[= Κῆπος ἀειθαλής. Studi in ricordo di Augusta Acconcia Longo, IV, a cura di Francesco D’Aiuto, Santo Lucà, Andrea Luzzi]
Ten years after the publication of the «Schøyen Hymn» – a rare example of a type of archaic proto-Byzantine hymns which had been unknown until then –, the author comes back to this discovery in order to offer and discuss new data that have recently emerged. First of all, the liturgical date for which the «Schøyen Hymn» was destined seems to have been the ancient commemoration of the Myrrhbearers on Tuesday of the second week after Easter (whereas the third Sunday of Easter, or «Sunday of the Myrrhbearers», was later dedicated to their commemoration): not surprisingly, in fact, under the date of the Tuesday of the Myrrhbearers, the author of this study found, in the famous «Sinai Tropologion» Sin. gr. NE ΜΓ 56+5, three strophes of the «Schøyen Hymn» reused as if they were a group of stichera within the vespers office. Moreover, a few troparia of the «Schøyen Hymn» – likewise reused as stichera – have been also found in ancient manuscripts of the Oktoëchos (Sinai Greek 1593, 9th cent.; Sinai Greek 792, 10th-11th cent.; Sinai Greek 784, 12th cent.), in the evening or morning offices of the seventh week of the oktoëchal cycle, a week which is characterized, from a musical point of view, by the use of the same third plagal mode (or ἦχος βαρύς) on which the «Schøyen Hymn» was sung. Furthermore, some strophes of the same hymn can be recognized in a Georgian translation within the oktoëchal section in manuscripts of the «ancient Iadgari», where they were also sung at lauds but on the Sunday of the third plagal mode. The presence of these troparia in the oldest witnesses of the Iadgari seems to suggest that there commenced at a very early date (apparently, already in the 4th or 5th cent. AD) the process of reduction of the «Schøyen Hymn» – and of other hymns of the same kind, which must have also fallen into disuse as unitary compositions quite soon – to a few excerpts of single strophes that were normally reused as if they were monostrophic compositions. The fact that, in old manuscripts of the Greek Oktoëchos or in Georgian witnesses of the «ancient Iadgari», isolated troparia of the «Schøyen Hymn» were used in the offices of lauds or vespers suggests that very likely the poetic genre itself of the «“Schøyen-type” polystrophic hymn» originally arose with the same liturgical destination within the morning or evening offices. The new data presented here can contribute to shed some new light on that nebulously documented early phase of the history of the Byzantine liturgy of the hours which is mirrored in the archaic and ill-attested type of all-inclusive and undifferentiated Greek liturgical book that in recent studies is defined «Old Tropologion», and that seems to be best witnessed, as for its contents, in the Georgian Iadgari.