Kassia

Saint Kassia
Kassia.jpg
Icon of St. Kassia
Born810
Constantinople
Died865
Kasos
Venerated inLatin Catholic Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
Eastern Orthodox Church
CanonizedPre-congregation
Feast7 September

Kassia or Kassiani (Greek: Κασσιανή, IPA: [kasia'ni]; 805/810 - before 865) was an Byzantine abbess, poet, composer, and hymnographer. She is one of the first medieval composers whose scores are both extant and able to be interpreted by modern scholars and musicians. Approximately fifty of her hymns are extant and twenty-three are included in Orthodox Church liturgical books. The exact number is difficult to assess, as many hymns are ascribed to different authors in different manuscripts and are often identified as anonymous.

Additionally, some 789 of her non-liturgical verses survive. Many are epigrams or aphorisms called "gnomic verse", for example, "I hate the rich man moaning as if he were poor."

Kassia is notable as one of at least two women in the middle Byzantine period known to have written in their own names, the other being Anna Comnena.[1]

Name

Her name is a feminine Greek form of the Latin name Cassius. It is variously spelled Κασσιανή (contemporary pronunciation [kaˈsçani]), Κασ(σ)ία (Kas[s]ia), Εικασία (Eikasia), Ικασία (Ikasia), Kassiani, Cas[s]ia, Cassiane, Kassiana. Modern English-language references to her as a composer generally use the name "Kassia," while references to her religious life tend to use Kassia or Kassiani.