Virginity Recast. Romanos and the Mother of God
he Virgin Mary has always stood out in the Christian scenery, yet in ever-changing guises. This study explores the characterization of the Virgin in the poetic works of Romanos the Melodist (ca. 490–560), the great composer of the so-called kontakion. Written for liturgical use, these dramatic songs soon became well-known and immensely popular. The most famous ones reveal a remarkable interest in and concern with the person of Mary, making the œuvre of Romanos both a pinnacle and a crux in the Mariological writings of sixth-century Constantinople.