Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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(3,018 words)

The “Akathistos hymnos,” a Byzantine hymn to the Virgin Mary still very popular in the Orthodox and the Catholic Churches today, goes back to late antiquity. The word means that the hymn was [to be] sung “unseated” (α privativum + καθίζομαι/kathizomai). The time of its composition and the identity of its author are controversial issues. Acco…

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Schultheiss, Jochen, ““Akathistos””, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 16 January 2021 <>
First published online: 2018

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