Kripre ri'iv
b'uvcipe<,.rv; 59 pro. t.
7. The title Xp1or6q 6 @eds (irr6u) occurs no less th,n 22 lirlr:s rrrrrl is
tlrrrrr:firrr: the title most favoured by Romanos in the prooimia: 4
7; 10 prt,.
1il;16 pro. 1; 17 pro. 2; l8
2;20 pro.2;22 pro.2;23;'24;25; 21)
l; 31 pro. 2;32 pro. 1; 40 pro. l-2;42;47 pro' 2; Ii{) prrt' 2'
fl. In six instances God/Christ is adrlressed by lnearts of llttr
lx,rsottitl Protttttltt
,,r rrrlrr:ly lhr: ser:ontl pers()n o[ t]re verb witlroul alry lilk: lxrilrg trsc,l.'l'lrcy rrrrt: {i;
ll; 21) pro. 2; 30 pro. 3; 53; 55 prtt. I
(lr)'l'lrc cottgrr:grtliolt or atttlit:ttt:r:
lrr 2{i irrsl:rrrr:r:s llrr: pocl lrltlrr:sscs llrr: r:ottgrt:g;tliolt irr tttty ol lltc lollttwirrg
w/t vs:
(rt) Attpttylltlrrsly: irr lltlsl ittslttttcls. ll itr ;rll, llrtt
itt slrtlirtg llrt lltltttr"
.r rr.llrrirrg l9 ir llrr.nrrrlic r.lcrrrr.rrl rrl llrt ltytrrrr, tt,l,lr,'ssr'" lltc lottgrrglrli,ttr. ttllll,tttglr
Ir,' ,1,,,'" rrol rrrr.rrlirrrr llt,.trr.'l'lt,'v rrtr,llrr silr'trl lrrtl pri'stl;,1xr",',1 tt,l,lrt'srlt','rr,,l llt,'
Ir1,rrurr,, tr.rt
prooinrrn irr,.: .'l; 1),
pro l;
pr,, lz'.1; llfl
I 1rH I tilt
68 .1. tl. IJarkhuizen
(b) By the personal pronoun <we>: the pronoun is used either directly or as
verb-ending in 8 distinct cases (not counting those instances in which it is already
defined): 1; 16 pro. 2; 19;33;39; 44 pro. 4; 47 pro. 6; 48.
(c) By a specific title: In 44prooimion l and3,aswell asin47 prooimion I
&Eetrgoi is used, and in 4 prooimion I we have
(d) By a descriptive phrase: Such phrases are used in three prooimia: 27
pro. I, and 55 pro. 3.
(1) ln 44 prooimion I the congregation is addressed as zrdvre6 ciSe),goi in line
3, but this title is also preceded by a descriptive phrase (oi tb mtiSrov ...
(ii) In 27 and 55 pro. 3 we have only a descriptive phrase.
(c) The poet
The poet addresses his own soul as follows: he uses merely
in 47
prooimion 4, and 56;
Qrfi t
ou in 2l and 51; and rluXi &Oliain 47 prooimion 5.
We must keep in mind, of course, that the poet-priest is always speaking on behalf
of the congregation, so that these instances include every believer.
(d) Angels
In the first prooimion to kontakion 4 the angelic choir is exhorted to marvel at
the wonder of the presentation of the child, together with <we mortals>. One may
argue that this is an example of indirect address, yet I believe that we must regard
the phrase Xopd6 riyye),rxd6 6xn),4ct6o0o of line I in the same light as
&vaxpd,(<opev of line 2.
2. Class II: thematic
The biblical figures addressed are the virgin Mary, the Three Youths, Elijah,
John the Baptist, and the saints.
1. Mary: In the prooimion of 2 (Nativity Hymn No 2) the poet addresses
Mary first with the personal pronoun oou (line 2). From her Christ has been born,
and the poet refers to the fact that the Magir angels and shepherds sing of this
wonderful birth. Secondly, in the refrain, Mary is addressed as
For this title cf. Luke 1.28: Xcipe, xelapr,t<opr,6vr1. In 37 (Nativity Hymn No 3)
Mary is addressed as @eot6xe.
2. The Three Youths are addressed in 46 prooimion I by their traditional
epithet of,or,le, while in the second prooimion by the title tityror, rraiEeq.
3. The entire prooimion to kontakion 45 is directed at l)liiah, who is r:allcd
lrlx)n l() ittlrrrccrL' utt l,r'lrrtll,rl llt,' lx'ltr'vr'rs.
I .lolrrr tlrr. lhPtisl is arllnrsstxl by his tratlitiorrll lilL'ol
I I p68popte.
5. In 57 tlur sairtls:rrtt itrltlrcsstxl as diyrol p.dptupeq (pro. 1), ci0),og6por (pro.
2), and d.yr,ol (pro. l]); in 58 pro. I as ri0).og6pol Kuplou reoootpdxovra trttrl
paxd,pr,or., in pro. 2 as &O}1tai o[ reooa,pdxovrot.
3. The refrain
The third and final aspect regarding the form of the prooimion is lhc nulnn.'r
in which the refrain is introduced. The original function of the proointiort wrs lr
introduce the refrain of the hymn. In this connection Grosdidier dc Mttlrttt:rlt'
rightly states:
mdme ce n'est pas un des moindres plaisirs que I'on prrttr,l rl lrr
Iecture de Romanos, de voir avec quelle habilet6 il amdne son refraitt...t.
The prooimia of the hymns investigated reveal 12 definite types, llrr: ttttntlx'r
of examples within each type varying from I to 23. I have listed the typt:s;t,',',,r,littg
to frequency of use beginning from the highest figure of frequency (2ll) tlrwrr t,r
the lowest (l).
Type 121: the refrain is introduced in its entirety or partially as llrr: rlitcct
discourse of the following verbs:
(l2x), rpaulct(<o (8x), $pv<,r (l x), xpri(r,,
(2x), 6ptotroy6<o (lx); rlri)'trerv (+ riiServ) (4x).
Type 2222 the refrain is introduced as accusative of direct object of l
Type 323: the refrain is here introduced in the form sf $ +
partir:ipk: phr';rsr'(r;
in apposition to preceding titles, nouns or personal pronoun.
Type 42a; in these prooimia the refrain is in its entirety or partially llrc rlircct
contents of the hymnic prayer or petition. In 6 instances (12,50,47 (pr,r. 4), lfl
(pro.2/3),and54 this prayer is introduced by xpauyd(co (4x),pot'r (1x) nrrrl
xp&(a (1x)
type l.
Type 525: the refrain is introduced as noun vocative(s) itt al4xrsiliorr lr'
preceding titles.
20. Grosdidier de Matons, Romons lc Mtlode et les origines,l+6.
21. lrr: 5 pro. 1-2;12;14;,l6 pro. 1-2;l[i pro. 2-il;22 pro. 1;)4;25;il0 prrr. l/i];ll2
l-2;irt;36;37;4il;47 pro.4;/r8, 50;55 pro. I
2'). ln:lt pro. 1;15;ll.l;.|t1 p'o.2;4!t;47
I'r7 pro. l l|.
ln:7;17 pro l2;?1l2ft;211
I 2; 5li.
2/r. lrr; l()Jrrr' 12; l2;ll'l
l;/rO|r,' l'J,4);41iy-,' l');47
2 il;H;
l;44 y,,
llrr' l,,rrrrfrrrrilvlvll ol lris llytrrrrt
slrt:ssr:rl llrll llrr, r'onr'lu:rrou lllcrr r'ovlls ottly it sct:liott tll'lltrl l'irral slro|lrr'.'l'lx'
It:rm <rr:pilogttt'n wottl,l
lr it lx'llr:r rl:sr:riJrliolt.
2. A lirw lryrrrrr* rlr rrot lorrlrrir r litrrrgir:al epilogue, i.t:. llrc l'irutl slrt,plrc ol
the hymn is al llrc slrnr: tirrrc tlx: <:orrr:lusion ol'the lliblirnl ttarritliv,'.'l'ltrxr
strophes3l will h: r:ottsitlt:rtxl separatcly.
3. Although the sanre hynrnic elements are present in the I'inll slroplr', lltrv
do not necessarily form the same kind of types as those of tlte prooirtti,,rt.
4. It is important to note that the hymnic prayer is the most c()Ir!rl:url rtLrttu'ttl
of the final strophe, a fact which coincides not only with the liturgir:al ttalurc ol llrr
kontakion, but with that of the ancient hymn in general (i.e. invocatio, nrgunr('nlunr
and precatio32). Due to this frequency of use of the prayer, I have givr:rt prcli'rcttr'r'
to the prayer in determining the basic types. In this connection, ltowevtlr, I cttttttol
agree with Grosdidier de Matons' remark
(Dans tous les aulres ltytrrtt,'r, rl"
Romanos, la dernidre strophe est consacr6b, soit d la pridre, soit d unc cxltorlrrliott
de I'auteur i Ia pridre. LeS eXCeptions Sonl rarelrr33. This stalemetrl is ttol itt
agreement with the facts: Out of a total of 59 hymns investigated .'if] r:onlttttt rr
prayer in the final strophe, which still leaves us with 21 which do ttol crtttlttirt lltr
component of prayer!
5. Thematic references also occur in the epilogue, but to a muttlt lcssr,r tlrgrrr'
as in the prooimion, which is understandable. When it does occur il ltits trtoslly n
kind of resum6 function and is subordinated to the other comp()Ir(lrlls'
The following five types can be identified with the number ol' or,r'ur'r'r'rt,','
indicated in brackets3a:
Type I: hayer including other elements (38)
Group I consists of 23 instances in which only prayer conslilulr:s llrr'f'irrrrl
'. 1-10; 7.xu".l-10; lt'14'. I
10; 10. r.r1' . 5-ll; 12. xa.' . l-5; 14.
. l-9; 15. rc,'-r'('; 1(;. rq'. I 10;
34. x8'. l-10; 38. r.q'. l-11; 39. xE'. 1-11; 41. x8'. 4-9; 47. ],u
I l(1,
48. ,.r1' . l-12; 49. xB' . l-14; 50. xa' . l-ll; 52. tC' . l-10: !il. x't)' t't
10; 54. xe'. l-10; 55. I'; 56. r.e'. Note in this r:orttrtx:liott llritl (i) irr
instances the-epilogue covers only thc second part of the linal slropltr: (5, 1(),
rrnd 5ii), while (ii) in t5 the prayt:r is conlaincd irr tlrr: tlrirrl uttrl srtottrl lrtsl
;11 .
lr'(': I ;2;1);
2(i;.11 ;
.12; ,lti-
:12" (:1.
.l M lL'r'rrrrr,
lrilksc lryrnn('lr, I nmpu.r 7')
:l:1, ln " K,,rrlrtkrott r'l
Jttttttt, llll ll;tlr,'* itt.' !ltill{.
rhi trrtl inrlrtrlr' 1111,:rt' r'lctt11'111s rit
:ilf{'r till l,i-nttt,. ll:ilrrl ttt llrrlt' ,ll
(11)71)) 1)7.
lvlir's lotutrl rrr llrr littitl slr(llrlrr ul lltr'
70 .1" tl. lfarklrrriz.err
Type 626: the refrain consists of (a) noun(s) or nominal phrase as subject of
the sentence, as nominative of complement, or in apposition to a preceding noun,
pronoun or proper noun.
Type 727: the refrain is introduced as the reason for a preceding statement or
exhortation etc., introduced by 6tl, which is part of the refrain.
Type 828: here the refrain constitutes the noun vocative (with or without the
definite article) of direct address. Compare this with type 5.
Type 92e: the refrain is in the form of the accusative of object in apposition to
(a) preceding noun(s).
Type 1030: in three prooimia the refrain constitutes a prepositional phrase
forming the final part of the particular sentence.
Type 11: Kontakion 15 and 38 (pro. l) offer the following examples: the
refrain is in the form of a participle phrase used adverbially, indicating in 15 either
time (aafter having pitied>) or more probably cause (abecause You have pitied>),
and in 38 pro. I the cause is indicated by the use of <i6.
Type 12: in 39 the refrain is the final part of a participle phrase, and is in the
form of a noun in the dative followed by a noun in the genitive.
Except for the fact that the main difference between epilogue and prooimion is
one of function, i.e., the epilogue is the liturgical conclusion of the hymn, they
have formally much in common. This close resemblance between epilogue and
prooimion is reflected in their common hymnic nature, i.e., they are composed of
the same elements and therefore reveal the same hymnic perspective of doxology,
prayer, exhortation or paraenesis, confession and thematic references. Accordingly
the description of the compositional form of the epilogue covers the same topics as
that used in the description of the prooimion.
Before we describe the typical forms of the final strophe, a few introductory
remarks will be necessary:
1. I use the term <final stropher in this part of my study although it must be
26. In: 1;11; 13; 19;20 pro. l-2;27 .
27. Itt: iJ;44
2t1. Irr: 2;il1+;49
I - 2; 59
29. lrr: 6; 9.
:lO. lr':
?, (,'f
7') .1. ll. llrrrklrrriz.r'tt
strophes of the hymn; (iii) in 53 the final strophe lirst contains an exhortation to
prayer, while the prayer then follows in the second half; finally (iv) Grosdidier de
Matons3s has aptly classified the type of final prayer into (a) the <pridre nousr,
(b) the <pridre je> and (c) the <pridre nous-JeD or
Group 2 consists of prayer in combination with doxology. They are: 3. LTt' . l-
12; 27.x'.1-10; 28.Iy'.1-ll; 29.x8'. l-13; 51.x8'.1-19; 57.,.0'.1-
9; 59. 18'. 1$. In these epilogues prayer is the dominant motive, while doxology,
and even confession of sins, occur imbedded within the prayer. In all but one the
poet addresses Christ Himself, both in doxology, confession and prayer. In
kontakion 3, however, the poet exhorts the congregation to glorify Christ and to
join him in a prayer to the [.ord.
Group 3 contains prayer in combination with confession. They arc: 23.
x8 '; 25. xB '; 30. r,r1 '; and 44. xB ' . In these 4 epilogues we have the following
(a) In three instances (23,25,and 44\ the poet begins with a confession and
ends with a prayer.
(b) In one instance (30) he opens with a one-line prayer, follows with six lines
of confession and concludes again with prayer.
(c) In 30 and 44 the poet confesses his sins, while in 23 and 25 the
confession has a soteriological nature.
(d) ln 44 the confession
prayer cover the second and third part of the final
strophe (lines 9-12 + 13-17) while the first part (lines l8) forms the conclusion
of the narrative (Joseph's temptation).
Group 4 contains prayer in combination with exhortation/paraenesis. They
arc: l7 . xy' and 18.
(a) The combination (prayer *
exhortation) occurs in these two epilogues in
reverse order: In l7 the prayer covers the first part (lines l-3), and the
exhortation to keep God's commandments and avoid the way of Hades the second
part (lines 4-7), while the refrain is again in the form of a prayer (lines 8-9). In 18
the poet begins with an exhortation and concludes with a prayer directed at Christ.
(b) While the exhortation in 17 is addressed to the congregation as a whole,
in 18 the poet specifically addresses the ve6trexror,.
Group 5 consists of one example (42. r,0'. 1-13) containing prayer preceded
hy a typological exegesis. The poet begins by exhorting the congregation, addressing
llrt:rrr as gil,or,, to understand all the things related in the hymn, because all the
tlrings in the Scriptures were written 6v nizrrar. He then explains the typological
rrrr:anirrg of .lar:ob, Esarr and Rebecca (lines 1-9). He exhorts them finallyto pray to
to sr:lrrl tlr,.rn tlrc er'rArrYl,rv lt,,ttt ltt'itvt,tt
(Jrglp (i
1ls1l r.orrsists ol orrl! orrr. r:xlrrrpk:: irr 518. rz1 '. tt-|4 wtr ltltvt'
preceded by lhtrrrrtlil tt'lt'tcitt't' (llrr: rrrartyrtlonr ol' lhc sailrts).
Type II: Doxology (6)
Occurrences: in 13. xy
'; 15. rc'; 22. q'; 23' xy '; l)3' r't1'; ll7
' ry' '
(a) What the doxology is directed at is indicated in each instanr:e: tlrr: rtalivily
in 13 and 37;the passion of Christ in22;the new paradise in 23; and lltc lottl;ttrs
of the apostles during Pentecost in 33'
(b) In 37 the poet exhorts Mary to praise Christ for the miracle of lhe rrtlivitv
of christ. In the others the congregation is the subject of the doxology.
(c) In 23 the doxology is contained in the penultimate strophe, thtr ullirrrlk'
strophe being reserved for the prayer, while in 15 the doxology compriscs lltr'
fourth last strophe'
Type III: Confession (3)
Group l: In all three of the following epilogues (19,21, anrl 2/t) tlrr'
confession is of a soteriological nature, while each is concluded with a dox,tl,tgi,'ll
Group 2 consists of one example of confession preceded by a tylxrlrgir'rrl
exegesis (45. ),y'). The confession relates to the sanctification of tht: haplizrrl lry
the Holy Spirit, while the typology concerns the ascension of Elijah preligrrrirrg llrirl
of Christ, the g.etr<or4 he bestowed onto Elisha prefiguring the sendirrg ol' tlrr: llolv
Type IV: Exhortation or paraenesis (4)
Occurrences: In 11, 15,40 and 46. Note that in kontakion
tlr,r rrpilogrr,'
.:svers only the second half of the strophe. The first four lines are still parl ol llrr'
rrarrative, followed by 2lines (5-6) servingasconclusion of the narrdlivc. Ortly rrl
tlrt: Seginning of line 7 the poet calls on the congregatiott nol lo grievc llrc Lorrl r'lr'.
V: Doxology and Exhortation (2)
typc is rr:llrcsrltlr:rl lry otrly lw() o(:(:ltrr(lrrccs: kottlitki,rrr 20. xy'nrrrl
4.1. p'.
l,,.girrs lry r.rrllirrg olr nr:ur lo
:rnrl lryllrrr
lls I'ralartlls
llrl l;rr.t llr;rl llr.lrrrs srrllr.rrrl lrrr,l,lrrl lor rtt;ttt, ltttrl llr;tl 1,,'irtg tr'"ttlrcclcrl llc wrll
rrr,tk,.rrrirrr rrr.w.'l'lri.por.l llrrrt rrlrutln llrr l,r'lilvcr ll ptt'lr;llt'lri" lr,'irtl lor Iilrrisl so
I9r{ I1){)
74 .1. ll. llrrklrrriz,r'rr
that llc rrrty nrakrr il a lrorven to rlwell in his heart as King. He concludes by stating
will t:ome soorr artd fill man with joy.
second aspect of the compositional form of the epilogue is the persons
addressed. Here, just as in the case of the prooimion, I have differentiated between
liturgical (Cod, the congregation and the poet) and thematic addressees (biblical
l. Class I: Iiturgical
(a) God or Christ36
One important feature of the epilogue is the great variety of titles used for
Christ, in fact, twice as many as in the prooimion. A second feature is the fact that
whereas in the prooimion the title most favoured by Romanos is Xplocd6 6 0e66, in
the epilogue it is the title Xcotdp. A third feature is that many of these titles appear
in an expanded form, e.g. the title Saviour: Saviour of the world, Saviour of all etc.
I have taken all such expanded forms as varieties of one basic title. Again I will list
the titles in the order of frequency, from the lowest up to the highest number.
1. 17 titles occur only once each. They are: xriorrlc, (39); (<oil xai &vcix),r2orq
(41; nnyn (4); p6e (5); ictp6s (6); 'Ttl.,r.otoe (30); g.6voq Suvat6s (2); A6yoq
(49); 8r1pr,oupV6e (49); gr.Ioutipl.rcov (29); &vap1o6, followed by 16lo6 6 g,l dlov
(25); norarilc, (251; xglt\q Srrar6rato6 (34); 0r!zoto6 8eor6o16 (48); rc&vrov
xpr,ti1c, (48); zrdvoogoq 8uvd,oc46 (54);
&Euro6, &oBeotoc,, &x*rd}'qncoq
2. 5 titles occur twice each. They are: 3l,eripr,<ov (29,51); dvelt*axoq(4,34);
'IrlooUq (10, 39); zro),u6treoq (27, 591.
3. 5 titles occur three times each: glldvOpcozroq (25, 39, 5l); narilp
41); 8eon6cr1c, (14,28,55); ncvroS6vap.oc, (44,55, 56);
(39,49, 58).
4. The title civapr,ctprlroq occurs four times: in 7, 8, 13,52; and so does
K'ipro6: in 4, 14,50, 59 (with eUozc),oryyyo6).
5. 2 titles occur six times each: &yroq (3x in 17, followed by rpr.oriyr,o6; 18;
29) and 0e6q (3, 17
in this instanceby $1c, dl40eicrq; 52).
6. I'he title Xpror6g occurs 9 times: in 3, 13, 18,23,27,39,44,56 (p6ve
Xpror6), 58.
7 . I'i6c. (irr variorrs r:ornhinations) also <xrr:urs 9 times: in 8, 12, 16, 19,23,
/r{), frO, 52, lt4.
ll. 'l'lrc titL')r,lrrlp
its owrr or irr r:xPlrrrltxl Iirrrn.x,r'rrrs 2/r lilrres irr llrr.
cJrilogu<r: irr
tt, 1:l (2x), l(;, 10,21,2:1,24,25,28,29,110,1jt2r,1t9,
/r7 (llx),
48,51, 52,54, 58.
(b) The congregalion or arrdience
1. The congregation is addressed by 8 specific titles:
(42);oi div0pr,rnor
:r'dweq (43); &Eelgot (3,17,33,46);
Xpr,oroU ({ 1); oi ve6trexror (18); tr
,iu0prne (20); and dpr.crpt<,rloi (23).
2. In two instances (15 and 40) the poet employs the <we>, lrrl irr l-rll
the newly baptized are addressed in the <you> form.
3. Finally descriptive phrases are found in 45: r&vreq... oi rd pd.zrrr,opa
Eyovteq;11: o[ grtroUvteq d,ei / r'o,pultivew rci
ei6 86[av uiroi) / ri
nog.rre0oaweq vUv tdv 8ldBolov...; and 23
strophe: rind otcupoii
oxerc uo0 iw eq oxrpt6pr,ev...
(c) The poet
The poet addresses himself only once with a specific title in the ftrrrrr ol'rr
combination: Ti 8i rrpri[o 6 tcr],airr<opoq xa.i xardxprcoc, ty6... (441.
2. Class II: thematic
Only two biblical characters are addressed in the epilogue: Mary irr ll7 (r.'r
Moplrip), and John the Baptist in 38 by means of several titles in sur:trrssiorr: rril
roD ... iep6<oq, r6xvov tfic, o'ce|puc, xai npogritr,Soc,, / 0ptpgta 6pdpou,
C.The ref rain
The third aspect of the compositional form of the epilogue is tlrt: rrrlrrrrr.r irr
which the refrain is introduced, in this case, of course, for the final tinxr. I lrrrv,.
encountered 15 patterns, most of which correspond to those ocr:urrirrg irr tlrc
prooimia. Again I list these patterns according to their frequency of rrsr,,
1. Since the hymnic prayer is the most constant element of tht: clrilogrrr', it i*
ortly natural to expect that the refrain will mostly comprise a prayer.
is irrrlr:trl
llte case, and almost 25% of the liturgical epilogues have their n:frairr irr tlrr. lirrrrr ol'
In 8 instanr:es the prayer is introdtrr:erl by various vr:rlrs rtlrctrly
r:rr<:<rrrrrteretl in the prooinria:
(8, 17,40),
(l)); poioorv (/rlt);
xpauyd(orpev (/+21, xpuvra(ovrac (18), arul tr6yetv ({(i). ln onr: cPikrgrrt'llrr'
rclrrirr is llrc tlirrr:l r:oltlcttls of'llrr' prrtyt:r: itr6lorrv Kripce (50)r'/.
:17 lrr,',)nn(.r'liorr witlr;rrrr
wlil.'ri rrl;t tf'rlitlll'tt rlr' lrr
rlc Mlrlolts (K,,rrlithlrlt ..1
lirrrrlr' r'=rl r'\itrltrtrnrnl v{ln('"r' rliutq li. koltlirkiotr r} ;l(; (:t
J. ll. lfrrrkhrriz.t:rr
2. rn 7 epilogues the refrain is introduced by those verbs listed in type I
above, but the refrain constitutes in these instances no prayer, but a doxological
statement or confession: 43 (verb: rpri(ovreq); 14 (verb: tr6ycov);16and,55 (verb:
19 (verb: xpd(ezv);24 (verb:
30 (verb:
3. The refrain as accusative of direct object of a preceding verb is another
frequent pattern: 15, 27, 33, 47, 51, 52, 54.
4. The refrain as vocative noun occurs in four epilogues: 4,
84, 49.
5. A pattern which resembles type 4 is that of 6 +
participle phrase used as
vocative: 21, 28,29, 56.
6' The refrain as noun subject of the sentence occurs four times: ll, l},2s,
45. I1'. 8.
7 . The refrain in the form of a prepositional phrase as concluding part of the
preceding sentence occurs in 23,26, and 38.
8. The following four patterns occur twice each: (a) The refrain is a vocative
noun in apposition to a preceding title: 5 and 41. (b) In a similar way the refrain is
in the form ef s +
participle phrase as vocative in apposition to a preceding pronoun
(in 6) or title (in 7). (c) The refrain in the form of a lva phrase occurs in 12 and20.
An interesting feature of the epilogue of 72 is the fact that the refrain has a different
form as in the prooimion and other strophes. The usual form of the refrain is
)6tep o6o6v pr,e. In the epilogue it becomes tvo- o6apq
(d) In 32 and 53 the
refrain constitues an independent statement or doxology.
9. Finally there are 5 different patterns occurring only once each: (a) The
refrain contains the reason of a preceding statement, introduced by 6rl: 44. (b) rn
l0 it is in the form of a noun phrase in the genitive after a preceding verb in the
imperative form. (c) rn 22 the refrain is in the form of an adverbial phrase. (d) In
39 the refrain constitutes a noun in the dative followed by a noun in the genitive as
final part of the preceding imperative sentence. (e) In bz it is a genitive of object
after cuyld,v<o.
D. The para-litur gical epilogue
In seven instances we have what we may define as a paraliturgical epilogue,
i.e. the particular epilogue forms at the same time the conclusion of the biblical
1. The final strophe of kontakion I contains prayer and thematic reference
uttered by Mary to her child, Christ. She addresses Him by various titles: o<,lrrip,
u[6 pou, 68r1y6 pou, trorqrd. prou, zrtrourrord, pou incruding two titles of r[rt.: refrain:
narliov v6ov lrtrl 6 npd aitlrvt,rv 0e6g.'l'he refrain is <:onnc<:lrxl with tlre strsphe in
llrr: lirl'ltt ol lwo vot:;tlivr: pltrlrsr:s irr aplrosiliorr lo vlriorrs prcrrr:rlirrg lilL.s irr llrr:
vocrrlivr' cnsr,. lislcrl ;tlrovr..
2. 'l'lrr:
lirrrrl slroplr,, ol korrtrrkrorr 2 r'orrsisls of lxrlh llrenrutir: rclirrcrrlr. rrrrrl
exhortalion. lrr tlrc lirst lrlll
llrrist rr.Llrr.sscs Mary twice as plre p pou, wlrilt irr llrr.
second half wt: I'irrtl Mlry's cxlrollaliorr lo Adam arrd Eve.'lhc rel'rairr is lirrkr.rl t,r
the strophe as lhe r:ontr:rrls ol' lhe partir:iple phrase t6v
3. The epil<lgue of kontakion 9 contains a biblical quotation relatcrl lo
promises. The refrain is the acc. of object of the preceding verh n4yu\trr\cy1.
4. In kontakion 26 we have a credo of faith spoken by Adanr arillrcssing
Hades by means of the personal pronoun, the title or name "A181 beirrg rrsrxl irr tlrr.
refrain. The refrain itself again forms the content of the participle fornr porirvrr,rv.
5. The final strophe of kontakion 31 contains first Christ's exhortatiorr to hir
apostles to save men and baptize them. This is followed by the apostkrs' r:r'r.rkr ol
faith and their prayer to Christ, addressing Him by means of the person:rl pronoun
Xrj. The refrain is the vocative case in apposition to a noun of thc prcr:r.rlirrg
sentence, forming part of the prayer.
6. The epilogue of kontakion 32 contains the disciples'prayer lo
addressing Him as 'Ava,,pt4te, while the refrain forms the conlcrrl ol tlrr.
participle e in<irv.
7. Finally, in the epilogue of kontakion
the refrain being the content of the verbal
University of Pretoria
36 Jot"ph addresses Mary ns 7tnp06vc,
phrase ),4).{ool oor.