Lamenting Eden: Placing Adam, Eve, and Humanity in Byzantine Hymns

Ivory Box with Scenes of Adam and Eve, detail. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of W. G. Mather, F. F. Prentiss, John L. Severance, J. H. Wade (1924.747)

Date: Nov 17, 2015 Time: 6:15 PM–7:45 PM Location: Harvard Faculty Club Address: 20 Quincy Street Cambridge, MA 02138

Derek Krueger explores human emotion as expressed in Byzantine hymnography from the fifth to the ninth century.

Byzantine tradition held that after the Fall, Adam and Eve were placed opposite Eden, close enough to see it while they tilled the land and suffered. This exile from Paradise prompted acute grief and lamentation. Liturgical poets explored the first-created humans' emotions to understand the human condition: difficult labor, alienation from God, and the need to repent. This lecture considers Greek hymns from the fifth to the ninth century that dramatize Adam's—and sometimes Eve's—state of mind through first-person monologues and dialogue.

Sponsored by the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture and Harvard University Standing Committee on Medieval Studies.

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