Footnotes

1.

Encaustic refers to a paint in which beeswax and resin have been added to the pigment. After application to a wooden panel, it is fixed by heat. This process was used on the famous Fayum mummy-portraits of the first and second centuries A.D. (Fayum is about 50 miles south of Cairo) and on early icons.

2.

C.E. (Common Era) and B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) are the scholarly alternate designations corresponding to A.D. and B.C.

4.

The important theologians and interpreters of Scripture in the early church (first-sixth centuries) are called church fathers (patres in Latin).

5.

Esther 8:7; Judges 4:21, 5:26–27; Joshua 10:26.

6.

Here Romanos engages in typical word-play: from Hades’ point of view the Good Thief “stole” a place in paradise by acknowledging Christ on the cross.

Endnotes

1.

For a complete discussion of the sources for and validity of the details of Romanos’ “biography” see José Grosdidier de Matons, Romanos le Mélode et les origines do la poesie religieuse a Byzance (Paris: Beauchesne, 1977), pp. 159–198. An anonymous kontakion in honor of Romanos states that he was “from the race of Hebrews”—which may or may not jibe with his thorough mastery of many midrashic aspects of the Old Testament and his pervasive anti-Jewish polemics (the pointed “lawless ones” is one of his typical epithets). For a recent study of Syriac influences, see William L. Petersen, “The Dependence of Romanos the Melodist upon the Syriac Ephrem: Its Importance for the Origin of the Kontakion,” Vigiliae Christianae 39 (1985), pp. 171–187.

2.

The standard Greek texts of Romanos are those of Paul Mass and Constantine A. Trypanis, Sancti Romani Melodi Cantica: Cantica Genuina (Oxford: Clarendon, 1963); and Grosdidier de Matons, Romanos le Mélode: Hymnes I–V (Paris: Cerf, 1964–1981) (= Sources Chrétiennes 99, 110, 114, 120, 283); in this edition there is an introduction to each kontakion and a French translation facing the Greek text. The English translations of Marjorie Carpenter, Kontakia of Romanos, Byzantine Melodist I–II (Columbia: Univ. of Missouri Press, 1970–1973) are unfortunately quite inaccurate and awkward; they are out of print. See my article, “The Sung Sermon,” Worship 47 (1973), pp. 527–539, for an introduction to the topic and a version of “The Passion of Christ” (Trypanis, Sancti Romani Melodi 20; Grosdidier de Matons, Romanos le Mélode 36).

3.

Grosdidier de Matons, Romanos le Mélode, has a good survey of Romanos’ use of Scripture, pp. 255–265; see also R.J. Schork, “Typology in the Kontakia of Romanos,” Studia Patristica 6 (1962), pp. 211–220.

4.

Stanza 18, Trypanis, Sancti Romani Melodi 22, Grosdidier de Matons, Romanos le Mélode 38.

5.

Stanza 6, Trypanis, Sancti Romani Melodi 44, Grosdidier de Matons, Romanos le Mélode 6.

6.

Stanza 7, Trypanis, Sancti Romani Melodi 44, Grosdidier de Matons, Romanos le Mélode 6.

7.

Stanza 11, Trypanis, Sancti Romani Melodi 44, Grosdidier de Matons, Romanos le Mélode 6.

8.

Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chapter 27; Gibbon’s “source” seems to be a paraphrase of Gregory Nazianzus, Discourse 33.16–17.

9.

Stanza 16, Trypanis, Sancti Romani Melodi 8, Grosdidier de Matons, Romanos le Mélode 20.