Romanos

d.556. Greek hymnwriter, known as “Melodus.” A Syrian by birth, he served as deacon in the Church of the Resurrection at Beirut, then went to Constantinople under the patronage of Patriarch Anastasius I. There he wrote over 1,000 hymns of which only some eighty survive. They are dramatic and vivid and have at least twenty-four strophes. Their subjects include the OT and NT and the church year. The most famous is the Christmas Day hymn, “On this day the Virgin gave birth to the Transcendent One.” This was regularly sung on Christmas Eve in the imperial palace until the twelfth century.