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13 Essential Literary Terms

kontakion

[kawn-tah-kee-awn; English kuh n-tey-kee-on] /kɔnˈtɑ ki ɔn; English kənˈteɪ kiˌɒn/
noun, plural kontakia
[kawn-tah-kee-ah; English kuh n-tey-kee-uh] /kɔnˈtɑ ki ɑ; English kənˈteɪ ki ə/ (Show IPA).
Greek Orthodox Church
1.
a short hymn honoring a saint.
Also, contakion.
Origin
1865-1870
1865-70; < Late Greek, special use of kontákion scroll, equivalent to kontak- (stem of kóntax) pole + -ion diminutive suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Article for kontakion

first important Byzantine poetic form, significant in early Byzantine liturgical music. The kontakion was apparently in use by the early 6th century, although the term occurs only in the 9th century, also designating a scroll and a stick around which were wound long rolls containing texts. The form seems to be of Syrian origin, having much in common with two Syriac poetic forms, memra and madrasha.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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