Octoechos: A model and inspiration for Serbian medieval hymnographer
Oktoih - uzor i inspiracija za srednjovekovne srpske himnografe
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Octoechos is not merely a musical manual in everyday use during the service in Orthodox Church, but also a comprehensive anthology of church poetry. It contains poetical works of great Byzantine poets, such as John of Damascus, Joseph the Hymnographer, Andrew of Crete. The use of Octoechos during the service is strictly regulated by Typicon. After accepting the Orthodox rite, the Slavs were acquainted with Octoechos which has undoubtedly made a great impression on the attentive audiences present at the service. Octoechos has also influenced the work of medieval Serbian hymnographers all of whom were, as it is well known, pious men. The influence of the poetics typical of hymns of the Octoechos has already been present in the Akoluthia to St. Simeon written by St. Sava. In the hymnographical work of Theodosius this influence is even more present, especially in his Canons on the eight modes (echoi) that follow the pattern of the supplicatory canons of the Octoechos. Ephraim, who was the ...Serbian patriarch in two turns (1375-1379, 1389-1392), wrote his church hymns and prayers following those of the Octoechos. Ephraim composed his stichera dedicated to Christ and Theotokos following the regular change of tones of the Octoechos. The spirit of Octoechos has also marked the work of the last Serbian anonymous hymnographers who wrote Akoluthia to the Translation of the holy relics of Saint Apostle Luke to Serbia and the Paraklisis to St. Luke (mid 15th century).
Oktoih je nesumnjivo uticao na razvoj i izražajna sredstva srpske srednjovekovne himničke poezije. Uticaj se ogledao ne samo u leksici i topici, nego i u muzičkoj komponenti svakog originalnog himnografskog sastava koji pripada bogatom fondu srpske srednjovekovne književnosti. Pod uticajem Oktoiha stvarali su svoja dela Sveti Sava, Teodosije i monah Jefrem, a takođe i anonimni srpski himnografi prve polovine XV veka.