Kassia the Nun

KASSIA the Nun. ca. 800-805; d. by 867. Well educated in Byzantine imperial court circles, Kassia became an hegoumena (abbess). More than twenty securely attributed works survive, principally stichera. Kassia is one of four known female Byzantine hymnodists. She appears to have written both texts and music herself, thus being the only known Byzantine female melode (composer of both text and music). Her most famous composition in her lifetime was the sticheron ‘Augoustou monarchēsantos’ (‘Augustus was reigning’) for Christmas Vespers. In present Orthodox worship the so-called ‘Hymn of Kassia’ is a long remorseful sticheron of Holy Wednesday, occupying a prominent place in Greek tradition...

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