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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

> I was especially captivated by the Paris pyxis
> 
> Pyx (between 550 and 600; ivory and copper), Paris, Musée du Louvre:
> http://tinyurl.com/37fu5y
> 
> since it shows the flight of Elisabeth according to the Protevangelium
> : the mountaint enclosing her and the infant John the Baptist is
> clearly discernible as a surrounding line around them. It is
> interesting, I think that none of the other depictions show this
> detail. Probably this omission can be explained by the Latin version,
> Pseudo-Matthew which also omits this part of the story.

Dear George,
This is, indeed, a fascinating scene.  I'm not that familiar with Byzantine iconography, but 
there is another, much later version of it in the mosaics of one of the narthexes (nartheces?) 
of the Chora church in Constantinople (Istanbul, if one prefers).  There the grotto in the 
enclosing mountain is much more clearly depicted.  I had no idea that the iconography went 
back this early.  Do you -- or does anyone else -- know if the site of the grotto that enclosed 
Elizabeth and John was known during the Middle Ages and if there was a church there?
Cheers,
Jim

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