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Athos Holy Mount

Greek Documents
13.46 Deed of Gift by John Serban Cantacuzenos, Prince of Wallachia
Indiction 15, 1682
Protaton, Archives
Parchment, 202 x 33.7 cm


The Original New Testament

The prince's seal of Spanish wax, protected by a decorated gilt case, is suspended from the bottom of the parchment on a brown cord.

The parchment has an elaborate ornamental headpiece. In the upper section four angels (two to the right and two to the left) hold open a scroll displaying a representation of the Dormition of the Virgin. Beneath the scroll two lions rampant hold up an enkolpion with a two-headed eagle, while set out below this are the Prince's titles, inscribed on a gold ground and framed by a floral decoration.

At the bottom of the parchment, beneath the signature, the document has a tailpiece in the form of a triangle decorated with a floral scroll, in imitation of the decrees issued by the Ottoman sultans.

With this deed John Serban Cantacuzenos, Prince of Hungary and Wallachia, bestows upon the entire Athonite community the Kotrotzaniou Monastery, which he founded.

The hegumen of the monastery is to be elected from amongst all the Athonite monks, regardless of which foundation they belong to, and is to render an annual account to the Holy Community. The monastery's goods and chattels are not to be removed, nor its real property sold.

The monastery is to adhere to the Athonite type of cenobitic rule, and to celebrate the Feast of the Dormition of the Virgin and that of Saints Sergios and Bacchus. The founder, upon his death, is to be buried there.

Bibliography: Hurmuzaki 1915, pp. 248-55. Cf. Gasparis 1991, no. 2, pp. 270-1.

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