Rhabdos Ek Tes Rhizes
Rhabdos Ek Tes Rhizes ( ῾Ράβδος ἐκ τῆς ῥίζης, a stem out of the root) is the beginning of one of the odes of St. Cosmas, surnamed "the Melodist," also "Hierosolymitanus," and sometimes "Hieropolites." Like his foster-brother John of Damascus, Cosmas became a monk of St. Sabas, and, against his will, was consecrated bishop of Maiuma, near Gaza, by John, patriarch of Jerusalem, about A.D. 745. He led a holy life, and died in good old age about 760. Cosmas was the most learned of the Greek poets. He wrote an the Nativity, the Transfiguration, and the Purification, and on Gregory Nazianzen. His fondness for types, boldness in their application, and love of aggregating them make him the Oriental Adam of St. Victor. His hymns are much used and praised in the Eastern Church, and he is commemorated on Oct. 14. We subjoin the first stanza of this ode in Neale's translation:
"Rod of the Root of Jesse, Thou, Flower of Mary born, From that thick shady mountain Cam'st glorious forth this morn: Of her, the ever Virgin, Incarnate wast thou made, The immaterial Essence — The God by all obeyed! Glory, Lord, thy servants pay To thy wondrous might today!"
Comp. Neale, Hymns of the Eastern Church, p. 127 sq.; Miller, Singers and Songs of the Church, p. 16. (B.P.)