Sacred Song from the Byzantine Pulpit: Romanos the Melodist

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This book is an introduction to, and selected translations of, seventeen sung sermons of Romanos. While R. J. Schork reviews Romanos's life and times, his emphasis is on the hymns themselves as inspired and inspirational pieces of religious poetry. Their topics range from episodes in the Old Testament to the life, death, and resurrection of Christ; another piece portrays the heroism of a famous group of Christian martyrs. A brief hymn shows the form as it was developing, and another is the most complex surviving example of Byzantine pulpit poetry. In addition, Schork focuses special attention on the poet's pervasive and sensitive treatment of various women, including Eve, the Virgin Mary, Potiphar's Wife, and the Sinful Woman who anointed Christ's feet.