Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

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A.L. Richter and E. Friedberg, eds.: Corpus juris canonici, ii (Leipzig, 1881/R), 1255

V. Verlaque: Jean XXII: sa vie et ses oeuvres (Paris, 1883)

G. Mollat: Les papes d’Avignon, 1305–1378 (Paris, 1912, enlarged 9/1950; Eng. trans., 1963)

A. Pons: Droit ecclésiastique et musique sacrée, iii: Décadence et réforme du chant liturgique (St Moritz, 1960)

A. Tomasello: Music and Ritual at Papal Avignon, 1309–1403 (Ann Arbor, 1983)

H. Hucke: ‘Das Dekret Docta sanctorum patrum Papst Johannes XXII’, MD, xxxviii (1984), 119–31

K. Stichweh: ‘L'Ars Nova et le pouvoir spirituel: la bulle Docta sanctorum de Jean XXII dans le contexte de ses conceptions pontificales’, La musique et le pouvoir, ed. H. Dufourt and J.-M. Fauquet (Paris, 1987), 17–32


John Chrysostom.

See Chrysostom, John.

John Cotton.

See Johannes Cotto.

John Damascene [John Chrysorrhoas, John of Damascus]

(b Damascus, c675; d St Sabas, nr Jerusalem, c749). Saint, Byzantine hymnographer and anti-iconoclast theologian. He was born into a rich Christian family; his father, Sergius, held an important position at the court of the Caliphs, and John, who had received a good literary and philosophical education, apparently held the same post after his father's death. Later he became a monk in the famous monastery of St Sabas. He was ordained priest by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and became his theological adviser. The most important of John's writings, The Source of Knowledge, was dedicated to Kosmas, Bishop of Maiuma (Kosmas of Jerusalem). Late hagiographical writers supplied further biographical details, mostly legendary; these include the tradition that Kosmas was John's foster-brother, brought up and educated with him at Damascus. John was buried in the monastery of St Sabas; his body was later transferred to Constantinople.

John Damascene was renowned at Constantinople as the author of liturgical hymns: his biographers praised his troparia and kanōnes ‘which are still sung and which give divine pleasure to all’. Tradition attributed to him the composition of the Oktōēchos, but he is more likely to have been the organizer than the author of this work. Many specific liturgical hymns have been attributed to him, but some were probably written by other monastic hymnographers with the name John. Those hymns in iambic verses for Christmas, Epiphany and Pentecost are most probably authentic; the ones following the rules of Byzantine rhythmic hymnography include kanōnes for Easter (the ‘Golden Kanōn’ or ‘Queen of Kanōnes’), St Thomas, the Ascension, the Transfiguration, the Annunciation and the Dormition of the Virgin. Eustratiadēs has compiled a list with manuscript references of the many kanōnes, idiomela and stichēra prosomoia attributed to John that appear in manuscripts and in editions of Greek liturgical books (mēnaia, triōdion and pentēkostarion).

The iambic kanōnes by John Damascene are formally mannered; the ordinary poetic kanōnes, however, were written in simpler language, and the style of the minor hymns is simpler still. All of them bear witness to their author's profound biblical and theological knowledge. Their tone is generally joyful: John's favourite subject was the Resurrection. John was also well known as a musician: the musical settings of many of the hymns attributed to him may be original.

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