Abstracting
Indexing

MARK THE MONK FROM THEBES AND HIS GRAFFITO OF THE CROSS AT THE CHURCH OF HAGIA SOPHIA, CONSTANTINOPLE

Thomas Thomov
New Bulgarian University

Abstract: This paper deals with a rare example of a graffito, representing a cross of unequal arms having a rectangular base and a tetragram: IC XC NI KA filling the spaces between the cross arms. The cross has decoration consisting of a medallion-like circular frames within the arms and the centre, enclosing small irregular crosses. A semicircular end closed the gaps between the arms at the center thus forming a quatrefoil. Due to the close proximity of an inscription, which reads “Mark the Monk from Thebes” to the cross, one may conclude that the writer and the artist are one and the same person. The decoration of the cross, consisting of circles with small crosses inside can be regarded as most closely associated with pectoral crosses generally datable to the 10th - 11th centuries. It may be permitted to hypothesize that this schematic arrangement of crosses could symbolically represent Christ and the saints or the four evangelists. The fact that the cross is depicted resting on a base indicates that the graffito belongs to the type of liturgical cross that include a platform, presumably to be carried in processions and then returned to a stationary place where it would be visible. The graffito can be approximately dated to the Middle Byzantine period.

Keywords: Graffito Cross, Monk, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople, Liturgical Objects



SОMETHING MORE ABOUT TWO PROTO AUTHOGRAPHS IN HAGIA SOPHIA, CONSTANTINOPLE

Thomas Thomov
New Bulgarian University

Abstract: The paper deals with two Bulgarian pseudo-monograms in the west gallery in the Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. These hand-written authographs prove that two person, Artzo and Tudor visited the Byzantine capital in the second half of the 14th c. The name Tudor is of an unknown person but Artzo is mentioned in the “Bulgarian part” of Boril’s Synodikon and specifically in its beadroll. He was a boyar and probably a warlord of the Turnovo King. The assumption of Artzo’s monogram identity and Artzo in the Synodikon is based on identical personal names and it is not only possible but undisputable. During the Byzantine civil war in the mid-seventies of the 14th c. Artzo was send by King Šišman on an important diplomatic and probable military mission in Constantinople. He died fighting for his faith and country against the Ottoman Turks in the eighties of the 14th century.

Keywords: Bulgarian Cyrillic Autographs, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople, Boril’s Synodikon, Byzantine Civil War