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ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Athos Holy Mount

Byzantine Minor Arts
9.69 Book Cover, for a Gospel Book printed in Venice in 1773
Pantokrator Monastery
38 x 28 cm


The Original New Testament

Each board is fashioned from a single silver plate, divided into three almost equal parts by the composition of its relief and open-work decoration. The central section on the front cover, which is framed by rococo motifs, displays a relief scene of the Crucifixion, with the Virgin and a companion to the right of the Cross, and St John with the centurion to the left. Flanking this central representation are the Entry into Jerusalem and the Annunciation. This section is separated from those above and below it by bands of open-work leafy tendrils. In the centre of each of these decorative bands are framed abbreviations: Π(αν)T(O)K(ρατορινού) (`of Pantokrator') above and KYPIΛΛOY (`Cyril') below. The Evangelists John and Matthew, enthroned, occupy the upper corners of this front cover, flanking the Raising of Lazarus. Represented in the corresponding positions on the bottom row are Mark and Luke and the Mourning at the Tomb.

The decoration of the back cover follows the same pattern: above, the full-length figures of David and Solomon, with the Transfiguration between them; beneath these, an open-work band with the relief abbreviation Π(αν)T(O)K(ρατορος) (`of Pantokrator'); in the middle section, the Ascension, the Descent into Hell and the Baptism; in the lower ornamental zone the inscription ΠPOHΓOY/ME/NOY / Φ (`Prior Ph.'); and at the bottom, the Koimesis, with the prophets Habakkuk and Jeremiah, enthroned, and the date AΨOZ (1777).

This gospel cover was yet another offering from Prior Cyril of Myriophyto (Thrace), and is evidently the work of the same craftsman who in 1777 made the metal part of the pair of liturgical fans for the Monastery which are also on display in this Exhibition.

Bibliography: Unpublished.

I.-A. P.

Index of exhibits of Monastery of Pantokrator
18th 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

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