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Athos Holy Mount

Church Embroidery
11.29 Podea with portraits of the founders (?)
Xeropotamou Monastery
108 x 98 cm
Greek workshop


The Original New Testament

From an urn at the bottom spring stems bearing tulips and roses, and curving around to frame the portraits of the two alleged founders. These are pictured in frontal pose, holding a sceptre in one hand and a model of the katholikon of the monastery in the other. Above their heads runs the inscription: '+ Holy and Royal Monastery of the Great Martyrs of Xeropotamou'. Beside the figure on the left are the words: 'ΑΝΔΡΩ/ΝΙΚΟC ΕΝ/Χ(ΡΙCΤ)Ω/ ΑΥΤΩΚ/ΡΑΤΩΡ/ ΚΑΙ ΚΤΗ/ΤΩΡ' (Andronicos in Christ Emperor and Founder); and next to the other figure the words: 'ΡΩΜΑΝΟC/ΕΝ Χ(ΡΙCΤ)Ω/ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΩΡ/ ΚΑΙ ΚΤΗ/ΤΩΡ' (Romanos in Christ Emperor and Founder). In the narrow space between the two figures and beneath the model of the church, we read: 'ΧΗ ΡΕ/ ΛΕΝΟΥ/ ΔΑC/ ΗCΑΙΑC/ΑΧΠΓ(' (By the hand of Elenouda Isaiah, 1683).

The podea is worked on red silk in gold and silver thread; the bakladoti and kamares stitches were used for the robes and some of the flowers.

The foundation inscription refers to the Byzantine emperors Romanos I Lecapenos (919-44) and Andronicos II Palaeologos (1282-1328). Other traditions ascribe the founding of the monastery to Constantine Porphyrogennitos and the empress Pulcheria. According to written sources, however, the monastery was founded by Paul the Xerapotamian towards the end of the tenth century. Elenouda was an embroidress whose name is known from an epitrachelion dated 1617/8 belonging to the Simonopetra Monastery, formerly in the Wallachian Mihai Voda Monastery, a metochi of Simonopetra (Theocharis 1991, p. 216), and now in the Art Museum in Bucharest.

Bibliography: Unpublished.

M. Th.
Index of exhibits of Monastery of Xeropotamou
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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