Tropes in the liturgical rhetoric and hymnographic texts dedicated to SS Peter and Paul in the Slavonic tradition

Adelina Angusheva-Tihanov, Iskra Khristova-Shomova (Collaborator)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article studies the rhetorical and hymnographic texts dedicated to the two supreme apostles, which were distributed among the Orthodox Slavs in the Balkans either as translations from Byzantine Greek or as a part of the original Slavonic literary production. Focused on the offices for June 29 with a common canon for SS Peter and Paul (attested in the South Slavonic Menaia), on the two canons for St. Peter and St. Paul by St. John of Damascus, on the cycle of eight Octoechos canons possibly penned by St. Kliment of Ohrid, on the short sermon ascribed also to Kliment, and on the elaborate encomium by Gregory Tsamblak, the articles offers a cross-genre comparison between the sets of stylistic tools and rhetoric strategies used by the writers to celebrate the two apostles. Following the New Testament narrative, the prevailing Byzantine and medieval Slavonic traditions present the deeds of the apostles as separate entities in a chronological sequence, rather than closely combining or uniting their stories (as in Damascus' canons). The theological message of these texts was mainly conveyed through the paradox (in the lives of both saints) as a main cognitive and stylistic tool in revealing the divine providence. The analysis shows that although applying a very limited pool of topoi and New Testament quotations the authors were still able to create completely different texts with specific didactic, celebratory or penitential character, accentuating at the same time on various theological concepts (such as the fulfilment of the Old Testament; the Logos; the chosen ones, etc.).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-38
Number of pages21
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012


  • liturgical rhetoric
  • hymnography
  • SS Peter and Paul


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