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Ἄνωθεν οἱ

Ἄνωθεν οἱ προφῆται in Dionysius’s Hermeneia, a source for the Mother of God surrounded by prophets? | 57 Fig. 3 : Enthroned Mother of God surrounded by Prophets and Saints. Icon, 11 th -12 th centuries, Mount Sinai. Source: Carr 1997, fig. 244. Fig. 4 : Enthroned Mother of God surrounded by Prophets. Icon, 12 th -13 th centuries, from Mount Athos, nowadays in Saint Petersburg, at the Hermitage. Source: Piatnitsky 2000, fig. b-90. Fig. 5 : Mother of God surrounded by Prophets Joachim and Anna, and Hymnographers. Icon, first half of the 16 th century, from the Roman-Catholic Church in Rudki (Ukraine), stolen from the Roman-Catholic Church in Jasień, near Ustrzyki Dolne (Poland), in 1992. Source: Biskupski 1990. ktetor of the Orthodox church in Peć (ca. 1270-1337; archbishop of Peć from 1324). The Serbian saint kept quoting Old Testament prophecies and sought after analogies with the New Testament. 41 Last but not least, let us not forget that the vision was common to the homiletic tradition of both Churches, Eastern and Western. In the case of wall paintings, this idea was expressed simultaneously in paintings – by associating specific attributes upon the representations of individual prophets, and in the verbal layer – by placing them on the open prediction scrolls grasped by the prophets, the same ones reiterated in the sermons of the Fathers of the Church. In The Song of the Most Holy Virgin Mary (csco, vol. 186, p. 191-199), Saint Ephrem the Syrian compared Mary to the fleece “on which Father came down like rain”. 42 Similarly, Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (ca. 315-386; bishop of Jerusalem from ca. 350) reflected on the prophecies in his xii th Lecture: On the words Incarnate, and made man (Isa 7:10-14) (pg, vol. 33, col. 725-770): Afterwards Solomon hearing his father David speak these things [...] said in astonishment, Will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? (1 Kgs 8:27) David answers in the Psalm inscribed for Solomon: He shall come down like rain into a fleece (Ps 72:6): rain, because of His heavenly nature, and into a fleece, because of His humanity. 43 And Saint Cyril of Jerusalem indicated that Micah foretold the place of the coming of the Lord, and Habakkuk

58 | Mirosław P. Kruk foretold the region round Jerusalem from which He would come: God shall come from Teman [nowadays interpreted as ‘South’] and the Holy One from Mount Paran shady, woody (Ha 3:3). 44 The iconophile activity of apologists and defenders of icon veneration exerted as much influence on the final shaping of this iconography as the hymnographers did. The latter, soon after their canonization, were placed near the Mother of God, together with the rows of prophets on the icons and frescoes. A salient figure in this category is Saint John of Damascus, who combined the apologetic passion with the production of Marian homiletics based on the heritage of the Fathers of the Church and of that of the Holy Scripture. 45 Outstanding theologians created many works dealing with Marian homiletics in the two centuries – 8 th and 9 th – when the most renowned hymnographers were active, that is to say Saint John of Damascus and Saint Cosmas of Maiuma (Melodus, ca. 675-ca. 751). Some of these theologians described themselves as “servants” of Saint Mary, as if referring in this way to the epithet “a Servant of Christ”, inscribed on the coins struck by Justinian ii. Among them one should count Saint Germanus i (ca. 634-733; patriarch between 715-730), or pope John vii (ca. 650-707; pope from 705), of Greek origin. Around that time, Saint Germanus i expressed his support for the idea of the bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary, an idea already rooted in the Western theology, whereas the Orthodox Church approach was more cautious. 46 Another great theologian showed the same support: patriarch Tarasius of Constantinople, the uncle of Photios i (ca. 730-806; patriarch: 784-806), as did Saint John of Damascus and Photios i (ca. 810-ca. 893; patriarch of Constantinople (858-867; 877-886). Saint Germanus i had been a priest at Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, then a bishop in Cyzikus and later on a patriarch of Constantinople. He actively participated in the Sixth General Council that condemned monothelitism. 47 This is an example which confirms the vivid reception of Saint Germanus the i st ’s writings in the liturgy and arts. The quote of an excerpt from his liturgical writings has been inscribed in the frescoes of the Saint Sozomenos church in Galata, Cyprus. 48 It is from the First Homily on the Presentation of Mary at the Temple (pg, vol. 98, col. 291-310), where Saint Germanus i of Constantinople said that: 49 Today Anna too [...] makes it known to the ends of the earth that she has received the fruit. Today the open gate of the Lord’s temple receives the ascending gate of Immanuel, closed and looking towards the east (Ez 44:1-3) [...]. Today we are bid by Mary to pay Her homage although none can bring together all the praise. Hail, O rich and shady Mountain of God (Ps 68:17) whereon pastured the True Lamb, Who hath taken away our sins and infirmities, mountain, whence hath been cut without hands that Stone (Dan 2:34) which hath smitten the altars of the idols, and become the head-stone of the corner, marvellous in our eyes. (Ps 118:22, 23). Saint Andrew of Crete also indicated in the Fourth Homily on the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God (pg, vol. 97, col. 862-882) that: It is you that Isaiah of the prophetic vision called , (Isa 7:14) [...] ! [...] It is you that Ezekiel called and , that the Lord is to pass through and which therefore will be closed (Ezek 44:1-3) [...]. It is you that Daniel saw as a mountain (Dan 2:45), and that wondrous Habakkuk as , he prophetically sang of. (Hab 3:3) [...]. It is you that Zechariah most discerning in divine matters saw as (Zech 4:2), lighted by seven charismata of the Holy Spirit. [...] Blessed be the fruit that made the barren and bitter waters good for drinking and fruitful by having Elisha cast salt into them (2 Kgs 2:19-22). Blessed who in the untouched shoot of a virgin womb flowered as a ripe grape. [...]. 50 It should be noted that three out of the nine homilies attributed to Saint Germanus are entitled De dormitione Beatae Mariae Virginis, and that they are similar to the Three Sermons on the Dormition by Saint Cosmas of Maiuma (pg, vol. 96, col. 699-762), to the Three Homilies on the Dormition of Our Most Holy Lady by Saint Andrew of Crete, or to the Three Sermons on the Dormition of Our Lady by Saint John of Damascus (pg, vol. 96, col. 699-782). Another piece of evidence that this subject was intensely discussed are the Four Homilies on the Dormition of Mary by Cosmas Vestitor (ca. 730-ca. 850). Parts of them have been borrowed literally from the works of Saint Germanus of Constantinople. 51 In his Encomium on the Dormition (pg, vol. 99, 719-729), Saint Theodore the Studite also quoted various terms used in the Greek Patristics: “Dormition” (κοίμησις), “Exodus” (ἔξοδος, bearing a similar meaning – “going into foreign

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