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.