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62 | Mirosław P. Kruk lands” –, that is to emigrate, cf. ἐκδεμία), “passing into another kind of existence” (μετάστασις), and “passing into another place” (μετάβασις). Finally, Saint Theodore wrote about the “life giving Dormition” (ζωηφορός κοίμησις). 52 Typically, theological disputes lasted long in Byzantium. The emperors also used to have something to say about the subject. Andronicus ii Paleologus (1259-1328; emperor from 1282) suggested that the feast of the Dormition of Saint Mary should not be called “the Dormition of Mary” (κοίμησις), but her “Ascension to Heaven” (μετάστασις), in conformity with the term used by Saint Joseph the Hymnographer (ca. 810-886) in his 5 th ode of the 3 rd canon (pg, vol. 105, col. 1001A); or rather her “exit” (ἐκδεμία). Radojcić believed that the depictions of this subject in two paintings dating back to the period discussed here – the Saint Nicetas Orthodox church and the Starο Nagoričane one – are evidence that such controversies influenced the works of art. The two representations might have been executed in such a way so as their interpretation would comply with both interpretations. 53 One must also note that the Dormition of Mary belongs to one of the most privileged subjects depicted in the Paleologan period. 54 In the context of the stylistic devices used (parallels, allegories, symbols etc.), it is less important whether they were introduced in hymns or homilies. Such devices were quite commonly used. Photios i of Constantinople (ca. 820-891; patriarch in 858-867, 877-886) delivered a homily in the presence of Michael iii (840-867; emperor from 842) for the consecration of a new church in the imperial palace. The church was dedicated to Saint Mary, and he compared it to Moses’ tabernacle and to Solomon’s temple. 55 Differences between hymns and homilies were extremely unclear; the situation is confirmed by the fact that the same writers were also hymnographers, and these differences were consciously minimized by the way in which they introduced hymnographic quotes in their homilies. For example, both Saint Andrew of Crete in his Fourth Homily on the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God (pg, vol. 97, col. 862-882) and Saint John of Damascus in his homilies used a variety of synonyms for Mary: the “closed Gate”, but also the “Gate of light”, or the “Gate of God”. Saint Germanus, John Thekaras the Monk, and John Mauropos wrote simply about “the Gate”. On the Eve of the feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God was sung a piece by Sergius the Hagiopolite, entitled The Gate Facing East. It paraphrased the text from Ezekiel 44:1-2. Babić indicated the presence of such references in liturgical songs, much like the ones in the Theotokion of the Fourth Ode of Matins for the Nativity of the Mother of God, where “prophets called you the tabernacle, gate, spiritual mountain, bush”. The same elements are also present in the seventh ode of the Matins: the “Mountain”, the “Gate of Heaven”, the “Spiritual Ladder”, 56 or in the Ninth Ode for the feast of the Annunciation, attributed to Jacob the Monk: “Daniel called you the Holy Mountain, Isaiah – the Mother of God, Gideon saw you as a fleece, and David called you the Temple, and the other – the Gate”. 57 Therefore, Mary’s attributes were constantly repeated in liturgical poetry. The excerpts read during the liturgy also referred to them. The Ezekiel vision was reminded regularly on the Eve of the most important Marian feasts: the Nativity, the Presentation at the Temple, the Dormition, and the Annunciation. 58 In addition to that, entire sermons occasionally took the form and character of an ode, as is the case of Roman Melodos. The base of all these comparisons was the text of the Holy Scripture, in particular the Old Testament attributes associated with the prophets or the songs belonging to the Old Testament canon – the odes read having implicit that the Marian symbols referred to the mystery of the Incarnation. It was not by accident that two particularly renowned hymnographers (Saint John of Damascus and Saint Cosmas of Maiuma) accompanied the prophets in the depiction of The Dormition of Saint Mary, It was already stated here that many outstanding homilies abundant with Marian typology were dedicated to this scene. Other than the references mentioned before, similar references to the prophetic symbols from the Old Testament were included in the Homily on the Dormition by Saint Clement of Ohrid. One may quote the “Burning Bush”, the “New Ark”, or the “Cloud”. One should also take note of the Bulgarian apocryphical prayer entitled the “Names of the Mother of God” (“Имена Богородични”). 59 The character of the narration of John of Damascus’ 1 st Sermon: On the Dormition of Saint Mary (sc, vol. 80, p. 80-121) may be read as a series of instructions regarding the creation of an icon composition: Joachim and Anna were the parents of Mary. [...] Anna [...] gave birth to a child, whose equal had never been created and never can be. The end of barrenness proved clearly that the world’s sterility would cease. [...] In the fullness of time [...], the angel Gabriel was sent to this true child of God, and saluted her in the words, [...] Thou art the royal throne which angels surround, seeing upon it their very King and Lord. [...] The ark foreshadowed thee who hast kept the seed of the new world. [...] The burning bush was a figure of thee, and the tablets of the law, and the ark of the testament. The golden urn and candelabra, the table and the flowering rod of Aaron were significant types of thee. From thee arose the splendour of the Godhead, the eternal Word of the Father, the most sweet and heavenly Manna [...], the Light which was from the beginning. The heavenly Bread of Life, the Fruit without seed, took flesh of thee. Did not that flame foreshadow thee with its burning fire an image of the divine fire within thee? (Dan 3:49-50) [...] I had nearly forgotten Jacob’s ladder (Gen 28:12). Is it not evident to everyone that it prefigured thee, and is not the type easily recognised? Just as Jacob saw the ladder bringing together heaven and earth [...] so art thou placed between us, and art become the ladder of God’s intercourse with us, of Him who took upon Himself our weakness, uniting us to Himself, and enabling man to see God (Gen 32:31) [...] How shall I understand the prediction of prophets? Shall I not refer them to thee, as we can prove them to be true? What is the fleece of David which receives the Son of the Almighty God, coeternal and co-equal with His Father, as rain falls upon the soil? [...] Who is the virgin foretold by Isaiah [...] What is Daniel’s mountain from which arose Christ, the Corner-Stone [...] Let the inspired Ezekiel come forth and show us the closed gate, sealed by the Lord, and not yielding. [...] Let him point to its fulfilment in thee [...] The prophets, then, foretell thee. Angels and apostles minister to thee, O Mother of God, ever Virgin, and John the virgin apostle. 60 Some representations of prophets in the Ruthenian icons (Jeremiah, for example) are remarkable in that their poses are unusual – their torsos and arms are twisted in the opposite direction to their feet (Fig. 5). Such “twisted” figures correspond to the pose of Miriam depicted during the performance of the mystic dance in front of the Ark of the Lord. This analogy has its explanation in the First Homily on the Presentation of the Holy Mother of God

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