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Athos Holy Mount

Church Embroidery
11.11 Pair of epimanikia with the Annunciation
Karakalou Monastery
22.5 x 31 cm


The Original New Testament

The principal figures on these epimanikia are portrayed beneath six-lobed arches set on slender columns: the Virgin is seated, her hand raised in a gesture of submission, the angel appears to be arriving in haste (the hand raised in greeting is missing, where the fabric has worn away). Flowers decorate the spandrels of the arches. On either side of the arches stand urn-shaped flower pots, from which sprout shoots framing two busts of prophets. On the right epimanikion are the Virgin (with her monogram) and the prophets Solomon, Daniel, David and Habakkuk, and on the left Gabriel (identified by the single letter Γ), and Moses, Zechariah, Aaron and Gideon. A narrow border at the top of each epimanikion frames the vesting prayer intoned by the priest when he puts it on: 'Thy right hand, Lord is become glorious in power + Thy hands have made me and fashioned me', and at the bottom the name and date: 'ΚΩΝCΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΥ - ΙΕΡΕΩC - ΖΡΜΓ(' (Of Constantine, priest, 7143 = 1634/5).

The epimanikia are worked on red silk in gold and silver wire, with all the stitches commonly used in Byzantine gold embroidery. The design is of a remarkable delicacy, especially in the faces, and the elegant calligraphic inscriptions may certainly be considered part of the decoration. The priest Constantine was probably the owner of the vestment, rather than the embroiderer.

Bibliography: Theochari 1963 (1), p. 499, pl. E(.

M. Th.
Index of exhibits of Monastery of Karakalou
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

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