Brief description of 'Seacht Sólás na Maighdine: Sources and Versions':

Joseph Szövérffy’s letter quoted in Tomás de Bhaldraithe’s article ‘Seacht Sólás na Maighdine’ (1964) was arguably seminal in the history of the studies of traditional religious songs of Ireland. This book aims to verify Szövérffy’s points in his context and in a broader context, which includes the Middle English literature and the early Christian writings. 

Szövérffy, based on the hymnological studies of Meersseman, points out that this Irish sacred song, which can be classified as a numerical carol of the non-liturgical nature, belongs to the long tradition of Grußhymnus that goes back to the seventh-century Byzantine hymn called Akathistos by way of Gaude hymns in Latin. The present book shows that the tradition goes further back to the first-century gospel according to St Luke and beyond. The interesting characteristic of this kind of religious discourse is that whenever it is sung or recited as a prayer it invokes an unbroken chain that connects people to the sacred past.

(Author's notes) 
Joseph Szövérffy’s letter itself is a rarity for those who wish to trace the sources and versions of ‘Seacht Sólás na Maighdine’, an Irish traditonal religious hymn, in Latin and Greek traditions.

(sample page)


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