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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  January 2016

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION January 2016

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Subject:

FEAST - A Saint for the Day (Jan. 11): St. Theodosius the Coenobiarch

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 11 Jan 2016 05:32:26 +0000

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Information about Theodosius the Coenobiarch comes chiefly from two closely posthumous Bioi: one by his disciple Theodosius of Petra (BHG 1776) and the other by the monastic hagiographer Cyril of Scythopolis (BHG 1777).  Born in a small town in Cappadocia he became a monk early in life.  As a young man he visited Antioch and received the blessing of St. Symeon Stylites.  At about the age of thirty he traveled to Palestine, where he at first lived in a monastery in Jerusalem and then was an hermit in the desert for thirty years.  In about 465 he founded near Bethlehem a cenobitic monastery that proved very popular and that had chapels for monks of different languages as well (of course) as a main church where the liturgy was celebrated in Greek.

In 494 patriarch Sallustius of Jerusalem put Theodosius in charge of all the cenobitic monasteries in Palestine (hence the title by which he is known).  An opponent both of Eutychianism and of monophysite views, he was briefly removed from that post by the monophysite-inclined emperor Anastasius (from whom he also received a large donative which he then distributed to the poor).  Theodosius is said to have been over one hundred years old at his death in 529.  His monastery survived the Arab conquest of Palestine and lasted until about 1400.

Celebrated liturgically during the Middle Ages chiefly in eastern-rite churches, Theodosius is absent from the major martyrologies and legendaries of the medieval Latin church. Instances of his veneration there seem to be outliers: _Theodosius abbas_ was one of the representatives of eastern monasticism present at the altar of the eastern crypt of abbot St. Eigil's early ninth-century church of the Savior at Fulda (the altar of the western crypt was protected by St. Benedict of Nursia) and, only slightly later, his feast (_Nat. s. Theodosii monachi_) occurs under today's date in the earlier ninth-century Marble Calendar of Naples, whose admixture of "eastern" and "western" saints testifies to the politically autonomous duchy's continued participation to some degree in the greater Byzantine cultural area.



Some period-pertinent images of St. Theodosius the Coenobiarch:


a) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted (lower register; above, St. Chariton the Confessor) on an eighth- or ninth-century triptych wing at the monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai:
http://campus.belmont.edu/honors/SinaiIcons/8thSinaiSSCharitonTheodosios.jpg

b) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted in the earlier eleventh-century Imperial Menologion for January in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore (ms. W. 521, fol. 70v):
http://tinyurl.com/na3qopn

c) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted in the mid-eleventh-century mosaics of the Nea Moni on Chios:
http://www.eikonografos.com/album/albums/uploads/nea_moni/65.jpg

d) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted (at left) in the fire-damaged eleventh-century frescoes of the narthex of Thessaloniki's cathedral of Agia Sophia:
http://tinyurl.com/n8adfyw

e) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted (at center betw. Sts. Daniel of Skete and John Climacus) in a late twelfth- or early thirteenth-century fresco in the Palaia Enkleistra ("Old Hermitage") in the St. Neophytus monastery at Tala (Paphos prefecture) in the Republic of Cyprus (for a clearer view, click on the image):
http://tinyurl.com/oc7z6md

f) Theodosius the Coenobiarch (misidentified at the ICA as Theodore) as depicted in the frescoes of ca. 1200 in the church of the Panagia (a.k.a. Episkopi church) in Stavri (Lakonia prefecture) on Greece's Mani peninsula:
http://tinyurl.com/2bq5cfg

g) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted in a thirteenth-century January menaion seemingly from Cyprus (Paris, BnF, ms. Grec 1561, fol. 55v):
http://tinyurl.com/yexcftv

h) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted (at left; at right, St. Nicholas of Myra) in the late thirteenth-century frescoes (ca. 1295) by the painters Eutychios and Michael Astrapas in the church of the Peribleptos (now Sv. Kliment Ohridski) in Ohrid:
http://tinyurl.com/jy67ssc
A distance view of Theodosius alone (again misidentified at the ICA as Theodore), with a perhaps clearer view of the remains of his identifying inscription:
http://tinyurl.com/24pq8uo

i) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted (at left; at right, St. Ephraem the Syrian) in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (betw. ca. 1312 and 1321/1322) in the chapel of St. Nicholas in the monastery church of the Theotokos at Gračanica in, depending upon one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija:
http://tinyurl.com/873xx77

j) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (betw. ca. 1314 and ca. 1320) by Michael Astrapas and Eutychios in the church of St. Nicetas the Goth (Sv. Nikita) at Čučer in today's Čučer-Sandevo in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia:
http://tinyurl.com/zex3pbu
In a different light (misidentified at the ICA as Theodore):
http://tinyurl.com/3dxldbe

k) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted (in panel at upper right) in an earlier fourteenth-century pictorial menologion from Thessaloniki (betw. 1322 and 1340; Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Gr. th. f. 1, fol. 24v):
http://image.ox.ac.uk/images/bodleian/msgrthf1/24v.jpg

l) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (betw. 1335 and 1350) in the church of the Holy Ascension at the Visoki Dečani monastery near Peć in, depending on one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija:
http://tinyurl.com/y8qpbjx

m) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted (at left; at right, St. Euthymius the Great) in a fourteenth-century fresco in the church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis at Kakopetria (Nikosia prefecture) in the Republic of Cyprus:
http://tinyurl.com/cwpwx44
Detail view (Theodosius):
http://ica.princeton.edu/images/tomekovic/st.00444.jpg

n) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted (at left; at right, St. Sabas of Jerusalem) in the late fourteenth-century frescoes (1389; restored in the early 1970s) in the church of St. George at Matka (Skopje dist.) in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia:
http://tinyurl.com/hhnsgck

o) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted in the earlier fifteenth-century frescoes (betw. 1407 and 1413) in the church of the Presentation of the Virgin in the Kalenić monastery in Belgrade's constituent municipality of Vračar:
http://www.monumentaserbica.com/mushushu/images/121.jpg

p) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted (at left; at right, St. Anthony of Egypt) in the sixteenth-century frescoes (1502) by Dionisy and sons in the Virgin Nativity cathedral of the St. Ferapont Belozero (Ferapontov Belozersky) monastery at Ferapontovo in Russia's Vologda oblast:
http://www.dionisy.com/eng/museum/123/137/index.shtml

q) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted (at left; at right, St. Theophanes Graptos) by Theofanis Strelitzas-Bathas (Theophanes the Cretan) in an earlier sixteenth-century fresco (1527) in the katholikon of the monastery of St. Nicholas Anapafsas in Kalambaka (Trikala regional unit) in northern Greece:
http://www.eikastikon.gr/xristianika/kris/toixografies/16.jpg

r) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted (at right, after Sts. Theophanes of Megas Agros [T. the Confessor] and John of Damascus) in the earlier sixteenth-century frescoes (1545-1546) by Theofanis Strelitzas-Bathas (a.k.a. Theophanes the Cretan) in the katholikon of the Stavronikita monastery on Mt. Athos:
https://modeoflife.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/1302627194_monastery-stavronikita-113.jpg

s) Theodosius the Coenobiarch as depicted in the earlier sixteenth-century frescoes (1545-1546) by Theofanis Strelitzas-Bathas (a.k.a. Theophanes the Cretan) in the refectory of the Stavronikita monastery on Mt. Athos:
http://tinyurl.com/n7vc83z

Best,
John Dillon
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