Sacred Song from the Byzantine Pulpit: Romanos the Melodist

By R. J. Schork | Go to book overview
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Conversely, his choice of "Son of God" to address the Lord is
shown, by several Old Testament examples (20), to be no prima fa-
cie
proof of literal divine sonhood.
Jesus' question "What is your name?" is the stratagem of a wise
judge, used here to reveal information to the audience in his court
(21).
Finally, the exorcised "Legion" must get the Master's explicit per-
mission to enter the swine and then be crushed on the crags
(22-24).

As mentioned in the Introduction, Paul Maas demonstrated the close
correspondence between stanzas 17-20 of this kontakion and a prose
homily on the same topic by Basil of Seleucia. 1 There can be no doubt
that the Melodist took the "message" of each of these passages from
this source. On the other hand, his arrangement of the material into de-
bate form, in tightly controlled stanzas, required great poetic talent.
Other examples of this sort of extended borrowing from prose homilies
are limited to three brief instances, all from the works of Basil of Se-
leucia. 2.


NOTES
1.
Maas, Das Kontakion, 299-302; also see Hymnes III, 49-51
2.
See Maas, Das Kontakion, 302-6.

The Man Possessed by Demons

I. Since we have commemorated your miracles, Lord,
we beg you to rescue us from the evil one and his tortures;
for you alone are
the Master of the Universe.

3: Mt. 6:13 L 5 and refrain passim: Ws.6:7 L

. The people of Christ, loyal in their love, have gathered1
to keep a night-long vigil with psalms and songs.
The congregation can never sing too many hymns to God.

-87-

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