Holy Mothers of Orthodoxy


Eva Catafygiotu Topping

Thekla the Nun: In Praise of Woman


33The only rare heirmos is that of Ode Ε for which Follieri, 5, p. 41 cites only this occurrence.
34A troparion so called because the congregation sat while it was being sung. In Thekla's kanon it follows the sixth ode.
35The identity of Klement and the relationship of his strophes to Thekla's kanon present thorny problems that have not yet been satisfactorily solved. See S. Petrides, "Office inedit de Saint Clement, hymnographe," Byzantinishe Zeitschrift 12 (1903), pp. 571-81; W. Weyh, "Die Acrotishis in byzantinische Kanonesdichtung," ibid. 17 (1908), pp. 51-53; Sophronios Eustratiades, "Poietai kai Hymnographoi tes Ortodoxou Ekklesias," Nea Sion 53 (1958), p. 293, For additional bilbliography see Szoverffy, p. 36.
36P. 166. See Follieri, 1, p.347, 1, 28.
37P. 34. See the discussion of W. Weyh, Die Acrostichis, pp. 52-53.
38Rochow, Studien…Kassia, pp. 37-38.
39See vv. 30,, 32, 64, 709, 75, 99. 116. 124, 184, 189. Characteristic of hymns composed during the iconoclastic conterversy, ekklesia appears in vv. 4, 67, 151. The fourth ode ends with a prayer to the Theotokos that she safeguard the church's orthodoxy.
40Considered the first encomiast of the Theotokos, Gabriel is twice mentioned: vv. 7, 90. Every hymn to the Theotokos has as its prototype the angelic salutation of Luke 1.28.
41Vv. 28-36, 65-67, 89-92.
42Nikodemos' reading γινζσχοντες is perhaps to be preferred.
43Kontakion 16 On the Entry into Jerusalem, Paul Maas and C. A. Trypanis, Sancti Romani Melodi Cantica: Cantica Gehuina (Oxford, 1963), p. 122. Cf. E. C. Topping "Romanos, On the Entry into Jerusalem: A Basilikos Logos," Byzantion 47 (1977), pp. 84-85.
44See Follieri, 1, p. 558, 1. 25.
45For a sympathetic account of Marian piety, the intimacy existing between the suppliant and the Mother of God, see Theodoros Xydes, Byzantine Hymnographia (Athens, 1978), pp. 297-305.
46V. 187.
47Vv. 68, 107, 176.
48For the texts and introductions of the two hymns see C. A. Trypanis, Fourteen Early Byzantine Cantica (Wiener Byzantinishtische Studien, Band 5) (Vienna, 1968), pp. 17-27, 159-64. For a typical serman read Proclos, PG 65: 721-57.
49Vv. 6-8; Repeated in vv. 90, 99-100.
50This episode, referred to in vv. 41-45, is based on the infancy gospel in the apocryphal Protevagelium of James. See the translation by Montague Rhodes James, The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford, 1955), pp. 39-40. Celebrated on September 8, the Nativity of the Theotokos was established in the liturgical calendar of the Eastern Church in the sixth century.
51Vv. 47, 50, 128, 151; 23, 46, 84, 103, 135, 183. References to Mary's womb occur in vv. 52, 61, 118, 126, 134, 142.
52Vv. 39, 73, 75, 144, 151, 158, 188. According to John Damascene this title contained the whole history of the divine economy in the world, PG 94:1029.
53Vv. 12, 66, 106, 121, 167, 186; 31.
54Vv. 49-50; 53-60; 111-115, 127-130.
55The rules of the encomium required the encomiast to claim superiority for his subject. Cf. Toivo Viljamaa, Studies in Greek Encomiastic Poetry of the Early Byzantine Period (Helsinki-Helsingfors), 1968), pp. 114-116.
56V. 78. Cf. Joseph Ledit, Marie dans la liturgie de Byzance (Paris, 1976), p. 41.
57Quoted above on p. 359.
58V. 14. A much used metaphor for the Theotokos. Cf. Follieri, 1, p. 252, 11. 3-6.
59V. 74. Cf. Ledit, Marie, pp. 86, 106, 161.
60V.. 143, Cf. Ledit, Marie, pp. 48, 96, 277.
61Vv. 10-11. Cf. Ledit, Marie, pp. 82-84, 106.
62Vv. 39; 4, 128.
63Vv. 144, 172. A title reserved exclusively for the Theotokos. Cf. Ledit, Marie, pp. 41-42, especially n. 75.
64Vv. 12, 41, 59, 61, 73; 197; 16; 94. For Mary the Bride of God see Ledit, Marie, pp. 180-193.
65Reconciliation is the theme of two strophes, vv. 37-40, 119-26.
66Cf. Ledit, Marie, pp. 286-90.
67Ζωη froms an important motif in Thekla's kanon: vv. 11, 17, 41, 63, 146, 149.
68A recurrent theme in Marian hymns and particularly associated with the Nativity of the Theotokos and the Feast of the Annunciation, joy constitutes a major statement in our kanon also: vv. 42, 44, 45 47, 89, 91, 101, 102, 104, 143, 161.
69Vv. 79-81, 157-58.
70Cf. Follieri, 2, pp. 351, 1.28, 359, 1.8.
71In Byzantine hymnody the words δαχρυα, λυπη and αρα are so constantly connected with the name of Eve as to become formulas.
72See above p. 357.
73Vv. 38, 158.
74Thekla speaks of Mary's "divine glory" in v. 94.
75See the discussion by Jean Danielou, S. J., The Ministry of Women in the Early Church (London, 1961).
76To describe woman's daring, Thekla chose a rare word, ευτολμεω, which does not occur in patristic writings. The adjective is used, however, in a hymn in honor of an early woman martyr, Saint Epicharis. Cf. Follieri, 1, 599, 1.14.
77Suggested by the strong verb υπεραθλεω. G. W. H. Lampe, A Patristic Greek Lexicon (Oxford, 1968), s.v., cites four passages in which it appears.
78Her trials and career are recounted in the apocryphal Acta Pauli et Theclae written at the end of the second century. See the translation by M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford, 1955), pp. 272-81.
79A typical sermon is that of Basil of Seleukia, PG 85:447 A-617 D.
80R. Janin, La Geographie, pp. 141-43.
81The eldest child, she appeared on coins with her imperial parents, Theophilius and Theodora. See Philip Grierson, ed., Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collections 3, Pt. 1 (Wshington, D.C., 1973), p. 428. Special devotion to her saintly namesake is indicated by the fact she built and dedicated a chapel to Thekla.Cf. Janin, La Geographie, p. 141.