Monthly Archives: September 2010

This is too beautiful not to share

This semester I’m taking a course on Greek Hymnody and for tomorrow we’re translating a few ἀπολυτίκια (Hymns sung all throughout the feast day). This is the one sung on Feb. 2nd, the presentation of Christ in the Temple.

Χαῖρε χεκαριτωμένη Θεοτόκε Παρθένε
ἐχ σοῦ γὰρ ἀνέτειλεν ὁ Ἥλιος τῆς διχαιοσύνης
Χριστὸς ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, φωτίζων τοὺς ἐν σχότει.
Εὐφραίνου καὶ σὺ Πρεσβύτα δίχαιε
δεξάμενος ἐν ἀγχάλαις τὸν ἐλευθερωτὴν τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν
χαριζόμενος ἡμῖν καὶ τὴν Ἀνάστασιν.

Hail Full of Grace, Virgin Mother of God!
From you the Sun of righteousness arose
Christ our God, lighting those in the darkness.
Be glad, righteous presbyter,
Holding in your arms the Liberator of our souls,
the One who grants the resurrection to us.

N.B.: Mary is not here being called a presbyter. The Greek Πρεσβύτα (Presbyter) is masculine. The latter half of the hymn is talking to Simeon (cf. Luke 2.21-35). **Edited with the help of Esteban’s comments!**

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Tertullian and Chrestians

Tertullian, in his Apologeticum bears witness to the fact that even by the third century, little was known about the Christians. Interestingly enough, several people, including Tertullian, attest to the fact that Christians were constantly called the wrong name – ‘Chrestianus’, as Tertullian says:

Sed et cum perperam “Chrestianus” pronuntiatur a vobis… (Apologeticum, 3.5)
“And even when it is said wrongly ‘Chrestian’ by you…”

It’s interesting that Suetonius notes, in his life of Claudius, that the ‘Jews’ were expelled at the ‘instigation of Chrestus’ (Iudaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantis). However, in his life of Nero, he gets the name right (Christiani), which I find odd. I wonder if there’s any textual variation in that part.

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