Liturgical poetry in the Middle Byzantine period: Hymns attributed to Germanos I, Patriarch of Constantinople (715-730)


Simic, Kosta. (2017) Liturgical poetry in the Middle Byzantine period: Hymns attributed to Germanos I, Patriarch of Constantinople (715-730) [Thesis].
AuthorsSimic, Kosta
Qualification nameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The present thesis explores aspects of the liturgical hymns transmitted under the name of Germanos, a figure frequently identified with Germanos I, patriarch of Constantinople (715- 730). The corpus of hymns associated with this name includes about 65 kanons (nine-ode hymns) and 52 stichera (monostrophic stanzas), mostly composed during the Middle Byzantine period. By focusing on this large body of texts, the purpose of my research is to contribute to the study of Byzantine hymnography, a largely neglected genre of Byzantine literature despite its enormous fertility and importance. The dissertation consists of an introduction, three chapters corresponding to the three main themes of the thesis, and a conclusion. Chapter One is devoted to Mariological poetry and deals with the kanons and stichera for the Nativity of the Mother of God (8 September), the Annunciation (25 March), and the Hypapante (2 February). Chapter Two deals with hagiographical poetry. It deals with the hymns, both kanons and stichera, devoted to the saints, the most voluminous category in the extant corpus. The saints eulogised in these hymns include apostles, martyrs, holy bishops, and ascetics. The topics discussed in Chapter Two include references to saints as imitators of Christ and his sacrifice; a vocabulary from painting applied to Christian saints; modelling the saints on biblical figures; and presenting them as exemplars for emulation by the faithful. The cult of relics and icons is the subject in Chapter Three. The veneration of sacred objects, especially the instruments of Christ’s Passion and the saints’ physical remains, found a notable expression in Middle Byzantine liturgical poetry. There are seven such hymns preserved under the name of Germanos. Five of them are devoted to the so-called primary relics, i.e., saints’ bodies or bodily parts. The hymn for the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (14 September) has for its subject the Holy Cross and the Holy Lance. In the conclusion, I summarise the results of my research.

PublisherACU Research Bank
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Research GroupSchool of Theology
Final version
Publication dates07 Dec 2017
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