The Hymn of a Wise Man

O Only-begotten Son and Word of God,

Thou Who are Immortal, yet didst deign

for our salvation to be incarnate through

the most holy Lady and Ever-Virgin

Mary, and without change didst become

Man and wast crucified, trampling upon

death by death, do Thou, O Christ our

God, Who are one of the Holy Trinity and

art glorified, together with the Father

and the Holy Spirit, save us.

– St. Justinian the Great, Emperor and Saint

4 Responses to The Hymn of a Wise Man

  1. Death Bredon says:

    Or was this penned by the miaphysite St. Severus and appropriated by Justinian after their meetings?

    Given the historical record indicating a dearth of overtly Cyrillian christology in the Byzantine Church — the neo-Chalcedonian reappriasal was only small and delicate until Justinian meet with Severus — I am inclined to be skeptical of Byzantine (or East Roman if you prefer) propaganda.

    In any event, the so-called Nestorian Church of the East has substantively similar christological formula that is recited in the ordinary of their ancient liturgy, which leads me to believe that all the Eastern Schisms were large about semantics, national feeling, and blood feud — not the uniformly Cyrillian substance of their christology.

  2. collator says:

    This is the same Nick as posted above, but I picked this moniker (my new Google account name) to distinguish myself from at least one other Nick whom, I noticed, has posted on this blog.

    Here’s the reference:

    “The patriarch [Severus] was a great liturgist: from him we have … liturgical hymns, such as _O Monogenes_, which is still sung in Greek and Coptic churches.”

    (from Pauline Allen and C.T.R. Hayward, _Severus of Antioch_, The Early Church Fathers (New York: Routledge, 2004), p. 23)

    I assume that _O Monogenes_ refers to the above hymn, since this is how the original Greek begins. There is no footnote here or endnote to indicate where Allen and Hayward got this information.

    I’ll try to take a look at Fr. Gerostergios’ book when I get a chance.

  3. Where did you read that Severus wrote it? I would recommend Asterios Gerostergios book Justinain the Great, Emperor and Saint

    http://eighthdaybooks.com/cgi-bin/ccp51/cp-app.cgi?usr=51H6544517&rnd=6328488&rrc=N&affl=&cip=192.91.171.36&act=&aff=&pg=prod&ref=TP-0278&cat=&catstr=

  4. Nick says:

    Does anyone know whether this hymn is really by Justinian? I’ve read that it is also attributed to Severus of Antioch (!).

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