Images of the Mother of God : Perceptions of the Theotokos in Byzantium book cover
1st Edition

Images of the Mother of God
Perceptions of the Theotokos in Byzantium

Edited By

Maria Vassilaki

ISBN 9781138248267
Published October 14, 2016 by Routledge
440 Pages

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Book Description

Fully illustrated in colour and black and white, Images of the Mother of God complements the successful exhibition catalogue of the 'Mother of God' exhibition at the Benaki Museum in Athens. It brings together the work of leading international authorities and younger scholars to provide a wide-ranging survey of how the Theotokos was perceived in the Byzantine world. It embraces the disciplines of art historians, archaeologists, traditional and feminist historians, as well as theologians, philologists and social anthropologists. Images of the Mother of God will appeal not just to those interested in Byzantine art and culture, but also to scholars of Western Europe in the Middle Ages who are looking for comparative materials in their own work.

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword, Angelos Delivorrias; Preface, Evangelos Chrysos; Introduction, Averil Cameron. Early Cult and Representations: Isis and Mary in early icons, Thomas F. Mathews and Norman Muller; The enigmatic Coptic Galaktotrophousa and the cult of the Virgin Mary in Egypt, Elizabeth S. Bolman; Icons and sites. Cult images of the Virgin in mediaeval Rome, Gerhard Wolf; Theotokos and Logos: the interpretation and reinterpretation of the sanctuary programme of the Koimesis Church, Nicaea, Charles Barber. The Theology of the Theotokos: The Virgin as the true Ark of Covenant, Michel van Esbroeck; The Theotokos in Byzantine hymnography: typology and allegory, Christian Hannick; Use and abuse of the 'image' of the Theotokos in the political life of Byzantium (with special reference to the iconoclast period), Nike Koutrakou; From poetry to liturgy: the cult of the Virgin in the Middle Byzantine era, Niki Tsironis; Exchanging embrace. The body of salvation, Ioli Kalavrezou; The symbolism of the censer in Byzantine representations of the Dormition of the Virgin, Maria Evangelatou; The Portaitissa icon at Iveron monastery and the cult of the Virgin on Mount Athos, Kriton Chryssochoidis. Female Authority and Devotion: The empress and the Virgin in early Byzantium: piety, authority and devotion, Liz James; Female piety in context: understanding developments in private devotional practices, Brigitte Pitarakis; The eyes of the Mother of God, Robin Cormack; Zoe's lead seal: female invocation to the Annunciation of the Virgin, Vasso Penna. Public and Private Cult: Byzantine domestic art as evidence for the early cult of the Virgin, Henry Maguire; The 'activated' icon: the Hodegetria procession and Mary's Eisodos, Bissera V. Pentcheva; Picturing the spiritual protector: from Blachernitissa to Hodegetria, Christine Angelidi and Titos Papamastorakis; The image of the Virgin Zoodochos Pege: two questions concerning its origin, Natalia Teteriatnikov; The cult of the Virgin Zoodochos Pege at Mistra, Rhodoniki Etzeoglou; The Virgin, the Christ-child and the evil eye, Vassiliki Foskolou; Praying for the salvation of the empire?, Maria Vassilaki. Between East and West: Thoughts on Mary east and west, Annemarie Weyl Carr; The Kahn and Mellon Madonnas and their place in the history of the Virgin and Child Enthroned in Italy and the east, Rebecca W. Corrie; Representations of the Virgin in Lusignan Cyprus, Sophia Kalopissi-Verti; The legacy of the Hodegetria: holy icons and legends between east and west, Michele Bacci; A Byzantine icon of the dexiokratousa Hodegetria from Crete at the Benaki museum, Nano Chatzidakis. Epilogue, Maria Vassilaki; Index.

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Maria Vassilaki is Associate Professor of the History of Byzantine Art at the University of Thessaly, Greece, and Scientific Advisor at the Benaki Museum in Athens, where she organised the 'Mother of God' exhibition in 2000-2001.


’...a largely stimulating volume on a (perhaps ’the’) central figure in Byzantine art...Recommended.’ Choice 'Le résultat en est particulièrement satisfaisant.... C'est un beau et passionnant livre qui devrait donner l'impulsion à de nouvelles études sur la Theotokos.' The Medieval Review 'Fully indexed, this is a most valuable, up-to-date repertoire of knowledge about Mary in Byzantine art and piety.' International Review of Biblical Studies 'Images of the Mother of God contains much to fascinate those interested in the roles of women and perceptions of the Virgin in both eastern and western medieval culture.' Medieval Feminist Forum ’This is, in short, a feast of learning; indeed, appropriately, it is a rather Mediterranean feast, with lots of small dishes, bringing out the enormous variety of approaches that scholars now draw on in seeking to understand the cult of the Virgin.’ Journal of Theological Studies ’With a huge number of carefully selected colour and monochrome plates, this volume embraces the disciplines of art history, archaeology, theology, philology, and social anthropology. It is a fascinatingly in-depth study of Marian iconography, including 'western' material from the very early icons in Rome to the images and cult practices of south Italy and Sicily in late mediaeval and even modern times which demonstrate a clear Byzantine influence.’ Antiques Magazine ’This is, in short, a feast of learning...’ Sobornost ’The comprehensive and detailed index of twenty-one pages shows the extensive chronological, regional and thematic range of the volume. Such a large framework certainly does justice to the Byzantine character of the veneration of Mary... [Images of the Mother of God] can be considered to be the fundamental work on the cult of Mary in Byzantium.’ Jahrbuch der Osterreichischen Byzantinistik ’... an outstanding collection of essays... The volume's strength is its overall chronological and geographical bread