Chronoi Talks: “Heavenly Hours and the Creation of Time: The Hours of Day and Night” (Online)

April 22, 2021

4 - 5 pm (CET)


Dr. Emmanouela Grypeou


Among the rich pseudepigraphic literature of Late Antiquity, the brief text known as the Horarium has been remarkably influential and widespread. Attested in several recensions and numerous languages, either as part of magical-astrological works or as part of the Adam-literature, the provenance, Sitz im Leben and finally, actual intention of this writing remains a riddle. As I would like to demonstrate, this text tradition reflects a certain view of the creation against the background of a 24-hour-day along with a concern about the ordering of the cosmos and its activities according to these fundamental and concrete units of time as divine ordinances. In a way, time – and specifically, the hours of day and night – are here understood as a primordial divine clock that sets and counts the hours for particular activities maintaining in a way a continuous rhythm between the creation and the creator, and including set times for certain activities, such the praising of the seraphim or human concerns, like the anointing of the sick or simply, a time when there is silence in heaven. As I will argue, this text tradition that views time as a special mystical and revelatory category, needs to be studied one the one side, in the context of Jewish and Christian exegesis of the Paradise story and on the other side, with regard to Christian monastic liturgical and worship concerns.