The Oldest Romanian Manuscript and Printed Versions of the Akathistos Hymn (17th C). The History of a Liturgical Masterpiece Between Text and Image


The Oldest Romanian Manuscript and Printed Versions of the Akathistos Hymn (17th C). The History of a Liturgical Masterpiece Between Text and Image

Exploratory Research (PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2020-0995)

Timeframe:
January 2021 –  December 2023

Team:

Project Leader:
Emanuela Cristina TIMOTIN, PhD

Experienced Researchers:
Lidia COTOVANU, PhD

Cristina Ioana DIMA, PhD

Oana IACUBOVSCHI, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher:
Mihail-George HÂNCU, PhD

PhD Student:
Daniar MUTALÂP

Affiliated Researcher:
Ovidiu Victor OLAR, PhD

Polovragi Monastery, Akathistos Hymn, photo by Oana Iacubovschi

 

 

The interdisciplinary team involved in this project intends to study a most influential liturgical piece dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Akathistos Hymn, from a philological and historical perspective. They will focus on the multilingual textual tradition (Greek,
Slavonic and Romanian) of the Akathistos Hymn which develops simultaneously in the Romanian-speaking regions in the 17th century, and on the flourishing iconography of the Akathistos cycle, present in mural representations and in illuminations.
The first Romanian versions of the Akathistos Hymn appear as manuscripts and printed texts in the 17th century. These important documents for the history of old Romanian and for the history of liturgy in Romanian remained unstudied, although two metropolitans, key-figures of the old Romanian literature, Dosoftei and Antim, printed the Akathistos Hymn in 1673 and 1698 respectively. The relation of the Romanian tradition with the contemporary Slavonic texts, from which it originates, has never been
studied, nor have been its connections with the Greek illuminated manuscripts of the Akathistos Hymn which high Greek clergymen executed in Wallachia in the first half of the 17th century. The present project attempts to evaluate the dynamics of this multilingual 17th-century tradition of the Akathistos Hymn, to edit the oldest manuscript and printed Romanian versions, and to assess the relation between the textual and the iconographic traditions.