The hypotyposis of the Theotokos Evergetis and the making of a monastic typikon

  • Robert Hamilton Jordan

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The most important sources of information about how a Byzantine monastery was set up and organised, and then how it functioned on a daily basis are two typika. These texts, the one liturgical and the other administrative, provide first and foremost a detailed description of the liturgical life within the community, and secondly set out the prescriptions regarding food and the observing of fasts, the behaviour of the monks both in the communal areas such as the trapeza and the katholikon and in their own cells, the role of the hegoumenos, the duties of those with special responsibilities, the rules regarding visitors especially if they were of the other gender and the requirements for entry into the community. The administrative typikon usually specifies also that the foundation is to be independent of all outside authority and may Iist the commemorations which are to take place for the founder and possibly also for members of his or her family. Obviously such texts were of very great importance in that they encapsulated the way of life that was to be practised by the community; and it was usual for the founder to state that he or she did not wish any changes to be made in the prescriptions laid down in the administrative typikon. But no community can be entirely immune to change; a new hegoumenos had to be appointed from time to time and new monks were welcomed into the community and took the place of those who had died. Here we have the seeds of change; changes of personnel, especially in the case of the hegoumenos, could provide the impetus for minor modifications to the rules if not the writing of completely new ones, yet modem scholars seem to have assumed that the founder's insistence on no change to the typikon was observed, and there has been no attempt to put this to the test. If changes were in fact made, then our view of monastic communities will have to be modified. Contrary to the accepted view I will argue in this thesis that Timothy's Hypolyposis for the monastery of the Theotokos Evergetis developed stage by stage during some hundred and fifty years that the monastic community functioned there. Apart from the detailed evidence and the linguistic arguments involved in this investigation, I will set out the text of this document at different stages going back to its earliest versions.
Date of AwardDec 1997
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorMargaret Mullett (Supervisor)

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