Joseph the Hymnographer

JOSEPH the Hymnographer, St. b. Sicily, between 812 and 818; d. ca. 886. He was taken as a child to Peloponnesos, but fled to Thessalonike, where he became a monk. Later he went to Constantinople, living for several years in the Church of Antipas. He founded his own monastery, ca. 850. After capture by the Arabs, and exile during the iconoclastic controversy (cf. Theodore of Studios*), he returned to Constantinople no later than 866-7, where he was later appointed staurophylax (guardian of the Holy Cross) at Hagia Sophia. Joseph, enjoying the honorific epithet of ‘the Hymnographer’, is the most prolific hymn writer of the Byzantine tradition (see Byzantine rite*). More than 200 kanons* are...

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