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The Hymnography of Constantinople and its Context (400-900)

In the church of Constantinople from the fourth century onwards there arose various hymnographical traditions, associated with different ecclesiastical milieus. The research group undertakes the first interdisciplinary and comprehensive study of the so-called kata stichon hymns and various monostrophic forms and of their contexts.

Kata stichon hymns in the manuscript Sinai Greek 864 (9th century). Photo by Stig Frøyshov

About the group

Hymns constitute a significant expression of religious culture, doctrine and spirituality. The Church of Constantinople from Late Antiquity onwards had its own hymnographical traditions, different from the kanons and stichera of Jerusalem liturgy which were transmitted to Constantinople before iconoclasm. While the kontakion is a well-known form of Constantinopolitan hymnography, the subject of the research group – the kata stichon hymns and various forms of monostrophes (troparion) – have been poorly studied. Even the corpus of kata stichon hymns needs to be closer established.

While the collection of troparia, sung at the cathedral of Hagia Sophia, entered into the lasting Byzantine liturgical rite, this was mostly not the case with the kontakion and the kata stichon hymns, whose ecclesiastical contexts must be sought elsewhere. Particular attention is given to a possible connection between such hymnography and the many, but little known groups of “basilical asceticism” (asketerion, tagma, confraternity) in Constantinople from the fourth and fifth centuries onwards.

The group's approach involves reading this hymnography in its different contexts – historical, social, ecclesiastical, theological (patristic), liturgical, and literary. Paleography and codicology are also relevant.

The research group plans to organize an international workshop, either in the autumn of 2018 or in 2019.

Published Oct. 23, 2017 1:31 PM - Last modified Aug. 27, 2018 11:35 AM