Back to the Paradise: Adam and Eve in Romanos Melodos

A3 Book section, Chapters in research books


Internal Authors/Editors


Publication Details

List of Authors: Erkki Koskenniemi
Editors: Antti Laato, Lotta Valve
Publication year: 2017
Publisher: Åbo Akademi
Book title: Adam and Eve Story in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Perspectives
ISBN: 978-952-12-3497-2


Abstract


Adam is
clearly the most mentioned biblical figure in the canticles of Romanos Melodos,
the greatest of the Byzantine poets. Adam is mentioned 163 times by name and 20
times as ὁ πρωτόπλαστος / ὁ πρωτοπλάστης. Following the style of Syrian masters,
Romanos often mentions Adam or the events told in Gen 2-4 in the refrains of
his canticles, making Adam and Paradise the focus of the hymns. When Adam also
appears in dialogue in Canticle 2, with several singers apparently presenting
the “sermons in verse”, a singer may have played Adam’s role.





The
biblical stories were told and retold in early Judaism and then in early Christianity,
and these interpretations were mixed with rich folklore well before the time of
Romanos. The use of this material does not confirm the late report of his
Jewish origin, although of course it remains possible. Romanos uses biblical
material very freely, occasionally linking his canticles with extra-biblical
traditions. However, his use of Adam is defined by his Orthodox creed. The
figure of Adam is used to honour the second Adam, who came to bring fallen
humanity back to Paradise.


Last updated on 2019-07-12 at 02:55