Since the complete English translation of the works of Romanos (poetic homilies usually called ‘kontakia’) by M. Carpenter, which is not only out of print but is also marred by frequent errors, two English translations have been published, but both contain only a small selection of his works.
The present kontakion is not included in either of these two recent translations, and the purpose of this article is therefore to provide such a translation, including a short introduction in which the main characteristics of the homily and the outline of its argument are provided. The translation is accompanied by notes covering various aspects including references to
Biblical citations or allusions. This early homily deals with Adam and Eve and their request to Mary to defend their cause after they have heard in Hades of the birth of Christ. Apart from this reference to the birth of Christ, the plot of the homily has no relation to any Biblical episode, and is
therefore an invention of the preacher-poet himself. Adam and Eve are therefore presented as symbols of fallen mankind rather than biblical figures: as the new Adam and Eve they represent the new creation in Christ. The homily focuses mainly on the Virgin in her role as universal intercessor.