Eighteen stanzas with the acrostic TOY TAIIEINOY PΩMANOY ("of/by the humble Romanos").
The biblical source ( Luke 7:36-50) is indirectly acknowledged at stanza 4.5; the lyric diction at 6.1 is also marked as scriptural in origin. Romanos has, however, taken an extraordinary liberty in his dramatic recasting of the episode: an internal monologue by the repentant woman is followed by a dialogue with her perfume merchant. A typical phrase ("with such words" [9.1]) calls attention to his invention. The poet also explicitly refers to his own sinfulness and obstinacy (I and 1.8-2.11). This unusual initial first-person confession is balanced by a similar appeal for debtforgiving mercy in the final stanza.
The elaborate example of typology in stanza 8 has already been mentioned in the Introduction, but there are other effective intertestamental allusions to Rahab (7) and Michal (11). All testify to both the Melodist's skill at discovering such parallels and his congregation's ability to appreciate their intertestamental relevance. The "moral" of the work is nicely presented in the crisp exchange between Christ and Simon (12.5-17.11). In fact, this is the only section of the original gospel episode that includes any conversation. The plot and procedures of this kontakion were borrowed in toto in an enervated prose version by a later homilist who falsely assigned the hallowed name of John Chrysostom to his piece ( PG 59.531- 36).