TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
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Antimos of Iberia and "The Rod of the Word"


The golden period of homiletics in Romanian starts with Cazania by Varlaam, the one who translates, elaborates on and adapts the Greek models, whereas the peak is reached by Antimos of Iberia. These are personalities who render a specific facet of the culture during our belated Middle-Ages from the times of Vasile Lupu and Constantin Brâncoveanu, respectively. Antimos of Iberia, the great Brancovan preacher, is a foreigner so well adapted that he assimilated the meanings of Romanian mentalities. His full devotion to the Romanian culture places him above the foreigners attracted to our lands for material reasons. His spiritual energy, his typographic skills, along with his skills as translator and rhetor, praised by Anton Maria del Chiaro, increased the cultural rhythm of the abovementioned era. Moreover, he diversified the existing forms of expression by means of sacred rhetoric because the main ideal of the original writer, as seen at that time, was that of writing chronicles. In the civilizing pragmatics of time and by means of the tools it uses, Antimos of Iberia`s sermons retain traces of the judiciary discourse (when the writer accuses bad habits) and of the deliberative discourse (when he manifests the tendency to change them). The issue in every sermon is the moral reason of faith. As a whole, his sermonic work has primarily a moral and theological finality, not an aesthetic one. In its simplest form, the aesthetic is but an instrument of the intention in the background. However, Antimos of Iberia is a creator and an excellent wielder of the possibilities of expression found in the literary language of the time. For the Romanian church, he rehabilitated the value of sermons by proposing as an alternative to translations an original framework that pleads, by ideas and words, for the art of rhetoric.

Keywords: Antimos of Iberia, homily, the Romanian culture, rhetoric