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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Romanus, Hymn-Writer

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Romanus (9), St., a celebrated hymn writer of the Eastern church, who is said to have written more than 1,000 hymns, of the kind called κοντάκια , a form which he probably invented. It perhaps derives its some what disputed name from the legend as to its origin, found in the Synaxasion of St. Romanus's day (Menaea, Oct. 1), which says that the Blessed Virgin appeared to him, and commanded him to eat a roll ( κοντάκιον ) which she gave him, and that, obeying, he found himself endowed with the power of composing hymns. If he was the first who wrote κοντάκια , it is an argument in favour of placing him (as do Pitra and the Bollandists) in the reign of Anastasius I. (491–518) rather than of Anastasius II. (713–719).


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Romanus, Hymn-Writer'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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