Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Athos Holy Mount

Byzantine Minor Arts
9.40 Cup
17th c., 1st half
Simonopetra Monastery
Coconut husk,
silver, parcel-gilt; height 10 cm, rim diameter 8.1 cm, base diameter 6.6 cm


The Original New Testament

This goblet is formed of a simple hemispherical coconut husk, bound with silver and parcel-gilt strapping and mounted on a silver stem which broadens towards a multi-lobed base and displays late-Gothic features. The metal rim bears the following inscription: '+ΝΕ/ΟΦΥ/ΤΟΣ/ ΙΕ/ΡΟ/ΜΟ/ΝΑ/ΧΟΣ ΑΠ/Ο Τ/ΗΝ ΣΥ/ΜΟ/ΠΕ/ΤΡ/ΑΝ ΚΕ δου/λος χ(ριστο)υ' (Neophytos, hieromonk of Symopetra and servant of Christ). The mounts on both bowl and stem are decorated with arabesques of mediocre workmanship. A second inscription, engraved inside the base, identifies the craftsman who made it: 'Λευθέρις παχατόρ Aπό την βιοπολίν' (Made by Lefteris pachotar from Viopolis).

This small goblet, the property of a monk called Neophytos, is one of a number of luxury articles described in the first half of the seventeenth century in a codex of the Monastery as 'ποτήρι καριδένιο, Aσημοδεμένο, ποδάρνιο, καπνισμένο' (a goblet of coconut, silver-bound, stemmed, smoked), or as goblet from Hungary ('καυχί ουκρικό') or Wallachia ('καυχί βλάχικο'), these objets d' art attest to the partiality of the monks of that age for particular types of vessels reflecting the tastes of the wealthy bourgeoisie of Central Europe. The stylistic features of this goblet match those described above, and suggest a provenance from the area where the proximity to Central Europe and the expansion of the Ottoman Empire shaped art forms accordingly. Similar goblets are found in several monasteries in Romania, where the Simonopetra had dependencies.

Bibliography: Ikonomaki-Papadopoulos 1991, p. 164, fig. 82.

Y. I.-P.
Index of exhibits of Monastery of Simonopetra
17th century

The Authentic Greek New Testament Bilingual New Testament I

Icon of the Mother of God and New Testament Reader Promote Greek Learning
Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Learned Freeware


Reference address :