Revista Studii Teologice


JA slide show

"Sfântul Roman Melodul – imnograful desăvârşit al Ortodoxiei "

St. Romanos the Melodist – outstanding hymnographer of Orthodoxy

Autor(i): Alexandru PRELIPCEAN

Summary: St. Romanos the Melodist – outstanding hymnographer of Orthodoxy
The present study dwells on the life, works and theology of St. Romanos the Melodist, „melodist of melodists” (J. Pitra). Alongside the brief presentation of these three aspects pertaining to Patristic research, we intended to approach some aspects complementing the study of Romaneic kontakia, such as manuscripts and critical editions/contemporary translations of the Byzantine melodist’s works.
There are not many Romanian studies on the theology of St. Romanos the Melodist. Most articles/studies confined themselves to describe the life, works and importance of St. Romanos as creator of kontakia, in critical editions with the hymnographer’s texts, however the theological-philological contents of his entire corpus of works has been neglected. The few translations from the Byzantine author’s works are not accompanied by any scholarly introduction related to his life and works, or information on the respective translations. A marked difference from this type of shallow presentations are two volumes with translations from the Melodist’s works: the one entitled Hymns of Repentance, with an introductory study by the renowned Patrologist Andrew Louth, and the translation of some of the Melodist’s hymns by Cristina Rogobete and Sabin Preda, also prefaced by a well-structured introductory study evincing the intention to revive the legacy of the Byzantine hymnographer and Christian hymnography. On the other hand, the studies provided by the Occidental or Greek scholars, numerous articles and studies in prestigious dictionaries, books or theological reviews, have highlighted extremely various aspects, both philological and theological.
This finding has prompted us to undertake an extensive investigation into the life, works and theology of the Byzantine hymnographer, including the latest research, especially the Greek one. Our synthesis, to which we have added three aspects complementary to the study of kontakia, is in no way the end-all of such endeavours. We have not intended it to be so. It is an attempt to know the life and works of St. Romanos the Melodist as well as an invitation to read Christian poetry.
Numerous aspects concerning the Byzantine hymnographer’s life and works have not yet been approached by scholars. Dissenting opinions notwithstanding, a fact is certain: St. Romanos the Melodist came from Syria, endowed with the Syrian culture, and lived in Constantinople, where he wrote most of his works. Scholars, maybe Romanian ones, still have to ascertain the autorship of some kontakia with hagiographic contents that are ascribed to him.
With all sholarly demonstrations, the only certainty remains the existence of St. Romanos’ kontakion. As a new genre of Christian hymnography and a new expression of theology, the kontakion sums up the entire Christian doctrine, inviting us to know and apply it. St. Romanos’ kontakion actually develops his theology. His support for Neo-Chalcedonian theology underlies the verses of his kontakia, which promote it and reveal it as a fulfilment and continuation of Chalcedon Council. On the other hand, the theology of his kontakia mainly emphasizes the Christological dogma of Chalcedon, as well as the connection between Scriptural imagery and the notion which the Church had already been promoting for centuries: salvation is possible only within the Church, through Christ.
St. Romanos’ manuscripts prove the appearance of kontakaria, collections of kontakia that existed since the Melodist’s time until 11th century. Despite certain lacks or philological ambiguities, the kontakaria can easily render the evolution of public divine service, and therefore enable us to understand the sudden shift from kontakia to the canons composed by St. Andrew of Crete and other Byzantine hymnographers.

Pagini: 59-105