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The Skripou Screen1

  • A. H. S. Megaw


Strzygowski, in his short account of the ninth-century church of the Dormition at Skripou-Orchomenos, made no mention of the evidence for a contemporary screen. Some of the fragments were visible in his time, for they had previously been recorded, though not published, by Barnsley. It was not until 1932 that the character of the screen was first made known by Maria Soteriou's study of the building, in which three of the marble fragments surviving from it were illustrated. The repertory of ornament used on these fragments was seen to be identical with that employed on the string-courses and cornices of the church itself, which left no doubt that the screen was an integral part of the building erected by the protospatharius Leo in 873/4. More recently, Professor Grabar has contributed an invaluable study of the style of ornament with which both church and screen were enriched.



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2 BZ iii 4–13.

3 Phot. Barnsley b 5, 6, and 8 (showing my cat. nos. 9, 12, 13, 19, and 32). The fuller account of the church by Schultz, and Barnsley, , ‘forthcoming’ in 1894 (BZ iii 4), was never published.

4 M. Soteriou, NSB figs. 19, 29, and 31 (my cat. nos. 15, 1, and 19). The post illustrated (ibid. fig. 30) does not appear to belong to the screen with which we are concerned.

5 For the founder's inscriptions, one of them bearing this date: CIG 8685; Schliemann, , Orchomenos (1881) 48; Strzygowski, , BZ iii 7: M. Soteriou, NSB 154 f. For the protospatharius Leo, see below, pp. 23 ff.

6 Grabar, SBC 92–95 with pl. XLI, 2, below, and 4–6 (my no. 5); pl. XLI, 1 and 3 (my no. 1).

7 Id., SBC 95.

8 Id., SBC 91, where the epistyles illustrated in pl. XLI, I. 3–6 are called ‘encadrements de portes’.

9 Id., DN 13. In the meantime Professor Lasareff has contributed an important short survey of the subject to the volume in honour of G. Soteriou (Lasareff, TB), and the transition from the marble templon through the icon epistyle to the icon screen has been further discussed by M. Chatzidakis in the same volume (Chatzidakis, EE).

10 Among the fragments now assembled in the courtyard are six (nos. 3, 10, 16–18, and 22) which I did not see in 1932. These presumably came to light among the wallingmaterial of the buildings subsequently demolished. The removal of that to the south of the gateway has revealed one more fragment (no. 8) built into its south face.

11 On my section published in M. Soteriou, NSB fig. 4, the present Bema floor is seen to have risen to a level not far below the original sill of the apse window; and it almost conceals the top of what I take to be a synthronon. In the western part of the church, the floor could not originally have been substantially lower than it is at present without making the doorways disproportionately tall. If the lateral openings in the west arm and in the Bema were originally of the same height, the Bema cannot have been more than one step above the floor level in the rest of the church.

12 Actually, and no doubt erroneously, it is not on the wall of the chapel at all, but on the north-east corner of the projecting north arm, or ‘transept’.

13 Multiple dedications are known in this period at Constantinople: the Nea Ekklesia built by Basil I and, probably, the church of Constantine Lips dedicated in A.D. 907 (Mango, C. and Hawkins, E. J. W. in DOP xviii 301).

14 G. Soteriou, NGT fig. 6. Soteriou reasonably assumed that the remains excavated below the humble oratory, into which the founder's inscription of A.D. 872 had been built, represent the church of St. Gregory there named. This is borne out by the discovery in the excavations of fragments of a marble screen identical in character with that of the Skripou church. But the entablature bearing the inscription, of which three blocks are preserved, is curved to a much larger radius than that of the apse discovered below the floor of the oratory. A possible explanation is that the limited excavations did not locate the main part of the church of St. Gregory at all, but an annexe of it, a funerary chapel, to judge by the vault below the floor of its central area.

15 Grabar, SBC 95.

16 G. Soteriou, NGT fig. 29.

17 I use the conventional term ‘ivy-leaf’, for which there is contemporary authority in a text quoted below (p. 27), although the motif often clearly represents a pointed bud.

18 The cable motif was not measured in detail, hence it appears dotted on Plate 7, b.

19 G. Soteriou, NGT figs. 21 and 23.

20 The bays would have been some 0·03 m. wider at the level of the closure panels than between the capitals that supported the epistyles. For the capital splayed out slightly to a width of 0·23 m., to judge by the blank spaces of this width on the underside of no. 5, whereas the posts that carried them are only 0·20–0·21 m. square.

20a Narrow terminal bays in conjunction with wider main bays are indicated for the screens of several other mid-Byzantine churches; e.g. the Pantocrator (Zeyrek Camii) in Istanbul (Megaw, , DOP xvii 345 fig. E), Nerezi (Bošković, , Starinar xvi (1931) 182 fig. 68), and the ‘Piskopi’ in Santorin (Orlandos, , ABME vii 193 fig. 8).

21 For this central cross there is more space than is occupied by the cross on the underside of the epistyle of the Chapel of St. Paul (Plate 2, b). Above the Holy Door one might expect the cross to be more elaborately garnished, like that on the epistyle fragment from St. Gregory at Thebes (G. Soteriou, NGT fig. 21).

22 If the entire blank section was concealed in the wall, the end of the cable motif on the east face would also have been immured (Plate 6, back).

23 The design on the front was noted, but not drawn, in 1932; hence it appears dotted on Plate 7, a.

24 G. Soteriou, NGT fig. 21.

25 G. Soteriou, NGT fig. 29.

26 When the points of the compass are used with reference to the panel fragments it is assumed that they were placed in the screen so that the side decorated with birds, vine-scrolls, etc., which I consider to be the front, faced west; the north side is thus the left side of the front and the right side of the back.

27 M. Soteriou, NSB 141, fig. 19, bottom right.

28 In references to the front decoration only, the heraldic convention is adopted for the four quarters of the panels: 1, top left; 2, top right; 3, bottom left; 4, bottom right.

29 The alternative is unacceptable: if the north edge of the panel had been trimmed an equal amount, for symmetry, the consequent reduction of the epistyle span by a further 0·06m. would have entailed a corresponding enlargement of the adjoining terminal bay. This would make it too wide both for the epistyle fragment 4 and for a panel of the width indicated by 20.

30 Those of measurable thickness group as follows:

I. av. th. 0·075m. (nos. 21–25).

II. av. th. 0·083m. (nos. 26–28).

III. av. th. 0·092 m. (nos. 29 and 31).

IV. av. th. 0·1 m. (nos. 33–34).

Variations in thickness in different parts of individual panels do not seem to have been large enough to invalidate this grouping. The figure given for each fragment in the catalogue is its mean thickness.

31 On 21 the lug fades out towards the top, and on 23 it does not appear. Either it was subsequently cut away or possibly the piece of marble on which this panel was carved was too narrow in the upper part for the lug to extend to the full height.

32 Also on the lower cornice in the ‘transepts’, continuing round the chapels and into the western aisles: BZ iii, pl. II, 1–2; M. Soteriou, NSB 140, fig. 18; Grabar, SBC pl. xxxix, 5.

33 M. Soteriou, NSB 146, fig. 27; Grabar, SBC pl. XLII, 6–7.

34 BZ iii, pl. II, 5; M. Soteriou, NSB 145, figs. 24–25; Grabar, SBC pl. XL.

35 Grabar, SBC pl. XLI, 2, above; doubtless from the south porch of the narthex.

36 The palmettes recur in a different arrangement on the narthex eaves (whence two of the blocks in M. Soteriou, NSB 141, fig. 19 and the block Grabar SBC pl. XLII, 9, bottom right), as well as on some of the inscription panels (BZ iii, pls. 11, 9 and III, 1; M. Soteriou, NSB 153 ff., figs. 37–39; Grabar, SBC pl. xxxix, 3).

37 Grabar, SBC pl. XLII, 8. One piece has wandered to the Church of St. George (ADelt xvi, Chron. pl. 137b).

38 On the west porch: M. Soteriou, NSB 146, fig. 27; Grabar, SBC pl. XLII, 7; and on the sundial: M. Soteriou, NSB 133, fig. 12; Grabar, SBC pl. XXXIX, 1.

39 In the inhabited rinceaux of some interior cornices (BZ iii, pl. n, 7; M. Soteriou, NSB 144, fig. 23; Grabar, SBC pl. xxxix, 4).

40 Compare the rosettes and spandrel ornament on the main apse frieze (BZ iii, pl. II, 5; M. Soteriou, NSB 145, figs. 24–25; Grabar, SBC pl. XL).

41 BZ iii, pl. 11, 1; M. Soteriou, NSB 147, fig. 28.

42 Reused as a mullion capital. For the rinceau on the side cf. one at Skripou (Fig. 8, E), where the treatment of the narrow face is also matched (cf. Fig. 8, D).

43 A panel of grey marble with peacocks within a rosette border and a cross among foliage on the back (G. Soteriou, NGT fig. 27; Grabar, SBC pl. XLIII, 4) and a fragment of another with rosettes (G. Soteriou, NGT fig. 28). A panel with pairs of rosettes in the quarters of a cross is attributed by Grabar to St. Gregory's (SBC pl. XLIII, 2), though it is not included in Soteriou's publication.

44 Peacock panels, again of grey marble, from the Panagia Church, now in the Museum (BZ iiix, pl. III, 2–3; Grabar, SBC pl. XLIII, 3; G. Soteriou, NGT fig. 44); a narrow panel obscured by recarving built into the Kato Panagia Church (G. Soteriou, NGT fig. 45). An impost block seen outside the Metropolis Church in 1932 is comparable, but may be earlier (Plate 5, e). There are other examples in the Thebes Museum, unpublished.

45 G. Soteriou, NGT fig. 25.

46 Some published examples in the Byzantine Museum: G. Soteriou, nGT figs. 15 and 24; M. Soteriou, NSB figs. 34–36. Those in the Moni Petraki (Soteriou, M., DCAE ii (19601961), pl. 48) appear to be earlier than the church which they embellish. This present building and some associated closure panels and lintels (ibid., pls. 49 and 50) are reasonably assigned by Mrs. Soteriou to the tenth century. But the mullion capitals of the east window and the sections of cornice which cap the pilasters are roughly carved with ninth-century motifs. Some of the cornice sections do not fit their present positions (ibid., pl. 48, I) and where they are extended on either side of the Bema yet earlier cornice blocks are used (ibid., pl. 48, 3).

47 EEBS viii 253, fig. 6; Soteriou, , Guide du Musée Byzantin d'Athènes (1932) 66 f., I i 85–87. Excavating below the rectangular chancel of the now demolished medieval church of St. John Mangouti, in the ruins of which the inscription was found, Xyngopoulos found a semicircular apse, possibly that of the ninthcentury church (AE 1931 69, n. 2; AJA xxxvi 190).

48 Cf. I. i. 158, for the late in scription cut on it. It is evidently earlier than the tenthcentury example from the basilica by the Cenchreae Gat at Corinth (Hesperia xii 185, fig. 16; Corinth xvi 104, no. 6).

49 Inv. no. AM 387: Corinth xvi 119, no. 157 and pl. 33. For the obscure inscription in one of the underside roundels see Corinth viii, no. 321; Corpus der gr.-christl. Inschriften von Hellas (1941) I 27, no. 12 (the eleventh-twelfth-century dating there suggested is untenable). A post fragment from a screen of the Skripou type serves as the threshold of the entrance to a Turkish ruin (mosque?) close within the third gate of Acrocorinth: it has roundels topped by a cross with ‘ivy-leaf’ buds in the angles.

50 Rectangular panels on the underside, not roundels, but the contents are similar (bird perched on tree, wolf attacking sheep). Cf. Vollgraff, C. W., Opgravingen te Argos 4 and pl. IV.

51 BZ iii, pl. III, 4; Millet, Monuments byz. de Mistra, pl. 47, I. One of the epistyles of the Bema screen in the same church, of much cruder workmanship, has the same central feature as the Skripou and Corinth epistyles (ibid., pl. 45, 2): three arches containing crosses and ‘ivy-leaf’ buds. An epistyle fragment built into the same church preserves an embryonic version of our lyre-and-dart pattern (ibid., pl. 47, 4). Originally these doubtless graced the churches of Lacedaemon, for Sparta is the source of two other examples of this motif in the Mistra Museum (nos. 1145 and 1523); also of an impost block which Drandakis rightly connects with the ninth-century Boeotian group (ADelt xvi, Chron. 107 and pl. 84 ε).

52 Theophanes (Bonn ed.) 456 f.

53 Ibid. 473; Zonaras (Bonn ed.) iii 300.

54 CM II. 54–61. P. Lemerle has convincingly established the authenticity and early date of this text of the Chronicle (Lemerle, CM 5 ff.).

55 The Chronicle records the re-foundation of Patras with descendants of those who had fled to Calabria, (CM 11. 39 and 65–66) and of Lacedaemon with ‘Kapheroi, Thracesians, Armenians, and others from various places’ (CM 11. 70–71).

56 The unpopular transplantations to the Sklavinias in 809/10 recorded by Theophanes (Bonn ed. 486) are not localized. Kyriakides argued that this passage relates to resettlement exclusively in the neighbourhood of Rhodope ( 11 –14). But even if this were so, what is on record for Rhodope, Patras, and Lacedaemon may well have applied elsewhere (cf. Lemerle, CM 28–29 and 46).

57 Mai, , Nova Patrum Bibliotheca ix 3 (1888) 3138.

58 The presence of a strategos does not necessarily signify the existence of the full administrative machinery of a thema, and the discussions of Bon (PB 88 ff. ), Pertusi, (De Thematibus (1952), Commentary 172) and Ostrogorsky, (Zbornik radova Viz- Insi. i (1952) 6477) are to be read in the light of Lemerle's subsequent cautionary remarks (Lemerle, CM 17 with n. 21 and 31 with n. 49). The terminus ante is 842, when a was appointed (DAI 50/11); unless this, like the expression in the previous chapter (DAI 49/13–14), is an anachronism of the tenth-century author.

59 Thessaloniki had earlier become a separate thema, probably at the beginning of the ninth century (Lemerle, , Philippes et la Macédoine orientale (1945) 129), while Aetolia, Acarnania, and Epirus passed to the thema of Nikopolis in the mid-ninth century (cf. Pertusi, op. cit. 171).

60 Cf. Bon, PB 92, n. 3; Pertusi, op. cit. 172 (see also n. 86, below).

61 The obit of Leo Kotzis, strategos of Hellas in A.D. 848, provides a terminus ante, though the thema is not mentioned (see n. 86 below).

62 A number of Slav families remained in subjection to the church of Patras in the time of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. The historical and the legendary elements in DAI 49 have lately been disentangled (Lemerle, CM 37 ff.; cf. Jenkins in DAI Com 182 ff. with bibliography).

63 Theophanes Contin. v. xi (Bonn ed. 222–8); cf. Bon, PB 121.

64 The Byzantine coin series from the first excavations at Sparta begins only with Basil I (BSA xxvi 157). For the resettlement under Nicephorus I see n. 55, above.

65 The evidence of the coins found in the American excavations is conveniently summarized in Bon, PB 53: for the years 811–29, an average of one coin per annum; for the period 829 (accession of Theophilus)-867, an average of 4·6 coins; for the reign of Basil I, an average of 16·6 coins. Most significant of subsequent finds has been the discovery in 1965, in an unstratified context, of six solidi of Theophilus (Arch. Reports for 1965–66, 6).

At Athens, it is only with the reign of Basil that the coin evidence suggests any great degree of recovery. Applying Bon's formula to the record in Agora ii 72, we have:

A.D. 811–29 0·16 coins p.a.

A.D. 829–67 0·13 coins p.a.

Basil I 0·85 coins p.a.

66 DAI 50/1–25, cf. Jenkins, in DAI Com 185 on 50/6–7.

67 Cf. Dvornik, F., Les Slaves, Byzance et Rome (1926) 233 ff.

68 Leo, Taktika, ed. Migne, PG 107 cols. 968D–969B.

69 DAI 50/71 ff.

70 Cf. Bon, PB 70.

71 DAI 50/25 ff.

72 Dargaskavos, from a seal of ninth-century Byzantine type, Schlumberger, , RÉG 1889, 247 no. 4; Constantopoulos, BMJVM 16 no. 49. Cf. Zakythinos, in EEBS xxi 203; Glykatzi-Ahrweiler, AEB 39, n. 7.

73 For the Peloponnese see Bon, PB 106f. Reliable sources are few, since the formal integration into the hierarchy of those sees which had been detached from obedience to Rome by Leo III was not completed until the beginning of the tenth century (cf. Laurent, in RÉB xxi 131).

74 Laurent, , Ét. Byz. i (1943) 70 f.

75 CM 1. 67: cf. Laurent, , RÉB xxi 130–6.

76 CM 1. 69.

77 CM 11. 72–75.

78 On the date of CM, which was used by Arethas, see Lemerle, CM 22, 27, and 33.

79 In the case of Ezeros, possibly for kinsmen of the Ezeri tes of Taygetus who had remained in Thessaly (Dvornik, op. cit. 234).

80 Corinth xvi 42–45.

80a See p. 32, add. note.

81 Three epistyle fragments in Athens have been assigned by G. Soteriou to the period A.D. 750—850, since they have features intermediate between the latest material at Nea Anchialos and the late ninth-century group (AE 1937, 181–3 and figs. 15–17). Comparable is a crude lintel built into the Panayia Gorgoëpekoös (Struck, AM 1906 fig. 27). Other carved architectural marbles, found immured in the remains of the sixteenth-century palace of the Archbishop of Athens on the Areopagus, have been dated ‘in or about the eighth century’ (Alison Frantz, The Middle Ages in the Athenian Agora (1961) figs. 16, 17; Travlos, J. and Frantz, Alison, Hesperia, xxxiv 169 and pl. 44).

82 Runciman, , A History of the First Bulgarian Empire (1930), 104. Evidence of consolidation in the reduced Byzantine Macedonia before the next Bulgarian advance is not lacking. The building date 870/71 given in the life of St. Euthy-mius the Younger for his church and monastery at Peristerai is acceptable in the light of a deed of 897 concerning the sale of land to the monastery, a foundation which enjoyed imperial support. Orlandos assumes that the existing church is the one that Euthymius, St. built (ABME vii 146 ff.). The ninth-century date for the earliest of the churches in Kastoria proposed by Pelekanides ( i 17) finds support in their affinity with St. Anne's in Trebizond, erected in 884/5 (Ballance, Selina, Anatolian Studies x 154 f.).

83 Bon, PB 77; Miles, G. C. in DOP xviii 310. A policy of vigilance in Greece is attested by the successful defence of Chalkis by the strategos Oiniates, c. A.D. 880, and by Nicetas Ooryphas's rout of the Arab fleet marauding in western waters about the year 879. Nicetas had dragged his ships across the isthmus from Genchreae and his victory was so complete that, according to Phrantzes (i 34, Bonn ed. 103–5), the Amir of Crete was obliged to resume payment of tribute.

84 A suggestion made at first with reservations: Bees, SPH 203; later, without: M. Soteriou, NSB 157; Orlandos, in BCH lxx (1946) 424 f.; Grabar, SBC 90.

85 Bon, PB 187, no. 6. The seals of Bryennios strategos of Dalmatia, later a protospatharius and possibly the Bryennios Theoktistos sent to the Peloponnese in 842, show that initially he was only a spatharius (Schlumberger, SB 205).

86 Recorded on the Parthenon: Orlandos, in BCH lxx 418–27. The reading of Laurent, and Dallegio, (RÉB vii 121) is to be preferred and the alternative date 1148 rejected (Zakythinos, in Hell. Cont. ii (1948) 198206). Cf. Bon, PB 93.

87 Named on the seal Constantopoulos BMNM 15, no. 45. This has been dated to the mid-ninth century (Laurent, and Dallegio, in RÉB vii 121) and could be the seal of Leo Kotzis.

88 Cf. Schlumberger, SB 301 f., 555–8, and 600; Laurent, CO 21–22; id. Les Sceaux byzantins du Médaillier Vatican (1962) 6. The additional civil functions occasionally recorded for these officials are noteworthy: dioecetes of Peloponnesus (Bon, PB 188, no. 13), epoptes of Peloponnesus (Bon, PB 186, no. 2) and protonotarius (the head of the civil and financial administration), three examples, of Chaldaea (Schlumberger, SB 290, no. 6), of Bucellarioi (ibid. 301, no. 3), and of Paphlagonia (Constantopoulos, BMNM no. 159). The majority of the seals of the are of tenth- or eleventh-century types (cf. Laurent, CO 21ff., nos. 15–24 and 52, no. 79).

89 An example with indecipherable obverse seen by Bees in Kalymnos (Bees, SPH 202, not illustrated) appears to be identical with one published by Mordtmann on which he read ( xvii, (1886) 149, no. 19, not illustrated). This has on the obverse a double cross with crosslets in the quarters and round it […] (cf. Bees, SPH 201 f.). The combination favours location of the capital of the thema at Thebes when this seal was in use (see above, n. 60).

90 This discrepancy could be removed by emending the reading of Mordtmann and Bees to inadvisable without inspection of the seals, neither of which have I seen.

91 See above, n. 89. Examples in the Orghidan collection are assigned in Laurent, CO, as follows: ninth-tenth, no. 258; tenth, nos. 98, 173, 245; tenth-eleventh, no. 403.

92 In a single passage of the Life of St. Stephen the Younger, the commander in Crete is called strategos and (PG 100, col. 1164 B-D). Cf. Bon, PB 99 and n. 3.

93 Glykatzi-Ahrweiler, AEB 58 with references in n. 7.

94 Bury, J. B., The Imperial Administrative System in the Ninth Century (1911) 12 f. and 14, n. 20. Cf. Beneševič, V. in Byz. Neugr. Jahrb. v 153, note on Uspenskij no. 25; Zakythinos, in EEBS xxi (1951) 202 f.; Glykatzi-Ahrweiler, AEB 54; Jenkins, DAI Com 103. On the military archontes who administered Crete up to the Arab conquest in 827/828 see Laurent in xv–xvii 382 ff.

95 Theophanes (Bonn ed.) 473. The location of Belzetia is disputed; cf. Lemerle, CM 36, n. 60.

96 DAI 50/31.

97 See n. 72 above. Compare the archon of the ‘Hellenes’ of Maina (DAI 50/80).

98 Nikitas strator and archon of Athens (Constantopoulos, BMNM no. 54, there dated ninth-tenth century); Kallonas archon of Thebes (ibid., no. 63, there dated tenth-eleventh century; for a possible identification see Bees in SPH 204 f.;…(name missing) archon of Thebes (Laurent, CO no. 236, there dated tenth-eleventh century). For Athens see Zakythinos in EEBS xvii 270–2.

99 See additional note on p. 32.

100 Glykatzi-Ahrweiler, AEB 72. Cf. Schlumberger, SB 442 f. (magistrates).

101 e.g. Thrace Constantopoulos, BMNM 283, no. 14B. In the case of combination with other functions (see n. 88, above) the themata are always named. However, most of the seals are not localized at all.

102 See n. 5, above.

103 28·30 m. long without the porch, slightly longer than the Catholicon of Hosios Loukas (27·90 m.) and much longer than the surviving mid-Byzantine churches in Athens.

104 Grabar, SBC 91 ff.

105 Inv. no. 3979; Grabar, SBC pl. XLIV, I. The companion piece (no. 3978) and the geometric motifs of sixth century inspiration of the reverse faces were published by Macridy, Th. in EEBS ix (1932) 416 ff.

106 Grabar, SBC pl. XLIV, 2 and pp. 96 f., there described as a panel.

107 Mango-Hawkins fig. 30 in ‘The Monastery of Lips’, DOP xviii. Here, though the form of the Skripou crosses is retained, the ‘ivy-leaf’ buds are replaced by trefoils; compare those on the impost block in Thebes (Plate 5, e). The ‘ivy-leaf’ buds in the cross angles are found in bowls and goblets of the Constantinopolitan ‘Polychrome Ware’, which seems to have originated in the late ninth century, e.g. from Cherson (A. L. Yakobson, Rannesrednevekovij Chersones (= Materialy i Issledovaniya po Arkeologii SSSR 63) pl. XVIII, 5) and Corinth (Morang, C. H., Corinth xi, no. 366 and pl. xvh).

The lack of comparable epistyles of carved marble in the area of the capital is explicable if it was the practice there under the Macedonian dynasty to embellish church screens, not with marble, but with ceramic revetments. Cf. Ettinghausen, Elizabeth in Cahiers Archéologiques vii (1964) 86. The ceramic fragments at Preslav with busts of saints in medallions (K. Miatev, Die Keramik von Preslv 15 fig. 4) recall the enamel images that adorned screens of the more sumptuous class which were sheathed with precious metals (see below and note 113). It has been suggested that the inlaid marble icons from Constantine Lips's church were set in the entablature of the screen (Grabar SBC 110 f.; though there are some contrary indications: Mango, and Hawkins, , DOP xviii 305 f.), also that the marble plaque from Salonika now in Athens with three inlaid encaustic figures of Apostles may represent another Constantino-politan type of screen revetment (Soteriou, G., Ὁδηγός ΒυƷ. Μουσείου 2 (1931) 41, fig. 20; Byzantine Art (Exhibition at Athens 1964, no. 23); while a screen adorned with ivory carvings was another possible alternative to the marble type normal in Greece and Asia Minor (Weitzmann, K., ‘Die byz. Elfenbeine eines Bamberger Graduale’ in Festschrift K. Usener, quoted by Chatzidakis, EE 381).

108 Vat. gr. 354, Grabar, SBC 98 f. and pl. XLVI.

109 Antirrheticus iii 45 (PG 100, 464 f.); cf. Grabar, IB 177 ff.

110 Compare the panels with confronted peacocks assigned to the preiconoclast period from Istanbul (Strzygowski, , RM xviii 195, fig. 10; Macridy, , EEBS ix 424, fig. 6); the Hebdomon (ibid. 423, fig. 5), Volos (Gianno-poulos, ibid, viii 128, fig. 16), and Thessalian Thebes (Soteriou, , AE 1929 83, fig. 101).

111 Grabar, IB 179 f.

112 Lasareff, TB 124 f.

113 Theophanes Cont. v 87 (Bonn ed. 330 f.).

114 Paulus Silentiarius, Descriptio 682–719 (PG 86, pt. 2, cols. 2145–7); cf. for a reconstruction, Xydis, , Art Bulletin xxix (1947) 124.

115 For only two of the examples collected by Lasareff (Lasareff, TB 126 with nn. 2–5) has a ninth-century date been suggested: the fragment in Thebes Museum (Orlandos, , ABME v 126 f., ‘ninth century’, figs. 7–8) and that in the Afyon Karahisar Museum (MAMA vi 122 no. 359, ‘ninth or tenth century’, and pl. 62). To Lasareff's list may be added an unpublished example recently found at Sebaste (Selciklar Köy) and now in the Bursa Museum (information from Mr. Nezih Firatli), also some additional fragments listed by Chatzidakis (Chatzidakis, EE 382); but none of these appears to be earlier than the tenth century. These carved images of the Deesis and Saints disappeared again, as the practice of mounting wooden icon-epistyles above the marble lintels gained ground (Lasareff, TB 130; Chatzidakis, EE 383).

116 Grabar, IB 143 ff.

117 Theophanes Cont. iii 10 (Bonn ed. 99).

118 Life of St. Stephen the Younger, PG 100, col. 1113.

119 Ibid., col. 1120.

120 Strzygowski, Amida 366; G. Soteriou, NGT 15; M. Soteriou, NSB 145 f.

121 ABME iii (1937) 147 ff., figs. 21–25.

122 Strzygowski, in Wiener Studien xxiv (1902) 443–7.

123 From Ephesus, , ADelt 7 (1922) 177, fig. 51; Smyrna Museum, ABME iii (1937) 137, fig. 9.

124 Compare the poor orthography of the dedication panels with that of the epigram on the west wall, as well as the entirely different techniques: the letters of the former reserved in relief, those of the latter incised, possibly by the same hand as cut the Theban inscriptions.

125 M. Soteriou, NSB 124, fig. 5.

126 Grabar, SBC pl. XLII, 9. For another see M. Soteriou, VSB fig. 41. In addition, fragments of the mosaic floor of he basilica have survived; they came to light during the epairs that followed the earthquake of 1895.

127 Orlandos, , EEBS xxiii (1953) 8486.

128 Ibid. 86, n. 1; Lasareff, TB 127 and 131 ff.; Chatzidakis, EE 383. The undersides of the epistyles are still decorated in the early eleventh century: e.g. the Katholikon of Hosios Loukas (Schultz and Barnsley, The Monastery of of St. Luke, pl. 23).

129 e.g. that in the Thebes Museum published by Orlandos, (EEBS v 129 fig. 9) and connected by him with the epistyle adorned with busts of Christ, the Virgin, and the Apostles (ibid., figs. 7–8), which is probably somewhat later than the Skripou group.

130 Compare the leaf of a wrought-iron gate, probably from a fifth-century chancel screen, preserved in the Tegea Museum (Orlandos, , ABME i 103 f.). Grabar has suggested that the representation of a low screen with Bema-doors, each figuring two Saints, in a miniature of the Paris Gregory illuminated for Basil I (Bibl. Nat. gr. 510 fol. 452: Omont pl. LX), was copied from a pre-iconoclast model (Grabar, DN 15 and fig. 3).

131 ‘Fragments of an early St. Nicholas triptych’, DCAE iv (1964) 17 and 23. A twelfth-century representation of Bema-doors figuring the Annunciation is preserved in the Vatican Homilies of James Kokkinobaptos (Vatic. Gr. 1162, fol. 90: Stornajuolo pl. 36; cf. Grabar, DN 17 and fig. 4).

132 If they are indeed contemporary with the screen and with the erection of the church: Orlandos, , EEBS xxiii 89 and fig. 1.

133 The proskynetaria in the Church of Christ Akataleptos (Kalendarhane Carni) have been dissociated from the original structure, now generally assigned to the ninth century (Van Millingen, Byz. Churches in Constantinople 186). H. Buchwald puts them as late as the end of the eleventh or the beginning of the twelfth century (Jahrb. der öster. byz. Gesellschaft xiii. 160).

134 See n. 28, above.

135 Widths are measured horizontally from the most northerly point to that vertically above, or below, the most southerly; heights, vertically from the lowest point to the level of the highest.

1 This article owes much to the help and encouragement of the late George Soteriou and of Mrs. Soteriou, both at the time of my first visits to Skripou in 1932 and subsequently; to the Lake Copais Company, which provided me accommodation at their rest-house in Skripou; to Professor R. J. H. Jenkins, who kindly read the section on ‘the historical setting’ in the discussion and suggested many improvements; to Miss Alison Frantz, who supplied photographs including those reproduced as Plates I, c and 5, a; to Professor C. Mango, who contributed that reproduced as Plate 5, h; and to Dr. M. Chatzidakis, Mr. and Mrs. R. S. Cormack, and Professor P. Lemerle for other assistance.

The following abbreviations are used, in addition to those normally employed:

ABME: Ἀρχεῐον τῶν ΒυƷαντινῶν Μνημείων τῆς Ἑλλάδος.

CM: the so-called Chronicle of Monemvasia as transcribed from Iviron 329 fol. 203 r and v by P. Lemerle in RÉB xxi 5–49.

DAI: Constantine Porphyrogenitus, De administrando imperio. Ed. G. Moravcsik and R. J. H. Jenkins (1949).

DAI Com: Id. II Commentary. Ed. R. J. H.Jenkins (1962).

DCAE: Δελτίον τῆς Χριστιανικῆς ʾΑρχαιολογκῆς Ἑταιρειας.

DOP: Dumbarton Oaks Papers.

EEBS: Ἐπετητηρὶς Ἑταιρείας ΒυƷαντινῶν Σπουδῶν.

RÉB: Revue des études byzantines.

VV: Vizantijskij Vremennik.

Barnsley: photographs by S. H. Barnsley in the collection of the BSA.

Bees, SPH: N. A. Bees, ‘Zur Sigillographie der byzantinischen Themen “Peloponnes” und “Hellas”’, VV xxi (1915) pt. iii. 90–110 and 192–251.

Bon, PB: A. Bon, Le Péloponnèse byzantin (1951).

Chatzidakis, EE: M. Chatzidakis, Εἰκόνες ἐπιστυλίου ἀπὸ τὸ Ἄγιον Ὂρος, DCAE iv (1964) 377–403.

Constantopoulos, BMNM: K. M. Constantopoulos, ΒυƷαντινἀ Μολυβδόβουλλα τοῦ ἐν Ἀθήναις Ἐθνικοῦ Νομισματικοῦ Μουσείου (1917).

Glykatzi-Ahrweiler, AEB: Hélène Glykatzi-Ahrweiler,‘Recherches sur l'administration de l'empire byzantin aux IXe–XIe siècles’, BCH Ixxxiv I–III.

Grabar, DN: A. Grabar, ‘Deux notes sur l'histoire de l'iconostase d'après des monuments de Yougoslavie’, Zbornik Radova Vizantološki Inst, vii (1961) 13–22.

Grabar, IB: A. Grabar, L'Iconoclasme byzantin (1957).

Grabar, SBC: A. Grabar, Sculptures byzantines de Constantinople (IVe–Xe siècle) (1963).

Lasareff, TB: V. Lasareff, ‘Trois fragments d'epistyles peintes et le templon byzantin’, DCAE iv (1964) 117–43.

Laurent, CO: V. Laurent, Documents de sigillographie: la collection Orghidan (1952).

Lemerle, CM: P. Lemerle, ‘La chronique improprement dite de Monemvasie’, RÉB xxi 5–49.

Schlumberger, SB: G. Schlumberger, Sigillographie de l'empire byzantin (1884).

G. Soteriou, NGT: G. Soteriou, ‘Ὁ ὲν Θήβαις ΒυƷαντινὸς ναὸς Γρηγορίου τοῦ Θεολόγου’ AE 1924 1–25.

M. Soteriou, NSB: Maria G. Soteriou, “Ὁ ναὸς τῆς Σκριποῦς Βοιωτίας’, AE 1931 119–57.

The Skripou Screen1

  • A. H. S. Megaw


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