The Church's Attitude to War in Byzantine Hymnography

The Byzantine Church’s approach to war is a recurring topic. The close relationship between the Byzantine Church and the Eastern Roman Empire gave the latter a Christian identity, but at the same time determined the Church to support the State’s various interests and its preservation. Thus, the Empire was perceived as an expression of God’s authority on earth. Hymnographic texts, used in liturgy, were sometimes means of promotion of the so-called political orthodoxy. However, there is still no exhaustive study dedicated to Byzantine hymnographic texts as means of transmitting the Church's vision on war. This study does not aim to fully cover this topic, but rather to highlight the main ideas comprised in a tenth century akolouthia performed by the Byzantines before the battle, a commemorative service for dead soldiers, perhaps from the same century, and a parakletikoskanon, from the eleventh century, dedicated to the Theotokos, sung in times of war. The aims of this paper is to explore what impact such liturgical texts had on the Byzantines and what were their theological background.