The Image of Edessa

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The Image of Edessa Mark Guscin


R 11.1.

The Image of Edessa

The Medieval Mediterranean Peoples, Economies and Cultures, 400-1500

Managing Editor

Hugh Kennedy SOAS, London Editors

Paul Magdalino, St. Andrews David Abulafia, Cambridge Benjamin Arbel, Tel Aviv Larry J. Simon, Western Michigan University Olivia Remie Constable, Notre Dame


The Nlandylion in the new refectory at the monastery of Koudoumousiou, Mount Athos. Photograph by the author. With kind permission of the abbot of the monastery of Koutloumousiou.

The Image of Edessa By

Mark Guscin


Cover illustration:

The Mandylion at the monastery of Docheiariou, Mount Athos. With kind permission of the author. This book is printed on acid-free paper. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Guscin, Mark.

The Image of Edessa / by Mark Guscin. p. cm. -- (The medieval Mediterranean ; v. 82) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-90-04-17174-9 (hardback : alk. paper) 1. Holy Face of Edessa--Sources. 2. Jesus Christ--Art. I. Title. II. Series. BT587.M3G87 2009 232.9--dc22 2008046848

ISSN 0928-5520 ISBN 978 90 04 17174 9 Copyright 2009 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Hotei Publishing, IDC Publishers, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers and VSP.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Brill has made all reasonable efforts to trace all rights holders to any copyrighted material used in this work. In cases where these efforts have not been successful the publisher welcomes communications from copyrights holders, so that the appropriate acknowledgements can be made in future editions, and to settle other permission matters. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill NV provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, MA 01923, USA. Fees are subject to change.

This book is dedicated to Francisco Vkzquez, Ambassador of Spain to the Holy See, for many years of friendship, and to the monks of the monasteries of Iveron, Hosiou Gregoriou, Koutloumousiou and the Protaton, for their kindness and trust.


List of illustrations .....................................................


Acknowledgements .................................................... xi Introduction ............................................................



i. The Narratio de imagine Edessena ..................................... 7 2. The Sermon of Gregory Referendarius ........................... 70

3. The Synaxarion .................................................... 4. The Synaxarion according to Iveron 797 .........................

88 112

5. The Abgar letters recorded separately in Mount Athos manuscripts ......................................................... 116

5.1. Protaton 83 and Vatopedi 928 ................................


5.2. Docheiariou 235 ............................................... 120

6. The Menaion ....................................................... 124

Plates 1-15


i. The Abgar Legend .................................................


Eusebius of Caesarea ............................................ 142

The Doctrine of Addai .......................................... 144 The Acts of Thaddaeus ......................................... 145 Egeria ............................................................ 146

Procopius ........................................................ 148 Evagrius .......................................................... 149

The Oxford and Cairo Fragments of the Abgar

correspondence ............................................... 149 John Damascene ................................................. 151 The Nouthesia Gerontos ............................................ 153



The Narratio de imagine Edessena .................................. 154

Christianity in Edessa ........................................... 157 Later versions of the Abgar legend ............................. 159

2. The Origins of the Image .......................................... 165 The earliest mentions of the Image ............................. 166

Who was Thaddaeus? ........................................... 168 A Syriac hymn ................................................... 169 More recent theories ............................................ 170 3. Edessa and Constantinople ........................................ 177 4. The Fourth Crusade ............................................... 185 5. The Image of Edessa in art ........................................ 193 6. What was the Image of Edessa? ................................... 201

A full-body image ............................................... 206 7. Conclusions ......................................................... 211

Bibliography ........................................................... 217 Primary Sources ................................................. 217 Secondary Sources .............................................. 217 Others ............................................................ 222 Index ................................................................... 223



The Mandylion in the new refectory at the monastery of Koutloumousiou, Mount Athos. Photograph by the author. With kind permission of the abbot of the monastery of Koutloumousiou. Plates 1-15 can be found following p. 138:

i. Mandylion in side chapel at the monastery of Megisti Lavra, Mount

Athos. Photograph by the author. 2.

Mandylion from the monastery of Stavronikita, Mount Athos. Photograph by the author.


Mandylion from the abandoned Skete of Agios Andreas, Mount Athos. Photograph by the author.

4. Modern Mandylion for sale to tourists in Ouranoupolis. Photograph by the author. 5.

Mandylion at Sakli, Cappadocia. Photograph by Lennox Manton. With kind permission of the photographer.

6. Mandylion at Sakli, Cappadocia (detail). Photograph by Lennox Manton. With kind permission of the photographer. 7.

Mandylion in the pool, Sakli, Cappadocia. Photograph by Lennox Manton. With kind permission of the photographer.

8. The Mandylion and the tile in Cod. Ross. Gr. 251 (Vatican). With kind permission of the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. 9. The Narratio de imagine Edessena

Protaton 36. Photograph by the

author. With kind permission of the monks of the Protaton. io. The Narratio de imagine Edessena - Iveron 595. Photograph by Monk Theologos, librarian at the monastery of Iveron. With kind permission of the abbot of the monastery of Iveron.



II. The Synaxarion - Iveron 797. Photograph by Monk Theologos, librarian at the monastery of Iveron. With kind permission of the abbot of the monastery of Iveron.

12. The Abgar Letters - Protaton 83. Photograph by the author. With kind permission of the monks of the Protaton. -

13. The Menaion - Koutloumousiou 3404. Photograph by the author. With kind permission of the abbot of the monastery of Koutloumousiou.

14. The Menaion - Gregoriou 228. Photograph by Monk Kallistos, assistant librarian at the monastery of Gregoriou. With kind permission of the abbot of the monastery of Gregoriou.

15. The Menaion - Iveron 1684. Photograph by Monk Theologos, librarian at the monastery of Iveron. With kind permission of the abbot of the monastery of Iveron.


I would like to thank the following people for their help in writing this book:

Dr. Daniel Scavone of the University of Southern Indiana, Paul Magdalino of the University of St. Andrews, the anonymous readers who checked the first drafts of the manuscript, Marcella Mulder, Alison Bryant, Diana Fulbright, Ian Wilson, Emanuela Marinelli, Nicola Bux,

Bryan Walsh, Brother loannis of the Monastery of Saint John on the island of Patmos and the staff at the Patriarchal Institute for Patristic Studies in Thessaloniki for their extra efforts on my behalf. Most of all, thanks are due to the monks of Mount Athos for granting access to their libraries and manuscripts (excepting the library of Megistes Lavras, which remained closed despite my best efforts I had to rely on microfilms in Thessaloniki). Special thanks are due to Monk Theologos

of the Holy Monastery of Iveron, Monk Chrysostomos of the Holy Monastery of Koutloumousiou, Monk Kallistos of the Holy Monastery of Gregoriou, and all the monks at the Protaton.

Some of the people mentioned above have helped by answering requests and questions without knowing the final objective of their replies

and of this book. It is quite possible that they do not agree with the arguments expressed in this work, and the fact that I have thanked them in no way implies their endorsement of my own work.

INTRODUCTION The Image of Edessa was an image of Christ that, according to tradition, was of miraculous origin. According to the legend, Abgar, the king of Edessa and contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth, suffered from a skin disease and thanks to one of his messengers who was passing through Jerusalem, found out that there was a miracle worker and healer in the city. Abgar decided to write a letter to Christ and invite him to come and live in Edessa (the setting was just a few days before the crucifixion,

and Abgar knew that the Jews were planning to kill Jesus). The messenger (Ananias or Hanan) returned to Jerusalem. Most accounts relate that Ananias, following Abgar's orders, tried to sketch Christ's face to take back to Edessa, but was unable to as Jesus kept looking this way and that. Eventually Jesus sent one of the disciples to call Ananias over, and before the messenger could hand over the letter from Abgar, Jesus told him of its contents. Jesus then wrote a reply to Abgar explaining that it was impossible for him to go to Edessa as he had a mission to fulfil. When he had ascended into heaven, however, he would send one of his disciples to cure Abgar and lead him into all truth. Before Ananias could leave, Jesus fulfilled the second part of Abgar's request. Asking for a cloth, he wiped his face with it and left a miraculous imprint of his features on it. At first, the letters (from Abgar to Jesus and the reply) were the central part of the story; copies were made, and

eventually used as a kind of talisman to ward off evil. The text developed over time-perhaps the most significant addition was the promise that the city of Edessa would be invincible to enemy attacks. Later versions contain detailed instructions of when to carry and read the letter in order to obtain personal safety.

Meanwhile, Ananias took the cloth with Christ's image back to Edessa. Abgar touched it to his whole body and was cured from his skin disease, except for a small spot that was left on his forehead. He had the cloth with the image on it placed in a niche above the city gate, in the place of a pagan idol. Abgar died, as in turn did his son. When his grandson became king he reverted to paganism; wishing to destroy the Image of Edessa, he placed a pagan image back in the niche.



The bishop was made aware of the king's intentions and bricked the Image up into the niche, together with a lighted lamp, and covered it with a tile and bricks just like the rest of the wall. The hiding place was so successful that the Image fell out of knowledge and memory, until the Persians under King Khusro (Chosroes) attacked Edessa in the sixth century. The attackers were tunnelling their way under the city walls when the city's bishop had a dream in which a woman told him about the Image and where to find it. Following her instructions, he took the Image to where the Persians were lighting a fire, and the flames were blown back onto the invaders, defeating them. The Image was kept in Edessa even when the city was lost to the Byzantine Empire (and was thus conveniently far removed from the

iconoclastic crisis). Towards the middle of the tenth century it was finally taken to Constantinople. After a ceremonious arrival, it was kept in the Boucoleon and, apart from making an appearance in some pilgrims' lists of relics they had seen, is hardly mentioned again. After the sack of the capital during the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the Image of Edessa is never heard of again. The Image's history has formed the subject matter of various articles

and chapters in books with a more general scope, but despite Steven Runciman's comment to the effect that the Image's "admirable activities ... entitle it now to be given some day the honour of a full-length biography",1 such a study has not been forthcoming until now This present book is divided into three main parts: critical editions of the historical texts about the Image of Edessa, translations of these texts into English, and finally a history of the Image based on these texts and on previous published works related to the subject. As far as the texts are concerned, previous editions of both the Aarratio de imagine Edessena2 and the Synaxarion3 are in existence, although neither is readily available outside the library. Neither of these editions includes the manuscripts from Mount Athos. For ease of reference I have maintained the manuscript sigla from the printed editions 1 Steven Runciman, `Some Remarks on the Image of Edessa', Cambridge Historical Journal 3 (1931), 2522 Ernst Von Dobschiitz, Christusbilder, Untersuchungen zur christlichen Legende (Leipzig

1899), 39-85 in second appendix. 3 Synaxarium Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae e Codice Sirmondiano nunc Berolinensi, adiectis

Synaxariis selectis. Opera et studio Hippolyti Delehaye (Brussels 19o2, reprinted 1985), 893-9o4.



in each case, while for the Athos and other manuscripts not previously collated I have used a more obvious reference system (e.g. MLi is Megistes Lavras 429, ML2 is Megistes Lavras 644 etc). A translation of the Narratio de imagine Edessena was published in 1978.4 Von Dobschutz

used two mansucripts from Mount Athos (Dionisiou 54 and Protaton 36), although the readings he provides from these two witnesses are incomplete and in places inaccurate. I have collated many other mansucripts from Athos and also other codices von Dobschutz either did not know of or chose to ignore (Escorial gr. II.11, Messina S. Sale 49, Milan Ambros. C 186 inf, Milan Ambros. D 52 sup, Milan Ambros. D 107 sup, Patmos 252 and Patmos 258), and have corrected his incomprehensibly incomplete readings from the codex he called I (Florence BML gr, IX-33). Two of the manuscripts unknown to von Dobschiitz's

edition are quite unique in their readings-Pantokrator 99 is a heavily truncated version, while Milan D52 sup. contains unique readings concerning the arrival of the Image in Constantinople in the tenth century. Von Dobschutz identified a text included at the end of two versions of the Narratio de imagine Edessena, calling it the Liturgical Tractate.

Rather than treating it as a separate text as von Dobschutz did, I have embedded it within the text of the Official History, just before the last chapter, exactly where it is found in all the witnesses excepting Milan D52, where it is included as a separate text after the Narratio. For

the tractate I have included the testimony of three manuscripts from Mount Athos, unknown to von Dobschutz, and also that of Milan D52. The chapter divisions in the Narratio de imagine Edessena are the ones used

by Migne, with the addition of the Liturgical Tractate, while I have maintained von Dobschutz's divisions in the Synaxarion (Delehaye's text has no divisions or chapters). I have included in the critical edition of the Synaxarion the text of the twelfth-century Byzantine historian Georgius Cedrenus,5 which is in its major part word for word identical to the Synaxarion itself, although it has undergone some modifications, probably by Cedrenus himself. The Synaxarion itself is an abbreviated version of the Narratio, and one Athos manuscript (Iveron 797) contains a much abbreviated version of the Synaxarion, which is previously

4 The translation was supervised by Bernard Slater from Bradford Grammar School and published as an appendix in Ian Wilson, The Turin Shroud (London 1978), 272-290. 5 Edited by I. Bekker, Georgius Cedrenus Ioannis Scylitzae ope, Corpus scriptorum historiae

Byzantinae (Bonn 1838-1839), 308-315



unedited (to my knowledge). The divisions and group numbers in the various different Menaion texts are my own.

There are versions of the Abgar correspondence in some Athos manuscripts that have never been published before (again, to my knowledge), and Menaion texts from manuscripts that are not even included

in Lampros' monumental catalogue of manuscripts on Athos, and hence whose existence is not recorded anywhere but here.6

A little known version of the Abgar legend is also included under the name of the sermon of Gregory Referendarius (i.e. overseer of relationships between the patriarch and the emperor). Preserved in just one known manuscript in the Vatican library (Gr 511), the text must have been written shortly after the arrival of the Image of Edessa in Constantinople in 944. The text was published with a translation into French by Andre-Marie Dubarle.' I hope to have met Steven Runciman's wish for the Image of Edessa to have its own complete biography and history with the present book.

6 The two manuscripts are Hosiou Gregoriou 228 (saec. XII) and Iveron 1684 (saec. XVIII). 7 Andre-Marie Dubarle, `L'Homelie de Gregoire le Referendaire pour la Reception de 1'Image d'Edesse', Revue des Etudes Byzantines 55 (1997), 5-51



The Narratio de imagine Edessena

attributed to Constantine Porphyrogenitus










Pr Dii Di2

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Vind. Hist. Gr 45 saec.Xl £ 194a-2o8a Paris B. N. gr. 1474 saec. XI £ 212-227 Paris B. N. gr. 1475 saec. XI £ 122-136 Vat. gr. 2043 saec. XI/XII £ 2ooa-22ob Mosc. s. Syn. 9. saec. XI £ 192-2og Vat. gr. 822. saec XII f. 208-225b Paris gr. 1548. saec. XII £ 134-146 Rom. Valllic. B 14 £ 235b-245a

Ottob. Vat. gr. 87. saec. XIII/XIV £ 147-152 Neap. II C 25. saec. XIV pp. 100-107 Florence BML gr. IX.33 saec. XIV £ 384a-397b Paris Coisl. gr. 3o7.saec. XVI 1552 f 525-535 Mosc. s. Syn. 16o. saec. XI £ 171-188 Rom. Chis. R VII 50- saec. XI £ 162-176 Taur. B 11 24. saec. XI £ 154-166 Taur. B IV 8. saec. XI £ 115-129 Paris B. N. gr. 1527 saec. XII £ 165-179 Paris B. N. gr. 1528 saec. XII £ 182-197 Paris B. N. gr. 1176 saec. XII £ 252-262

Athos Protaton 36 saec. XII £ 222a-238a Athos Dionysiou 54 saec. XII f. 197a-214a Athos Dionysiou 145 saec. XVI £ 524a-538a Athos Megistes Lavras 429 saec. XI £ 24oa-255a Athos Megistes Lavras 644 saec. XII f. 287a-3o8a Athos Megistes Lavras 1866 saec. XVII (1668) f. 39b-55a Athos Iveron 595 saec. XVI £ sine numeris Athos Pantokratoros 99 saec. XVI f. 193a-223b Athos Vatopedi 635 saec. XV £ 455-476 El Escorial y-II-i gr. 319 saec. XIII £ 123a-134b Messina BU S. 49 (7o) saec. XII £ 225a-244b Milan B. Ambros. gr. C 186 inf. saec. XI f. 143b-158a Milan B. Ambros. gr. D52 sup. saec. XI £ 81b-io3b Milan B. Ambros. gr. D 107 sup. saec. XIV £ 2o8b-223b Patmos gr. 258 saec. XI £ Io8b-123b Patmos gr. 252 saec. XII £ 201b-214b

El Escorial Th-III-17 gr. 456 contained the Narratio de imagine Edessena but is now lost.



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The story of the holy image of Christ, our God, which was not made by human hands, and how it was sent to Abgar. The story was written by Constantine, Emperor of the Romans in Christ the eternal king, and also tells how the image was brought from Edessa to the most blessed 5 queen of cities, Constantinople.

Not only was the God the Word, coeternal with the Father, beyond i all understanding by himself, but also most or even all of his works are covered by the same dark veil of incomprehensibility. This is true not only for what he did as creator of everything, but also for when

io he took on our nature according to the divine dispensation, in that original and unique power of his divinity. Whoever is not unaware of himself, and whoever realises that he does not know what is above him, must neither boast excessively nor tread on air like an ignorant by contending that he either knows everything or that the things he 15 has failed to understand do not exist. And so, as far as the figure of his divine and human form is concerned, which was transferred with no artistic intervention onto the cloth that received it by the supernatural

will of its maker, and was then sent to Abgar in order to heal him, it has now been transferred from Edessa to this ruling city by God's 20 all-encompassing dispensation, for its salvation and protection, so that





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it may not seem to be deficient in anything, as it should always be mistress of everything. I think that every pious and just listener should insist on learning the story in all detail for himself, and wish to obtain

genuine knowledge about the ancient tradition. How the form of a 5 face could be imparted onto the linen cloth from a moist secretion with no paint or artistic craft, and how something made from such a perishable material was not destroyed with time, and whatever else the supposed investigator of natural causes is wont to enquire into with curiosity: these questions he should yield to God's inscrutable wisdom, io knowing that if someone attempts to understand everything in all detail,

he will be thrust into complete ignorance, and falling into the pit of unknowing, will be in mortal danger by losing the important things in his concern not to appear to admit those that are of no account. So, all 15

of you who have come together here with upright faith and enthusiastic zeal, come and listen, and I will tell you what I have been able to verify after carefully and duly checking each detail, both from the writers of history and from the local people who have come here and told us what their memory has preserved as if by secret tradition.

In the times when our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ came to 20 us to raise up our fallen race, the world was at peace in accordance with the prophet's voice, polyarchy had been disbanded and the whole inhabited world was as if under one belt-Roman rule-and subject to one ruler. And so all dealings of all peoples with others were carried out in peace and men did not appear to inhabit a divided world, but 25 were all under one master, just as the universe is under one creator.




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Everybody bowed his neck in submission to the emperor and lived in peace with one another. This was why the ruler of Edessa at the time, Abgar, was a friend and acquaintance of the leader of Egypt, and messengers from both places visited each other frequently. So it happened at that time when our Lord and God was fulfilling his father's will, teaching men about salvation and turning them to faith in him through his wonderful and marvellous miracles, one of Abgar's

servants, called Ananias, happened to be travelling through Palestine to Egypt. He saw Christ from afar, drawing the crowds out of error with io his words and carrying out wonderful miracles. When Ananias reached Egypt and fulfilled what he had been entrusted with, he went back to his master. He was aware that Abgar was afflicted with chronic arthritis and worn out by leprosy. This double, or rather multiple illness meant that the joints in his limbs caused him pain, and the sufferings from the 15 leprosy made him wretched. He was ashamed of being so disfigured, and so hardly anybody was admitted to see him. Not only did he spend most of his time in bed, but in shame he also hid away from any friends who came to see him. On his way back, Ananias made efforts to find out more about these things so that he would be able to tell his master zo something definite, and maybe even Abgar would be considered worthy

of being cured by Jesus. He found the Lord again preoccupied with the same issues, namely raising the dead, restoring sight to the blind, healing lame limbs and curing whoever was ill.




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Once he knew for sure that these things were being done by the Lord, he went back to Abgar and let him know about this, telling him in all detail what he had seen and heard. The extra work he had done was greater than his main mission, and he had given good news to Abgar, 5 therefore he was deemed worthy of a fitting reception and reckoned among his most trustworthy servants. Since the sufferer always seizes on the promise of healing, and man is always cajoled by the hope of being healed, Abgar made haste to communicate with this man he had been told about. He decided to write a letter to the man who was said to be io able to perform such cures and ask him to come to him. The letter was


soon well-known everywhere, and its contents were as follows.

Abgar's letter to Jesus according to VA B C G I Q U

Pr Dii Die MLI Pa Va Es Me Mir Miz PI

Abgar the ruler of Edessa to Jesus the saviour, the good healer who has

15 appeared in the city of Jerusalem-greetings. I have heard about you and your cures, that you carry out without medicine or herbs. I am told that you make the blind see, the lame walk, you cleanse lepers and cast out unclean spirits and demons, you cure those who are tortured by lengthy illnesses and raise the dead. Having heard all this about 20 you, I have come to the conclusion that one of the following things is true-either you are God and have come down from heaven to do these things, or you are the Son of God doing them. I have therefore written to you to ask you to take the trouble to come to me to cure the sickness I have. I have also heard that the Jews are murmuring against 25 you and want to do you harm. I have a small but noble city, which is enough for both of us to live in peace.




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Abgar's letter to Jesus according to X Iv ML2 ML3 Mi3

Abgar the ruler of Edessa to Jesus the saviour, the good healer who has appeared in the city of Jerusalem-greetings. I have heard about you and your cures, that you carry out without medicine or herbs. It is said 5 that you give sight to the blind, make the crippled walk, the deaf hear,

you cleanse lepers and cast out unclean demons by your word, you cure those who are tortured by lengthy illnesses, you healed the woman with a haemorrhage who touched you, and you raise the dead. Having heard all this about you, Lord, I have realised in my heart that you are

Io either God and have come down from heaven to do these things, or you are the Son of God doing them. With this letter I therefore beg and entreat you not to deem me unworthy of your coming, so that you may cure the sickness I have. It has reached my ears that the Jews are murmuring against you and want to do away with you. I have a small 15 but noble city, which is enough for both of us to live in peace. Order that I may be healed, my Lord. Since Ananias had given clear proof of his affection towards his master,

and given that he already knew the route, and knew how to paint, Abgar sent him to take this letter to Jesus. He instructed him that if 20 he could not persuade Christ to come to him with the letter, he should carefully copy the likeness of his form and take that to him, so that he could at least learn through a faint shadow what the author of these great wonders looked like, and not merely hear about him. Ananias set out on his mission and reached Judea, and found Christ in the open 25 air speaking to the crowd who had gathered, and working wonderful miracles. Ananias could not get near Jesus because of the crowd, who had come from different places for different reasons, and so he went and climbed onto a rock that stood out a little above the ground and




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sat down, not far from where the Lord was speaking. He was able to distinguish the Lord among the crowd as he stood out from the people, and immediately set his eyes on Jesus and his hand to the parchment, and started to copy the likeness of what he could see. 5

Christ realised in his spirit what was happening and called Thomas 6 over. "Go over there", he said, "and bring me the man sitting on the rock and painting my form. He should bring the letter he brought from


his home, so that he can fulfil the orders of the one who sent him". Thomas went away and recognised Ananias from what he had heard he was doing, and took him to Jesus. Before he took the letter from him, Christ told him why he had come, and the content of the letter. He then took it and read it, and wrote another letter to Abgar, reading verbatim as follows:

Jesus' letter to Abgar according to VA B C G I Q U 15

Pr Dii Die MLI Pa Va Es Me Mi' Mil PI

Blessed are you, Abgar, for believing in me without having seen me. For it is written about me that those who see me will not believe in me, so that those who have not seen me can believe and live. As for what you wrote to me about coming to you, I have to fulfil everything I was sent 20 here for, and after fulfilling this be taken up to the Father who sent me.

When I have been taken up I will send you one of my disciples, who




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will cure your illness and give eternal life and peace to you and those with you. He will also do for your city all that is necessary, so that no enemy will prevail over it.

Jesus' letter to Abgar according to X A ML2 ML3 Mi3

5 Blessed are you, Abgar, and your city, which is called Edessa. You are blessed because you have believed in me without having seen me. Good health is stored up for you forever. As for what you wrote to me about coming to you, I have to fulfil everything I was sent here for, and after fulfilling this be taken up to the Father who sent me. I will send you one io of my disciples, called Thaddaeus, who will cure your illness and give eternal life and peace to you and to all those with you. He will also do for your city all that is necessary so that no enemy will prevail over it.


Christ gave this letter to Ananias. Since he knew Ananias was anxious 8 and concerned about the other order his lord had given him, namely to take back to him a likeness ofJesus' face, the Saviour washed his face

in water and wiped the liquid from it onto a cloth that he had been handed, and arranged in a divine way beyond understanding for his own likeness to be imprinted upon the cloth. He gave it to Ananias and told him to give it to Abgar, so that he might have some consolation 20 for his desire and for his illness. On his way back with these objects, Ananias reached the stronghold of Hierapolis, which in Arabic is called Membich and in Syrian Mabouk. He settled down for the night outside



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the town, next to a pile of tiles that had recently been made, and hid the holy cloth there. Around midnight a great fire appeared around the place, and in the city people thought that the whole area was on fire. They were afraid for themselves and left the town to find out what was the blaze that they had seen. There they found Ananias and arrested him as the author of the deed. They investigated the event and asked him who he was, where he was going and where he had come from.

Ananias did not know why they were asking him about such strange things, and so he openly told them where he was from, where he had io come from, and what he was carrying with him. He told them he had placed what he was carrying among the tiles, from where the flames seemed to be springing. They immediately wished to find out the truth about what he had said and searched the place. Not only did they find what Ananias had put there, but on one of the tiles that was touching it, 15 another figure of the divine representation, his form miraculously and wonderfully transferred onto the tile from the unpainted cloth. When they had seen this, they were filled with fear and amazement. They could not find any fire burning, rather the flames seemed to proceed from the light in the figure. They kept the tile which had received 20 the divine imprint for themselves as a sacred heirloom and valuable treasure, and guessed from what they had seen that it contained divine energy. They were afraid to retain the original image and its bearer and sent them on to Abgar. Even now, that image on the tile is still

preserved and venerated by the inhabitants of this town, being an




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icon not painted by human hands after another image not painted by human hands either. Ananias completed the journey that lay before him and told his lord everything that had happened on the way. He also gave him the symbols of salvation he had brought with him.

5 This is the story according to most sources, regarding the image of our io Saviour on the cloth not painted by hand. However, there is another version, which is not improbable and does not lack reliable witnesses.

For this reason I shall present this second version so that nobody assumes I gave preference to the first one out of ignorance of the io second. It would not be at all strange if confusion has arisen in the story over such a long time. All the sources agree on the main fact, that the form on the cloth was miraculously transferred from the Lord's face.

They disagree on some of the details, such as when this took place. Whether it happened earlier or later does not alter the truth of the 15 matter. The other version is as follows.

It is said that when Christ was about to willingly undergo suffering, he ii displayed human weakness and prayed in anguish. The gospel tells us that his sweat fell like drops of blood and then it is said that he took this piece of cloth, which can still be seen, from one of his disciples, 20 and wiped off the streams of sweat on it. The figure of his divine face, which is still visible, was immediately transferred onto it. He gave it

to Thomas and told him to send it to Abgar with Thaddaeus after



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his ascension into heaven, thus fulfilling what he had promised in the letter. When our Lord Jesus Christ was taken up into heaven, Thomas

gave the image of our Lord's face that was not painted by hand to Thaddaeus, and sent him to Abgar. 5 Thaddaeus came to Edessa and at first stayed with one of the Jews from 12 the city, who was called Tobias. The disciple of Christ wished to make himself known to Abgar first by works rather than words, and so he cured the sick in the city just by calling on Christ. The word got round quickly, as normally happens in cases such as this one-there are many

io people to talk about wonderful deeds. Abgar heard about where the apostle of Christ was staying through one of his officials called Abdos.

He immediately thought from the hope that lay hidden in him that this was the person whom Jesus had promised to send in the letter. He found out more about Thaddaeus from Abdos, and ordered him to be 15 brought before him. Tobias went and told the apostle, and Thaddaeus answered that he had been sent to him in power and at once went in to see Abgar. Just before he came into the king's presence, he placed the likeness on his own forehead and went in thus to Abgar. The king saw him coming from afar and seemed to see a light shining out of his 20 face, too bright to look at, sent forth by the likeness that was covering him. Struck by the bright shining light, and as if he had forgotten about his illness and the longstanding paralysis of his limbs, he quickly got up from his bed and forced his limbs to run to meet the apostle. He felt the same, although in a different way, as those who saw the figure flashing 25 with lightning on Mount Tabor.



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He received the likeness from the apostle and with great reverence 13 put it round his head, on his eyes and on his lips, and did not omit any of the rest of his body. He knew immediately that his limbs had been miraculously healed, and changed for the better. His leprosy was

5 cleansed and left him, except for a small spot that was left on his forehead. He heard the word of truth more clearly from the apostle, and all about the wonderful miracles of Christ, his divine passion and burial, his resurrection from the dead and his ascension into heaven.

He confessed that Christ is truly God and asked about the figure of io his form imprinted upon the linen cloth. When he understood it in detail, he realised it had not been created with natural colours, and was amazed at its power through which he had miraculously risen from his bed and was now numbered among the healthy. Thaddaeus in reply told him about the time of Christ's agony and how the form 15 had come about from the drops of sweat, with no paint involved. He also explained how his coming to the king had been ordained by the Lord, and the other details that have already been told in our story.

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in him that if I did not fear Roman power, which does not permit its subjects to wage war against each other, I would willingly have taken up arms against the Jews who crucified the Lord, have conquered them and sold them into slavery. Now that I have learnt about his willing 5 passion, I am convinced that those cruel people would not have been able to do anything to him against his will, and I will not go into the matter any further. I pray to be considered worthy of divine baptism and to join and dedicate myself with all my household to Christ the

Lord'. The Lord's apostle worked many other wonders and cured io everyone of their sicknesses, among whom was the one who had first told Abgar about him. He cured him of the gout. He then took Abgar to the sacred baptismal font. He performed the prescribed rites over him and baptised him, his wife and his children, and everyone else in his household. Abgar came out of the divine water of cleansing 15 completely clean and healthy. The spot of leprosy that had been left on his forehead entirely disappeared. From that moment on Abgar honoured the likeness of the Lord's form 15

and held it in great honour. And in addition to everything else, the ruler did the following. A statue of a certain Greek god had been 20 erected before the public gate of the city by the ancient founders and preeminent citizens of Edessa. Everyone who wished to enter the city had to worship the statue and say some prescribed prayers, and thus walk down the city streets and roads. Abgar took this statue down and



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destroyed it, and placed the image of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was not made by human hands, in its place, fixed to a wooden board and adorned with the gold that can still be seen. He had these words inscribed on the gold, "Christ, God, whoever hopes in you will never be 5 let down". He decreed that everybody who was going to pass through the gate had to pay the proper respect, due homage and honour to the wonderful miracle-working image of Christ, instead of the old, useless and worthless statue, and thus enter into the city of Edessa. The custom and devotion of this pious man were maintained during Abgar's own io life and that of his son, who inherited both his father's kingdom and his piety. His son's son, Abgar's grandson, however, inherited his father's and his grandfather's rule, but not their piety. He let piety slip, so to speak, and went over to demons and idols. Just as his grandfather had destroyed the statue of the idol, as if to make up for this to the demons 15 he wanted to mete out the same treatment to the image of the Lord. This wicked man did not get what he wanted, because the bishop of the city realised in advance what would happen and took appropriate measures. Given that the place where the image was kept was shaped like a cylindrical semicircle, he showed great foresight and lit a lamp in 20 front of the image and put a tile on top of it. He then sealed the surface off with gypsum and baked bricks, finishing the wall off on the same




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level. As the image Abgar's grandson desired was no longer anywhere to be seen the impious man gave up his plan. I would think that the priest gave orders to put a tile in front of the image so that no decay from the building's mould and no damp from the gypsum could make the cloth with the icon on it deteriorate and suffer the damage done by time.

After a long time had elapsed, people forgot all about how the holy 16 image had been set up and how it had been hidden. And so when Khusro, the king of the Persians, was in his time conquering the cities io of Asia, he came to Edessa, set up an armed camp, brought up every kind of machinery and got everything ready for taking the city. He planned everything for casting missiles, shaking walls and smashing gates. Finding themselves in such danger, the people of Edessa thought

of everything they could do against this hostile demonstration, and sent for help to the Roman generals. The commander in chief of the Roman army at the time was lion. He was being attacked by the enemy too and so was not able to send aid to those in Edessa. He tried to encourage them in writing, reminding them of the Lord's letter and the unfailing promise it contained, because of which it was said zo and believed that the city would be saved from being sacked. Along with the direct attack, the Persians were also planning a few surprises. They started to dig at a distance and contrived to get inside the city through underground passages. "When they were inside the walls, like underwater swimmers under the ground, their plot was revealed to 15

25- those inside the walls in the following way. A bronzesmith lived at that particular point within the walls, and the bronze utensils hanging up in his house all made a noise when the Persians were digging and taking

the earth out. The city's inhabitants were at a loss and had absolutely no idea what to do and thus made recourse to God, seeking him with



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broken hearts and tears. At night the bishop-Eulalius-had a vision of a well-dressed and adorned woman, better looking than any human being, telling him to get the image of Christ that had not been made 5

by human hands and parade it in a procession, and the Lord would certainly demonstrate his wonders. The bishop answered that he did not even know if the image existed, and if it did whether it was there or anywhere else. The one who had appeared to him in the form of a woman told him that it was hidden away above the city gate in such and such a place, and in such and such a way.

io The bishop was encouraged by the clarity of the vision and went to the 17 place in solemn procession. He searched and found the sacred image unharmed, and the lamp that had not gone out after so many years. Another likeness of the first likeness had been formed on the tile that had been placed in front of the lamp for protection, and it is still kept 15 in Edessa even today. He took the divine representation of the divine

and human Christ in his hands, and his hopes grew as he made his way towards the place where the Persians had been betrayed by the noise of the bronze utensils. The city's inhabitants started to dig there, and as they drew near each other they dribbled oil from the lamp onto zo the fire that they had made ready against their enemies. Throwing it at the Persians who were in the tunnel, they killed them all. And saved from this attack, they decided to try the same trick against the machines



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thoughts than these, but we have fulfilled our undertaking as best we could in order to gain approval for our efforts. But, o divine likeness of the likeness of the unchanging Father, o form of the Father's person, o holy and venerable seal of Christ, our God's

5 archetypal goodness-I speak to you in faith as if you had a living soul-save and keep always our noble and gentle ruler, who keeps the feast of your coming in due fashion, the one you placed on his father's and grandfather's throne in your presence. Keep his offspring safe for

the family succession and the security of rule. Bring to the people io a state of peace. Keep this queen of cities free from siege. Make us pleasing to your image, Christ, our God, to receive us into his heavenly

kingdom, praising him and singing hymns, for to him is due honour and worship for ever and ever. Amen.


The Sermon of Gregorius Referendarius


V Vaticanus Gr 511 saec.XI f. 143b - i5ob' i I'Qf)yoQiou aQXLBLaxovov xai'scpeQsvbaQiou trjg 1scy6k% exxXgciaS Kwv-

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ov xai On natQLaQxaL tQsLS

exµaycLov sLvaL XQLOtoU, onSQ

&n6 T& Ateooa µst' EvaxoOLa E11 t1l xai evveaxai&sxa µstr)yaysto OnovBll (3arLXEwc svos(3oic, ev EtsL Svvp'. KIQLE evMyrloov.


2 IIa Qa8o oSrl nav'rlyvQS on xai to vne Qov Ov yxsx of Q taL rl to 8E eanLv L

enLELxwS vneQ Evvotav. Ti ycQ si 8Lavoia[ nsQLXaµ(3avetaL; IIQodrlxovoa tovtw tLItT to niOtsvsOrhaL sdvaL xai vneQ Xoyov o&ev tov nELQCbREVOV ('O'; nLVa xQvOriv, wS XoyoS, nXexsLV OsLQav en' avtw,


BQLRAEa tvxov QfjtoQsiac enFOU[t µata, oLS to anoL7ltov nsnoL9GftaL xai Io 8sbCO*aL to kFku vov icr6Q9ItaL, &xaLOV OROLOV V t4 tcO Xoyw atartµaO*aL *QaGUVO0Vw to ansLQov. Tavtov yaQ exsivo oLectai ?,eyw µstQsLV xai ir)tciv eV tovtw nsLQ06O'l&aL, anEQ anaLtsiv 8LwSsv ij TE toV Xoyov nsQLvoLa fl is tic 8LavoLaS rni jt1lats. 'AnoXQrl toLyaQovv nQooxvveLOrhaL 0"n8Q eotLV xai 6gS T& ovtw Xo y.w vnon *CvaL boxL stw tLxai o CCUOV S µ

ocpsiXstaL, OvvanobeLxvvtw enELyoµevw µoL hS ov µovrl naQabooLS, aXXa xai LOtoQEg OvvLOt1.0OLV on8Q EOtL to tLµwµsvov. 3


Ti tovto; On tl1 anXtS nQog nQoaconov nQoOrparceL XQLOto1 ELbonoiTltaL Fig soQcpTly avtov, (b dj 8oxeLv nLVa; ayav enLxLVBvvwS xai OcpaXcQa1S

avansnXcuy*uL wS to trl8aµl E.Lrj8aq,tS BLatoL, xav µVq ti; µoL OvvavtL- 20 Xaµ(3avco*aL (3ovxoLto, ncQcL[IL, On [th to xaXXLOta UnsQtl*CVaL XQstV, tovS iotoQr GavtaS OvOtrlaOµsvoS, ov Xoyw osµvvvoµEVw yXacpvQthV, iva µr xsvw*Ij o OtavQoS toO XQLOtoO, 8e xaQaxtr'IQL xai XaXLxw, OTL RE, 8L xai µil xo[trpov 6 XoyoS, T) yvCO(JLS ovx LBLdhtrly GUViatrlOLV.


tiw A6yg1] Dubarle

1 Edited and translated into French by Andre-Marie Dubarle, `L'Homelie de Gregoire le Referendaire pour la Reception del'Image d'Edesse', Revue des Etudes Byzantines 55 (1997),5-51-


The Sermon of Gregory Referendarius

A sermon by Gregory the Archdeacon and Referendarius of the great i church at Constantinople, about how unbelievable things are not subject to the laws of praise, and about how three patriarchs have declared that there is an image of Christ which was brought from Edessa gig 5 years afterwards by the zeal of a pious emperor, in the year 6452.' Lord bless us.

The assembly of people is unbelievable, because the reason why every- 2 body has come together is almost beyond understanding. For how can something be unbelievable if it can be understood? The fitting dignity io is to believe the object exists, and to praise it beyond reason. Like one who tries to put, as it were, a golden cord on it, profound thoughts of eloquence perhaps, by which what cannot be made is said to have been


made, and the loose bound, we could compare this to boldly trying to measure the infinite. I would say that to believe you can measure this is to seek and search for the intelligence of reason or the quest for understanding. It is therefore enough to venerate what it is, and not for

somebody to think it can be subjected to reason as if it were not so. And what is even more important, it should be shown by my efforts as something that is more than tradition, something that observers can 20 define as a revered object. And so, what exactly is it? By the simple touching to the face of Christ,

an image of his form was made, so that people would not think in a dangerous or perilous way that it never actually existed and has been invented. And so even if nobody wishes to help me in this, I will step 25 forward to state that it is not necessary to postpone good things. I will now therefore bring forward the witnesses, not in a magnificent style with polished words, lest the cross of Christ be rendered vain, but rather with simple letters and words, so that even if my own words show I am not an elegant writer, my knowledge will show I am not ignorant.




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4 "Hb,q ovv, E3LEL xai vµsis E(Yxavaoata Lxavcw; to SL' O)V T 'l

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bai xal o XQLOT6s; "OatO'U teat; eatL t4 eµw OvµcpwvO JLV ovoµaTL, to vat'


avt&V µaQTUQovµ8VOV (3E(3aLOV. Tovtwv tI]V µEV vmteQ Tfs aX1*eia; Oarov-

avtbv µaQtvQEL, to be 6voµata xal bT1V o ayVwotLxo; Xoyo; xai 7L6XeL; aothLµoL OaXIE UOVOLV EtL xaL toV iTj; apxLaQwovvrl; (3LOV vvV, at 7tatQLcQxa; tovrov; EXELV fl LwVto, XQLOtocpOQov 'Av1L6xaLa, 'I6)(3 BaoLXaLOV `IapoooXvµa ovtoL atXaLota X6ycww µaxQ@ xata 10 TWV SUOOE 3OT5VtWV LOTOQTjOaR.LEVOL, EV EteLVOL; xat 7tEQL to'Utov taUta OvV-

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Atbaooa bgtooLov; avata&aLµEvov; xcb&Lxa; avayvwvaL µa; atpoatQETpato. 11


'AXX' aVWT&EV Ii; LoroQLa; Xa(3tRE*a. "ETL OwµacLxb; 1 L1V evbrlµovvtos XQLOIOD, 'Ay(3aQo; ovtw xaXOV LEVO; ESTjµaycuyEL T& Atbaooa oLo; tTIv acroQLa tot; T96pa*EV aQETTjV, at xal 1618 toU


7Lp6; OV O'O) EwQaxaL xai 7tE7tLOtEVxEVaL T17taLyato *coXOyo; Eatiotoku

avtoD µaQTVpat. I'Qacpet yap ovto; XQLOI(u 8vow3twV a3taXXayivaL VOrn1[tato; Ov xateixeTO xat xpTnotwv eX7tLbwv cVTLypacpOV wtaL. EUxaLpOV 20 RV1jµoVEDOaL xai tthV E7tLOtOXWV.

6 'Ay(3apov E'MGTOX 7tp6; XpLOtov Fig `IEQoooX,vµa 7cgµcp*eLOa WE 'Ava-

vLov taxvbp6µov avtoO 'Ay(3apos 8µa to7capxrI; 'IrIooi (YO)TfiQL aya*c avacpavEVTL Ev t6atw `IEpoookvµwv xaLQELV ijxovotaL µ6L Ta ataQL 000 xaL

TbV LaµatwV tCw aVEV cpapµaxWV xal (3otaVtV Mo ooD yLVOR6Vwv ch; 25 yap X6yo;, tvcpXov; ava(3XETCELV 7toLEt;, xwXov; 7t8QL7ratety, xal Xeitpov;

xal axa*apta 7tVE6µata xal baLµovas ex(3aXXat; xai tov; ev µaxpoVoaLa (3aoaVLtoµevovs *8pa3t8v8L; xai vexpov; EydpeL;. Kai tavta

2 &.7Lavta] anavta V, corr. Dubarle



And so, now that you have suitably prepared the condition in which 4 the soul presents' itself to hear such things, I will continue so that you can listen. There is not just one father of this history, but as many as make up the indivisible number; to such a figure it seemed fitting to 5 reach.' As Christ said, wherever three people are gathered together in my name, their witness is sure. Their contentious and precise word-

ing is witness to their zeal for the truth. Their famous cities even now proclaim their names and their lives worthy of the high priesthood, cities worthy of having such men as patriarchs. Antioch proio claims Christophorus, Alexandria proclaims job and Jerusalem proclaims Basil. They have written lengthy works against heretics, in which they have written about this too. As he says, "Discussing this with the Emperor inspired us to read the state manuscripts deposited at Edessa, beyond the Euphrates".

15 Let us take the story from the beginning. When Christ was still physically with us, the ruler of Edessa was called Agbar.3 In spite of his adoring foreign gods through the lack of a preacher, his theological letter to the one he had never seen and was driven to believe in bears witness to his goodness. He wrote to Christ requesting to be cured of the disease 20 he was suffering from, and received a reply full of good hope. It would not be out of place to recall the letters.



Agbar's letter to Christ in Jerusalem, sent via Ananias his messenger. 6 Agbar, at the same time4 ruler, to Jesus, who has appeared as a gracious saviour in the region ofJerusalem-greetings. I have heard about you and about the cures you perform without medicine or herbs. It

is said that you make the blind see again and the lame walk, you cleanse lepers, expel unclean spirits and demons, cure those suffering from chronic and painful diseases, and raise the dead. On hearing all

1 The manuscript has no verb for the noun ipuxt although following Dubarle's suggestion (reading &jtavtia for the manuscript's &rzavta) the text makes more sense. Another possibility is that the manuscript reading should be preserved (Now that you have suitably prepared everything by which the soul ...) and a different, now lost verb be provided. It could even have been the verb suggested by Dubarle, lost in copying due to its similarity to & tavtia.

2 i.e. There are three authors to be used as witnesses. 3 While recounting the letters, the sermon spells the name as `Agbar", later reverting to the more usual form "Abgar". 4 Greek &µa, possibly a corruption of Uchama, referring to the king's skin disease.


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Sm3DogoO'p3L lLTlttd, 1px A3.6LmAD 131130x31L3 A13413u -(LO








this about you, I concluded that one of two things is true-either you are God and came down from heaven to do these things, or you are God's son doing them. I am therefore writing to ask you to come to me 5

and cure the illness I suffer from. I have heard that the Jews are treating you badly and wish to cause you harm-my city is very small, but very noble, enough for both of us.

Jesus' answer to Agbar the ruler, via Ananias the messenger-Blessed are you who have believed in me without having seen me! For it is written of me that those who have seen me will not' believe in me, and io those who have not seen will believe and live. As to your writing that I should come to you, I must complete all that I was sent to do here, and thus be taken up to the one who sent me. When I have been taken up I


will send you one of my disciples to cure your sickness, and bring life to you and those with you.

15 So much for the letters. Since there is no mention of an image in either 8 letter and the voice of tradition has not been able to convince wise men or help them understand, we went to Edessa, our souls burning with

zeal, hoping to find in the manuscripts there what Abgar had done. And we found a great number of manuscripts written in the Syriac 20 language, from which we copied what was asked of us and translated it into Greek. This is what it says.

King Abgar said to Thaddaeus, "You have taught me correctly about how Christ came down to earth, about his amazing miracles and his suffering, about his burial and resurrection, and about how he was 25 miraculously taken up to the Father in his body, and I confess that he is the true God. But tell me how the image on the linen that cured me was made, since I can see it was not produced with ordinary paint, and explain its special strength, since when I saw it unfolded on your face I was cured of my illness and got up from my bed, and I felt the strength

30 that I had in my body when I was in my prime". And Thaddaeus answered, "When Ananias, who you entrusted the letters to, said in hope that apart from your health, you also wished to look upon the likeness of his face as it was seen, Jesus told him to come quickly to you

' The manuscript omits the negative R T), necessary to the sense and correctly restored by Dubarle.




pieta tfS EatLOtoXic avtov, Ev fj OOL Eva twv avtov µar9fltwv EatrlyyeLXato avtov av&XijpLV, octLS ELµi Eyw 6 Se, fjvLxa xtQos to ateµnaL pieta a*QwatLvrjv wv"LV xcLOtovµevoc 8eLExovoLOV ata*oc avtov aywvLwv rev XLav tov rravatov xal yaQ ataQ' w cpvGEL V 8E8'qµLOVQYT1tO Extr kft-v avtflofS aywvLwvtoc dhodd *Q6pi(3ouc tavtflS t9S 6*OvrjS Xa(36µevoc evatµatoc LBQwtac to xtQ6Owatov avtov EateotaXaGGEV. Kai


NS, %hoatep Ex tov µ ovtoS ovoiwoE *eotrltoc 'LoxiL to xtav, ovtwS avetyatwoato Ev to or96vrI to aatavyaoµa tfc pioQcpfc avtov. atQooEVxfc, Ev1 twv ovpixa*rJttV piov ataQEf eto tavtgv, Owpia, otL µrI xtaQ(0V fjµr)v Eydr xtaQfjyyeLXE 8e avtw io pieta*ELvaL tavtr)v E tot, Eva pieta trjV avtov avaXrl.LV xtQOayayw OOL.

io Kai xata(3ac axto tov oQovc

'Ioxvv be (VT exELV vxteQ(3akkovoav, xaL Y(1 'Q 6QLOpiciw be tov tavtrly LOQ EvveS OvV on cpwoapievov, CUS eLQTjtaL, xaL OoL 8L' Eµov

ov X 031E Qrl` EV EXELvw wUOL STI'tElto EYeveto 0 oe ovx EBoxeL avt?1ovbe av OateQ r) LovS, O 8E OUx fjv OOL EaatLs, exeivti pieV LVa pi pOv , axka ovv avt X& oL pieta be tCP oQwxaL to atav woxtoLr)ft , ooi & Eva pif µovoc ' pievw


atQootovtES wS GI) o4 wvtat. 'Eycih be tovto Wµr)v Ev to

atQoocbatov EtvaL aatavya4)w opia xaL otL piaXXov avto ooL oxttavetaL T1'ateQ E Y 6 xat cbS pi etLOtOV 'fateQ.1

oipeL µov xaL atQ6 QTjpiatwv BeLxvvS ov

tw tov Ocwµatoc µov tLµwv ov yaQ Eati µaoxaXijS aXX' CatL µetwatw to xaX- 20 XLOta xaL 31a pi' TO Eµc4, tcu be CattxsLµevw XoyioaO*aL T6 Exateµatopievov cPwS

8' EvQr)vtat xtQoS oLS ELQq'%aµev xcoBLII 'AXX' exatEQoL µev tavta. IIaQ' 8La tic ayiaS g be xai pieta tavta tEXeo*Evta 'Lv cpri6L, to 25 xaL to xata XooQoov tov (3aoiXEw; IIeQowv oS Ev oLS

A78EOOa xataOxeLv, EXaLwv

xai xXabovS JTWOvaS f *QoLxtc xvxX,w

tov teixovc avexavGEV. `O be tote µrjtQoatoXLxrjS E'M oS, Sifeic taLS E v ` axELQ0310ErltoS eLx cov Eµ EµoQcPwto atakaµaLS Eavtov t' v Ev T' orrovrl 6Qtvtwv twv atoXLtwv &vw to teLxrl 8L6)8EVev. Kai dog µovov to-LS ava-



with the letter, in which he promised to send you one of his disciples after his ascension, and I am that disciple. But Jesus, undergoing the passion of his own free will, believing that human nature fears death-

indeed death comes upon the very nature that was made to live5

taking this linen cloth he wiped the sweat that was running down his face like drops of blood in his agony. And miraculously, just as he made everything from nothing in his divine strength, he imprinted the reflection' of his form on the linen.

When he came down the mountain after praying, he gave it to Thomas, io io one of my fellow disciples, as I was not there. He told him to give it to me, so that after the ascension I could bring it to you. You say it has a special strength-this is by the command of the one who made it, as has been said, and who sent it to you through me. You can therefore see that it is not that the form requested came into being on it, as this did 15 not seem right, neither what you asked for, but what you did not hope

for, so that not only in this nature but together with it are all things given life. Therefore not only would you be saved but also everyone who comes forward to see this miracle after you. I have put it on my face and have shown in silence that this is the radiance of the face you 20 were seeking. It has made itself more visible to you than I have. And best of all, honouring the top part of my body-for the most beautiful part is the face, not that which is below the armpits-I attribute the light shining out not to my own face but rather to the face of the one on the cloth".

25 This is what they say, this is what we found in the manuscripts we ii mentioned above. Immediately afterwards are the miracles worked by the holy image, among which is the one related to Khusro, king of the Persians. It is said that when he was expecting to capture Edessa, he gathered together a large amount of olive branches and roots in a circle 3o around the wall and set fire to them. The bishop at the time, Eulalius,2 placed his hands on the linen where the image not made by human hands had been formed, and went round the top of the city walls so

' Greek &navyaoµa - the word used most often in this text for the image on the cloth. 2 The bishop's name is given as such here and in the Narratio de Imagine Edessena, written

shortly after this sermon. In the Greek Orthodox Synaxarion the name is given as Eulabius. No bishop of either name is known in the history of Edessa, which underlines even further the legendary nature of the story.




(3iaLOS avEµoS xaLovaL tr1v nvQxaiav to anavyaoµa cpXoya ' Vov nQOS to ,; avaxaiovtaS oev an' avtov xaL d1v

*vnEOtQecpev. `H 8E tovtouS EµnLiQa to xal &LCUbeuE xatacpXEyovoa.

a Envev-

FU' olba, xal nQOS tO avw 12 Tavta of natQLaQ)Lxw; aQxLEQdG*ctL 'avoLaot1 QLOV, EatEi xal nk Qwµa naQabooewc wS Qwµa voµov xata IIaUXov XQLOtoS, oS XEysL Ovx rjX*ov xataXiioai toy voµov, &Wt nkTIQG1oaL. Et bE µaxQav obov vnev8v*,qµev, 'va nXrjQCUOwµEV tfV naQaBooLV, 8La tovto xal nEQLOOov "jyr)µaL to Oeo86Qov nQOS 'IwavvrIv avt1nL*Eµeva tovtoLS, OµorIxovvta Ev anaaL, tcu enL xELQac Xoyqu ov nQOS auUaywyov1Evov ov; nXfl&L nQo(y6)EiobExsa*aL, turv nwv xal natayw cpwvwv o XoyoS, nQo; SE to µT1 nXoxaiS tExvLxat; OrIµatwv, aX,rj*ELa; anXotr)tL bE xQatvvoµevov.

13 'AW yaQ xaLQOS



µet' evcpQoovvrl; OEUi w KvQLE, µE*' cbv city

aQLfµoc ovx EotiLV Eba LXEVOw 1l1iV aya*Gwv, xal vvv ELQr V11V E(3Qa(3QEV-

oaS abe4a cpQovsLv ioroQLav 3TQoµr1*evo6µevo; xal naQabooLV xal ovx 15 EtL'..LE60V i ttV oxoLTj xtQaV tO val xal to ov, ovx Ett oov TO ExµayELov IIavtsS of tov £v6; auvQ }oµev noXvnQayµovnosL ti; oov ELVaL xal Cb5 ov *EOS Ex YEvsthv nQOS to ev, oµ 0CPQoveS anavteS, oµoxrIQvxES. aQxauwv Ev oocdLa navta noLCOV; avXov anXovv tO nQooexc;.IS anO oov bevovµnXoxr v, taS noQQw floe cpvosLS 7EQL5- 20 tEQOV cpw;, EvvXov xo1EVac ovQavciw tE xal 71, tCwov Ev Ex bvo tChv EvavtLwv µLxtov, ELxova tov av*Qwnov (Yr)v, £n16Lt16'.LOV Ex vecpthv, Ex nEtQa; avLxµov notaµLOv

Qovv xal tO vno tov f Xtov bvtw; xaLvov,

ev votatq) E anELQoya-

xai µEµoQcpwtaL r)µcpLaow tbv iLbQwta w' g o tov 'Abaµ tCO avL[t'q*EVtL 25 anaQcXXaxtoc

µov ytvrl µr)tQoS.

tO o[q&v aOS

7 Ei Se] Ot Se V, corr. Dubarle

24 ExTjxots V, corr. Dubarle



that everybody could see him. As soon as he showed the image to those

who were setting fire to the wood, a strong wind blew out of it and drove the rising flames back onto those who were lighting the fire. It burned and consumed them as it spread out.

5 This is what was recorded by those thought worthy, I know well, of 12 officiating as patriarchs even at the heavenly altar, since they have given us the fullness of tradition, just like Christ gives us the fullness of the law according to Paul, where he says "I have not come to destroy the law, but rather to fulfil it".' If wee have undertaken a long voyage in order

to to fulfil tradition, this is why I have thought it unnecessary to record Theodore's3 arguments against John, who is in perfect agreement with these present writings. At the same time, this work is not aimed at the ear that is captivated by a sea of faces or the loud noise of voices, but rather at the ear that is worthy of receiving it, a work not put together 15 with complex strings of words but rather in the simplicity of truth.

But now it is time to sing loudly and joyfully to God. 0 Lord, together with the countless good things you have given us, you have now brought us peace, taking heed that history and tradition are sisters in thought."Yes" and "No" no longer have a place among us, there will be no 20 more lengthy debate about whether the image is yours or not. All of us who belong to the One have come together as one, all with the same thoughts, all proclaiming the same faith. Who is like you, God, doing everything in wisdom from times of old? A second light, immaterial and unique, came devotedly from you, an unexpected and material 25 intertwining, natures distantly embracing heaven and earth, one living being made of two opposites: your human image, food from the clouds, a river flowing from a dry rock, and what is genuinely new under the sun, you were born a man in these last times from a virgin mother. You wiped clean4 the sweat of the nature you had taken on and what was 30 wiped clean was transformed into an image of your unchanging form, just like Adam's form was drawn out of the ground, like the eyes of

' The quotation is from the gospel of Matthew, not Paul. 2 The manuscript reading is oL Se. I have followed Dubarle's suggested emendation to EL Se.

3 Most probably Theodore of Studium, d. 826. 4 The manuscript has the optative aµr1xoLs, corrected as suggested by Dubarle to o!u'IxaLS.




xoi, wS of Ti; cpvoewc Ocp*ak[toi Tf nTVOµatL ow cpvQa*eLorl atrl?4. KaLQOS

OF toy 'IaQarlX xai RkX Ttetai xaQ&a oxX lQa 'aQaw xai SLaQQrlyvvtaL 3tsXayo; xal x6X3to; (3vtLOS ava3ttvoostaL xai 3tuQOS otvXo; Xaµrta8ovxeL, Iva 3190; Tlv xataatavoLV sttrlyyetXw Eki kUff L T9S E ALyv3tTOV


SLaoow*rl. 14

`Hxev 4thQa µetate*r4vaL oov to exl.Layetov aico Ta Athsooa 3190;


siToxaLS xai RLacTLyovvtaL to EJ cuv i twv a3tEL'fO'UVTwv (p'UOLS TQECpewv 3totaaLOS (?oUS EvcpQatov 3tsLQa?ovta ovotoµdUwv o*aL 'V' X& 3tacpX yLvstaL Tfl &tEQµatLotw vrjL, Xaov v3tTLOVtat, yaXrlvLa, 1QwQsvc

oiaxiteL, 3trlbALOVxsL, wS Tovtov iiTTgq&vta d3te v "Eyvwv vvv on *e- ro XsL r9s0S E)SLV Tovto vµd;, Xa(36vts; 3topsveo*s. Kai cpQvxTWQov0L xTTQwv

v1rE L'lµov aot Qa7taL t'v l Q aQ rl £v ,.I T Q RovaYaXXO evov Yeto EwS ofS ExQv xaTrlvTrlxsL ovvaQL*Ik8Lor*aL xa'L

15 "EtsoL 3tWotoLS 3taQ' aUO(P Xk i; rl 3taXaL (YOU xL(3wtOS ExsxQ6.tr1TO, 3tQOxaL 3tQ6O*ev x0QeveL (3aoLW)g r'Iya3trlµevo; 0OL o voLa (YOU


xal ayaWatcu T7j Tau ; xataitavoeL 6 ata; 'IOQafX.

3taL9 oov 'EvLavtot; nkFAOoL 3taQ' ol; EBOxeL ooL avextov 3taQ6xsL (YOU To a3tavyaoµa, rjvwtaL vvv to-LS 3taQa Tov exXextov oov tLIL(O[tL VOL; kao'U, t4 xaMµw, Td-L; TROL; OOV, Tw otavQq, ToLS aXXot; 065 rXsrl*rlµev, oLS aei xQataL20

Ov µs*a.

µakkov l tot; tov 16 Kai 3tQoitOQevstaL tQaL6g GOL (3aaLXevs Trl xQatov; otEcpeoL xaXXvvoµsvo;. IIQOO*ev o 3taTQL6EQxn; 3tUQ06S, Tw 3tvQsuu tov *vµlaµato; ELQywV 3tLµMEQUV toy 4L3tUQLOTTIV 01 yyaXov wS 'AaQwv,

oooL Te Tov (3rlµato; wQcdoLs 3too! To tvl; yi; 3caQLattvo06Q,svoL 3tQ6OWJtov,

siQrlvrly trly orgy svayyaXLiol.tsvot xai xaµ3ta8wv v3t6 thoU iaµµov TQ) 3tXf-


*EL vLxwvtoS 3taQaXLOV, avaxaLOµevov (wt;, xQvinTOV rtjXLov µapµaQvyaS, Ts 1XsLotaL atQoltoµ3tLOL LETa OvvEOew; aoµaTUUovoaL tot; Fig I.LLav ovv63tTOVOL xvQLOTrITa to TQLOayLOV aµLXXwµsvaL xaL taLS Ev ai; xOQLaQxOL LoocpwvcLv

3tQocprrTrl; Ts xai (3aoLk6)g 6 sEya; Dav'LB v3trl)ELV

ExLVeL Trly cpoQ[tLyya 3190; o Tw 3tv6ltaTL eQv*µAdsto.

6 µetate*eivaL V, corr. Dubarle

g ateQ LatioTcp] &veQµatiotw sugg. Dubarle




nature in the folds of the kneaded earth. The time has come to lead your people Israel out of Egypt, Pharaoh's hard heart has been smitten, the sea has been divided and its depths have been laid bare, a column of fire leads the way so that Israel may be saved in' the repose you have 5 promised. The day has come on which your image has been brought from Edessa

to the people you favour, and the things with which the nature of the unfaithful should have been fed have been punished. The raging


river Euphrates, closing the mouth of the vexatious people, is level and io calm, and miraculously becomes a helmsman to the ungoverned ship; it steers, it pilots, so that the people who have lost the Image say, "I know now that God wants you to have it, so take it and leave". The flashes of countless candles mark the way along which it is led in honour, until it reaches the objects with which it is to be counted together and glorified. 15 For many years your ancient ark was in the hands of the Philistines, but 15 it was saved by your providence. Your beloved king, your servant David danced in front of it and all Israel rejoiced in its resting place. For many years your radiance resided with those you tolerated, now it has been united to those things held in honour by your chosen people-the cane, 20 your nails, the cross and the other objects through which we receive mercy and in which we are always strengthened.

The radiant emperor marches in front, beautified more by walking on 16 foot than by the crowns of state. The patriarch is in front, dressed in red, by the fire of incense stopping the fiery angel spreading fire, just 25 like Aaron. Those who are of the sanctuary embrace the face of the earth with their beautiful feet, announcing your peace. There is light from the torches of the people, more than the grains of sand on the shore, blocking out the light of the sun, many groups of escorts, all singing in harmony, contending with those related to the one Lordship

30 thrice holy and with those groups in which choir-leaders play the cymbals together. The great king and prophet David struck the lyre in echo as he was inspired by the Spirit.

' Dubarle's edition has npov whereas the manuscript has nQoc.



17 TL taXXa; 6-XeLv Trly katoQLav E'SoxTlaac vvv flµa; Trl ataQabooEL avvaSov-

tic) Itye'IIat1 avvaaTQaattoµev. Kai FT XaµutQov xal µaQyaQwSs; eµoXvvs n tatL to ev r`pµty av(o*ev ti; etxovo;

oav, xai 1) tins µoQcpi;

oµa, to tv anoaµfXo 1EV, to &

vatEQ XLOVa, vateQ XL*ov (50 EgJELQoV WQaL-

(O1EV o' yap EOtL n ito; aµaQTLtV, o; xaQLTL ofl xai SaxQvoL µctavoia; 5 ovx cctoaA'EtaL. 'Eyyv; to'%ta KaC)&av OuvtsTQLIII.LevTly xal TetauteL'MX' CU OXOLVLOIIa xX,rlQovoµLa; XQLOtOV, vwµevrly, cptpLV, ovx xaLQO;'[ Lv (3oiXEVOao*aL to dxo; Ilrl xalh' r`lµwv Trly ovtw bwQEav 11NeLc a'tot; atovTlocoµe*a Ev tw µt l acpLEVaL toL; f stv oXLya wttaiovaLV, avtoi

7EQoXOX7twa6EµevoL twv atXeLOvwv trly acpsOLV. TL; ya'Q oQo; tfllty evxcO*aL Io

7(Q6;'&e6v; 'Acpe; i piv aµaQtavovOLV d1; fpiet; acileµev to-L; ocpeLXoumv. 't2

xataXXayic acpe; µeyaXa xai vatsQ aQLltµov w; oXLya fpset; ovn bciva, xal agthTlcL, µrl Til avtiSooet atoXvatQawovwv trly avTLBocLV, 3tapa(3cTTlc yap Ti; LSLa; yeve(lML voµo&OLa; aMvatov, on xal BLOow15

oLV r`jbiOV fI kaR(3avovoLV ETeQo1.

18 `O eL; aya*otrgTa ETOLµo; xai *attov avyxatuwv toL;, w; Xoyo;, Wb[ta vltaQxouoty xai ovbev, otbev Tic cpvoew; Trly ao&vetav, OTL eSrlµLO'QyrlOeV, OTL ta'tTlV ECpoQeOEV xaL E (V JLeJtoVt}ev


o'vataL tot; iteLQatoµevoL; tpity, £cp11 Tovto atolla XQLatov, ov evayyWov Tov xoapov xQLveL 6 *e6;.

xata to 20

be tic xaQLto; eX%tcpl9eLl]µcV, tva Ti; atQtTrl; £yyv; Tovto ayaOoTrlto; ov p,coLTFI rl xaL '[tag yeveo*aL atXtloLov a'ti;, a3tocpaaLetw; 0"7t8Q rlµev yevt ic*a atQLV tov vXov yeycvaµe*a, atQLv cpvXXoLc %Q'JttELV trly a(xTlpoa'vrlV elLrlxavt te*a. Fevrlaoµe*a be, eL to *e cz twv &V*QwatIVWV 7tQ0t4.1W1lcv co; vovvexsLc 25 twv vat8Q OeLov 8e aXrl*w; to ta; yQacpa; EQevvav, oatE'Q EGTL

Ig Mrl toivvv

oxvw Trly XaQLV, T(l)

EJTaLVOV aya*wv. MaQt'QLOV T'l tic exti xeLQa; LatoQLa; avevQeoL;, fl toL;

EVtei eL ta; &e a; V XacpwcL yQacpa; atecpaveQwtaL w; eixo;, E6 TL; ovv cwQovti; r`lla,Lv yeve0'40i l&eov; xai vltLatov viov; xaftaQotrltLrl xa*aQoeL, wV xwpi; 0O86!; Tov KUQLOV O"VEtaL, tcL; *eo3tveliotoL; 6L1vexw; yQacpaL;.

14 Nia5] t&ov V, corr. Dubarle





What else? You will now agree that our story fits in with tradition, and 17 we glow in the spirit at the paradox of the image. If there is any stain on the brilliant light of the image in us from above we will make it whiter

than snow, brighter than a sapphire. There is no stain from sin that 5 cannot be washed away by your grace and by the tears of repentance. The saying is not far away-I will not reject a contrite and humble heart. But, o portion of Christ's heritage, it is time for you to decide what is right. We should not work to obtain such a gift to our own detriment by not forgiving those who have offended us a little, when io we have been forgiven much more. For what is our rule for praying to God? Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. What a wonderful exchange! Forgive us great sins without number and we forgive others insignificant things. And he does forgive, not looking too closely at what we deserve for our deeds, for he cannot break his own 15 law, which he gives more gladly' than some receive.

The one who is prepared to come down quickly for our good, for 18 those who are nothing, the mere border of his robe, is aware of the weakness of our nature, as he made it and wore it. As he has undergone

temptation, he is able to help us in temptation. This comes from the 20 mouth of Christ, according to whose gospel God judges the world.

Let us not betray grace by neglect, let us rather be lit up with the 1g wonder of grace, so that this, being near the first goodness, may act as mediator and bring us near too, so that we can unhesitatingly be where we were before we tasted the fruit of the tree, before we 25 contrived to cover our shame with leaves. And we will become so if we value the things of God over those of man, as sensible people do. It is without doubt a divine trait to search the scriptures, which helps obtain riches beyond compare. Witness to this is the representation at hand, which was fittingly revealed to those who search the divine 30 scriptures in prayer. If we care about becoming gods or sons of the Most High through purity or purification-for without these nobody will see the Lord-let us continuously engage with the divinely inspired scriptures.

1 Following Dubarle's emendation t&Lov for the manuscript reading i&ov.

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Just as it is impossible, when the sun has set, for the pupils of the eyes 20 to be lit up if they are not struck by the sun's rays, so our inner spiritual eye of the soul cannot see what is right without the brightness of the divine scriptures. Christ, who is good by nature, tells us to search the scriptures, and let ourselves be persuaded to incline our intellect with our ear to him, and remain in the abyss of scripture with God-given zeal, since as the theologian says, abyss (this he calls the scripture) calls unto abyss (that of contemplation). So may we draw on the reservoirs of the soul and flow with rivers of living water from deep within.

to He will do this straight away for us if we so desire, if we look upon the 21 radiance and the immense beauty it is depicted with. For the radiance

was not depicted with the techniques of the art of painting, which


fashions images, providing a door for the mind to consider the original images.' Painting establishes a complete form with various beautiful colours, representing the cheeks with a blooming red, the encircling of

the lips with red, it paints the beard with flowery gold, the eyebrow with shining black, the whole eye in beautiful colours, the ears and nose in a different way, overshadowing the flanks of the imprint with a compound of qualities, and showing the chin with hair.

20 This reflection, however-may everyone be inspired with the expla- 22 nation-has been imprinted only by the sweat from the face of the ruler of life, falling like drops of blood, and by the finger of God. For these are indeed the beauties that have coloured the true imprint of Christ, because that from which they dripped was also embellished by drops 25 from his own side. Both are highly instructive-blood and water there, here sweat and image. 0 equality of happenings, since both have their origin in the same person. The source of living water can be seen and it gives us water, showing us that the origin of the image made by sweat is in fact of the same nature as the origin of that which makes the liquid 30 flow from the side. This is just like a spring pouring out fresh water which waters the tree of life from two principles. The one records God

and man in the same person, on the one hand marvellously producing something praiseworthy and superhuman, and on the other hand bringing about a circumscribed form like a man. The other principle 35 ordains with which colours the one made in the image and likeness (of 1 The mansucript has the senseless µoQµoL, corrected by Dubarle to µoQcpoi.



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God) should be adorned. And for the prototype to be transferred to the likeness, he does this himself with the sweat of the human form

he deigned to bear and, as befits the divinity, he decreed that the intellectual image in us, the one we had breathed into us by the first 5 life-giving visitation of the spirit as a good gift, should not be formed

from another source, just as he did not form his own image from anywhere else, but rather from a human nature, as it were from the sweat of the form he had taken on, with exactly the right colours. And what is this nature? Purity, calmness, rejection of all evil and whatever io

else belongs to this class of things, through which similarity to the divinity is formed. Indeed, an image not formed by such things is not like the prototype, and is called something else, not an image.

But o pure Son of the pure Father, Word, Wisdom, image, imprint, 23 radiance-for I call you all of these things as I am sanctified by recall15 ing them and the other similar names of you who are above all names and deeds-behold the crown which the pious zeal of the Emperor places on the radiance of your face and along with the imperial crowns, beautify it with diadems of grace on it like those of absolute sovereignty. Do not become weary of being the guardian of the church whose bride2o groom you are beyond all beauty. Strengthen your special army against blasphemers, free from all necessity those who look to you with pious

trust and give freely of your morning mercy to us all so that we can gratefully offer glory to the Father, to you the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for evermore. Amen.

The Synaxarion

Codices S

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Georgios Cedrenus, Compendium historiarum2

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1 Edited by Hippolyte Delehaye, Synaxarium Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae e Codice Sirmondiano nuns Berolinensi, adiectis Synaxariis selectis. Opera et studio Hippolyti Delehaye (Brussels

1902, reprinted 1985), 893-9042 Edited by I. Bekker, Georgius Cedrenus loannis Scylitzae ope, 2 vols. Corpus scriptorum historiae Byzantinae (Bonn 1838-1839), 308-315

The Synaxarion

On the same day, we recall how the form of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, which was not made by human hands, was brought from the city of Edessa to this divinely protected queen of cities.


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In life you wiped your form onto a linen cloth In death you were placed in the final linen shroud. A manmade tile bears your form, not made by human hands, My Christ, creator of all.

5 As it is written in the Holy Gospels, when the goodness of our Lord i and great God and Saviour Jesus Christ was working many wonders and his fame rapidly spreading everywhere, Abgar the ruler of Edessa heard about these things and wished to see our Lord Jesus Christ with his own eyes. He could not do so as he suffered from incurable illnesses.

io Black leprosy had spread over all his body and was gradually eating him away, and he was also affected by severe chronic arthritis. The one

was for him a source of unsightliness and wretchedness, the other a cause of sharp and piercing pain. As a result of this he never went out and none of his subjects ever saw him.

15 During the days of the holy passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, Abgar 2 wrote a letter and sent it to Jesus with Ananias. He told Ananias to make a drawing of Jesus, showing in all detail his age, his hair, his face and his whole bodily appearance, as Ananias knew the art of painting very well.


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The text of the letter was as follows. Abgar the ruler of the city of Edessa to Jesus the saviour, the good healer who has appeared in the city of Jerusalem. I have heard about you and your cures which you


carry out without medicine. I am told that you make the blind see, the 5 lame walk, you cleanse lepers and cast out unclean spirits and demons, you cure those who are tortured by lengthy illnesses, and raise the dead. Having heard all this about you, I have come to the conclusion that one

of the following things is true-either you are the Son of God doing these things, or God. I have therefore written to you to ask you to take io the trouble to come to me to cure the sickness I have. I have also heard that the Jews are murmuring against you and want to do you harm. I have a small but noble city, which is enough for both of us to live in peace.


Ananias went to Jerusalem and gave the letter to the Lord. He was 4 staring at him but could not get near him due to the crowd that had

gathered, and so he he climbed up onto a little rock that stood out from the ground and sat down. Ananias was kept his eyes on Jesus and the papyrus in his hand, trying to paint his likeness, but he could not take down his form at all as Jesus kept looking here and there and moving 20 his face from one side to another.


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Given that the Lord knows secrets and examines our hearts, he knew about Ananias's desire. He asked to wash and when he had done so, a cloth folded double into four was handed to him and after washing he wiped his undefiled and divine face with it. His divine form and aspect was imprinted onto the linen cloth and he gave it to Ananias saying, "Go and give this to the one who sent you". Jesus also wrote a letter,


which reads as follows:

Blessed are you, Abgar, for believing in me without having seen me. It 6 is written about me that those who see me will not believe in me, so io that those who have not seen me can believe and live. As for what you wrote to me about coming to you, I have to fulfil everything I was sent here for, and after fulfilling this be taken up to the Father who sent me. When I have been taken up, I will send you one of my disciples, called Thaddaeus, who will cure your illness and give eternal life and peace to 15 you and those with you. He will also see to it that no enemies conquer your city.



Epistola Iesu secundum Iv2

S Y Qc

' Ew axth S µ c. r YQ a7ttaL Y& QQ 7LLoTEuoa S EVE oL 7tEQi Eµov EwQaxota; µE FIT) 7LLOTE'UELV cv Eµoi, Na xai of EwQaxotECc pc µoL EkftEIv 7L06S GE, avtoi 7LLOTE6OwoL xaL rloovtaL. IIEQL SE ov BEOV 7tQWtOV 8L' wv &7tEOT6.Xrly 7taQa tov 7tsµsavto; RE 7La,iiQ(uaaL &vaXrl- 5 cp*r"IvaL µE 7LQ6S toy &7tooTELXavt6. µE IIat£Qa. Kai µsta tO aVaa,rlgYtlVat Max6 LO EL Av a

µ µrl

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av*Qw7E0 mix dpi aXX' av*QwJtOS xata &kr *F-Lav. TO E 8TIXoi Eyth *sOS 7LQCUtos xai 7rXrly µov ovx EaTLv aXXoS. TO v b1Xot vpLXOS (3aoLXci; xai *EOS twv *EC:ov. TO Q BrIXol 6voTrlc EyEVOpEVT V tov twv &v'OQw7t6Iv yCVov;.

TO a 8rlXoL avawtC7tavµaL v7tO tCUv XEQou[ Lµ. TO 8 b1 Xoi BLOXov xai 30 8Lrlvcxcih; xai 8LautavtOS xai 8MREvwv cis tov; aui)ya;.



Jesus' letter according to Iveron ¢33

Blessed are you, Abgar, for believing in me without having seen me. It is written about me that those who see me will not believe in me, so that those who have not seen me can believe and live. As for what 5 you wrote to me about coming to you, first I have to fulfil everything I was sent here for by the one who sent me, and after fulfilling this be

taken up to the Father who sent me. When I have been taken up, I will send you one of my disciples, called Thaddaeus, who will cure you and those with you, and give you eternal life and peace. He will also io see to it that no enemies ever conquer your city, which is called Edessa. For it is written about me, blessed are those who have not seen me and yet believe. You have not seen me and yet you have believed, and so

the salvation of your soul and body and your household is stored up for you and for the salvation of those who look on you. I came down 15 from heaven for the sake of mankind, to dwell in a virgin in order to wipe away the sin that was committed in the Garden of Eden. I humbled myself in order to glorify you. This is my letter and wherever it is read, whether in a court of justice or on the road, if you have fever or you are shivering or are suffering from an overdose of medicine or zo anything else like this, you will be freed from it. May he who bears it with him be holy and clean and kept safe from all trouble. May it be read to heal and give great joy, because the text was written by my own hand and I have sealed my letter with my own seal, seven seals in Hebrew letters, which are given below, and when translated mean, 25 godly wonder of the God of Gods + W E Y P A A. The cross means that I underwent it willingly. The T means that I am not just a man according to appearances but in truth. The E means that I am God alone and besides me there is none. The Y means that I am a great king and God of Gods. The P means that I became the deliverer of the 3o human race. The A means that I rest on the Cherubim. The A means that I am eternal, everlasting, perpetual, and I exist for ever and ever.'

' The explanations (apart from the cross) all depend on the first letter of the relevant Greek word. T is the first letter of pL?,os (according to appearances), E is the first letter of syth (the first person singular pronoun), Y is the first letter of vpLX65 (great or elevated), P is the first letter of Qvaiiic (deliverer), A is the first letter of &vaatetavµaL (I rest) and A is the first letter of the Greek words Mkou, Su]vsx(bS and &wtavt65 (all meaning eternal) and the first letter of the expression S&aµevwv els zov5 aitvas (existing for ever and ever).



7 'EJti*sis Ev tw TeXcL xa'L ocpQayLBas SSST& yQdµµaoLV e(3QdCH(Ag orIµaOEoas, aLnLVS; [LEt4EQ 1flv8VO[tEVaL Tovto 8rlXovoL t&EOV t&c(,OV *ELOV '&avµa.

icvos nEQLxaQcos toy 'AvavLav xai ncc by xai tQooxvvr (Yas t v &yLav xai axQavtov ELxova tov xvQLov ?tLotcL xai mot p 3toX?4 'LdT naQaxQtjµa &xro tt1s vooov avtov, µLxQov TLVos AELtpdvov ev t4

8 `O SE AvyaQos


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oov ML5

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He sealed it with seven seals in Hebrew letters, which when translated 7 mean godly wonder of the God of Gods.

Abgar received Ananias with great joy, and fell down and worshipped 8 the holy and undefiled image of the Lord. Thanks to his great faith and 5 desire he was healed immediately from his illness, although a small spot of leprosy remained on his forehead.


After Christ's saving passion and his ascension into heaven, the apostle g Thaddaeus went to Edessa and took Abgar to the pool, baptising all his household in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. When he came up from the water the small spot of leprosy had been cleaned.

From that moment on, Abgar always revered and honoured the divine Io likeness of the Lord's form and desired it to be revered the same as all



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his other treasures, and placed them together. One of the ancient noble founders of Edessa's nobility had made a statue of some Greek god and put it at the public gateway into the city. Everyone who wanted to come into the city had to worship the statue and pray to it and then enter the 5


Abgar took this impure and devilish statue down and destroyed it. He ii embellished the image of our God and Saviour, which had not been made by human hands, fixed it to a wooden board, and put it up in the statue's place. He wrote on it Christ, God, whoever hopes in you io will never be let down. He also gave order that everyone who came through the gateway had to pay the due respect to the miracle-working and reverent image of Christ and then come into the city. The order of this praiseworthy man was kept in force during his own 12 lifetime and that of his son.



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Abgar's grandson inherited his father's throne, but slipped away from 13 his piety and went over to idols. He wanted to set up another devilish statue and take down the"image of Christ.

The bishop of the city found out about this from a divine revelation, 5 and made the following plan. Given that the place was shaped like a cylinder, he showed great foresight and lit a lamp in front of the divine image and put a tile on top of it. He then sealed the surface off with gypsum and bricks, finishing the wall off on the same level. As the image was no longer anywhere to be seen Abgar's evil grandson gave io the plan up.


After a long time had elapsed, people forgot all about how the divine representation had been hidden. Khusro, the king of the Persians, had sacked the cities of Asia and came to Edessa. He brought up every kind of machinery and threw the inhabitants of the city into confusion and fear. They had recourse to God, and entreated him with tears to see if they could find immediate safety.





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One night a glorious woman appeared to the bishop, Eulalius, telling 16 him, "You will do well to take the divine form of the Saviour, not made by human hands, that is hidden above this gate of the city" and pointing out the spot after carrying out the prescribed rites.

5 The bishop found the place and opened it. To his great wonder he 17 found the divine image unharmed and the lamp still burning after all this time. Another unchangeable likeness of the first one had formed on the tile that had been placed in front of the lamp to keep it safe. He showed these things to everybody and they were filled with indescribio able joy and thanksgiving.

The bishop took the image, held a litany and gave thanks. He went to the place where the Persians were digging, given away by the noise of the bronze utensils. As they came near each other he poured out oil from the lamp onto the fire the enemy had prepared, and killed every 15 one of them.




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The Persians had lit a fire outside the walls to use against those inside, Ig fed by numerous olive and other trees they had cut down. When the bishop drew near with the divine figure, a strong wind suddenly blew up and turned the flames back on those who were lighting the fire. It 5

pursued them and burnt them up, so that the Persians suffered more than actually doing anything and left with nothing accomplished.

As all good things are gathered in the capital city, it was God's will for 20 the holy and undefiled image to be with the other great treasures. The Roman emperor Romanus made haste to enrich the capital city with io the image. On various occasions he had sent to Edessa and asked for the figure of 21 the divine man. He offered twelve thousand silver coins and two hundred Saracens whom he held captive at the time. In his desire to have this noble object he agreed to all the conditions and guaranteed that 15 the Roman armies would not attack the four cities. He thus obtained what he wanted and met all the conditions that were asked of him.



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The emir agreed and gave way, and so the bishops of Samosata and 22 Edessa, together with some other nobles, took the holy representation and the letter written by Christ. Many wonderful miracles were worked along the way.

5 When they came to the theme of the Optimatoi and to the church of 23 the mother of God, called the church of Eusebius, many people suffering from various diseases came forward in faith and were healed. One came in who was possessed by a demon and ended up prophesying, Receive your glory and honour and joy, Constantinople, and you, io Porphyrogenitus, your kingdom. He was immediately cured.

On the fifteenth day of the month of August in the year six thousand 24 four hundred and fifty two since the creation of the world, the bearers

of the holy object arrived at the church of the mother of God in Blachernae. The emperors, the men of rank and the rest of the people 15 received it, and worshipped it with great reverence and joy. The next day, after kissing and worshipping the image of Christ, bishop 25

Theophylactus and the young emperors took it on their shoulders. The elder emperor stayed at home as he was ill, but all the members of the Senate and all the clergy joined the procession with the due 20 accompaniment all the way to the Golden Gate.



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From there they went to the far-famed great church of the Wisdom 26 of God, singing psalms and hymns and accompanied by numerous torches and lights. Performing the proper ritual there, they went to the royal palace and into the church of the Mother of God called Pharos, where they placed the sacred and holy figure of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, for the glory of the faithful, the safety of the emperors and to safeguard the whole city together with the Christian community.

Synaxarion secundum Iveron 797 Saec. XV £ Igga - 2ooa

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`O yaQ AvyaQos vato µwXaiVrls xeatQas xai aQ*9LtLboc xatsbaitavato xai 10 avtov axovoaL xai µr) bvvd isvos Ets*tiµeL toy 'Irloovv LMEty xai trly ao*evELav avtov EX&stv 1cQos avtov, EJtsi tO µixoc tic oMov ,7tOk1 xai Ex3reµMs1 tavE1V rlv, y@acpEL atQos tov 'Irloovv EJrLotOXYIV pEta 'AvaviOU tLvos L;wyQacpoU t4) 'Irloov, EvtstXdµsvos avtw tI v toQcprlV to'U XQLOtoO RCta 3r6torls axQL(3sLcc LotoQfloaL xaL ayaysty. KataXa(3cnv 15 ovv to `IsQoooXuµa o 'AvavLas xai siQthv tov 'Irloovv XQLOtov E7tL8L88L ovv oorl Lox'OEL avtov trly avtcu thv EatiOtoX,rly tov AvyaQou r&day µoQcprly tov XQLOtou &L' OXLx(uv xQwLLatwV ci; xaQtrly EyyQtaL aatayaysLv. ovv sLbsv onL ov MvataL tr]V µoQcpflV LotOQflaaL, ExaXsosv avtOv 20 `Q2 o 'Irloovs XEywv "°AvavIa, ixt v avscpLxtwv µrl E7tLx6[QEL" xaL aLtrloaS o &L

'Irloovs vbwQ xa! vhias to itQooowxtov avtov oLvbovL, tovto EVaatoµattEL xa! MLMsL tw Avavia XEywv "aarobws t4 altootsLXavti of AvyaQos xai dnE' avtov r`l xaQLs l.LEra oov xai I.LEyaXrl oou r`l atLotLS xai l.LaxaQLOS d AvyaQE xai to IS r1S ESSLOto fig' ci&b S ! E atEitLOtsuxa" xai t Q Loµaxa Lo S Q S onL


am 6 AvyaQos [tEta rnntsos


xai atQooxuvrloac Ti v *dav

iOQcprlV xai o),w t4 ocuµatI avtov EttL*ELs ataQaXQflµa Taftrl. MEta Me tO owtrlQLov ata*os xai tfiV avaXrl Lv Oabbatos 6 aatootoXos nQos AvyaQov JtaQEyEVCto xai (3aartLL;EL tovtov JtavoLxi xai toy etsQov Xaoy tic 'EMEorI;. `O be AvyaQos trly &dav LOQcprlV tov XQLOtov Fig trlV 3r5Xrly Trig jT6kE(09 30 *co3tQE7cci1S avsotdXwoc, boyµa Ex'&Eµcvo; atavtaS ExELV11V atQOOxuvsty, ESSLyQawas xai tavta sic ItIOtWOLV tots 6QC06LV XCywv& "XQLOtE 6 *sOS, o Fig of EX7tLL;wv oux aatotuyxaVEL atotC.

The Synaxarion according to Iveron 797

On the same day, we recall how the form of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was not made by human hands, was brought from the city of Edessa to the queen of cities, Constantinople. 5

In life you wiped your form onto a linen cloth In death you were placed in the final linen shroud. A manmade tile bears your form, not made by human hands, My Christ, creator of all.

When the goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ was working many wonders, his fame reached Abgar the ruler of Edessa. Abgar was being io eaten away by black leprosy and arthritis, and wanted to see Jesus and hear his voice, although he could not go to him on account of his illness. As it was such a long journey he wrote a letter to Jesus with a

request and sent it with Ananias, an artist, telling him to paint the form of Christ in all detail and take it back to him. Ananias came to Jerusalem, found Jesus Christ, and gave him the letter from Abgar. He was doing all he could to paint the divine form of Christ on the papyrus, but when Jesus saw that he could not paint his form, he called him over and said, Ananias, do not attempt what is impossible. Jesus then asked for water, washed his face and dried it on a linen cloth. He 20 gave it to Ananias saying, "Give this to Abgar, the one who sent you, and say to him, Grace be with you, for great is your faith. And blessed are you, Abgar, and thrice blessed, because you have believed without seeing me", and the rest of what is in the letter. Agbar received "this with faith, worshipped the divine form and put it on all his body-he 25 was immediately healed. After the saving passion and ascension, Thaddaeus the apostle came to Abgar and baptised him together with all his household and the rest of the population of Edessa. Abgar put the divine form of Christ up on the city gateway, a most suitable place, and ordered everyone to worship it. He also wrote these words for the 30 crowds of believers, Christ, God, whoever trusts in you will never be 15



Tic 'EbEoTjs EL'ETCOV be bLayEVOµEVwv atoXXCihv 7taQEXa(3E ELxova TOv bwaAX6tTQT15 TLS aan)vfc xai aatav*QwatOc MA XQL6T0'U xa*sXcty xai ELbwXov &VT' akT g ExcLoE xaTaitf aL. To'UTO yvovs O EarLoxOatOs Tf c 'EbCOT)s

wv xaL *QuaXXLba atQOc Try f''ELa ExcLV7j

TavTTlV 5 ELXOVL avawac xai xCQaµoV EatLl9 LC TLTavw xai atXiv*oLs sic oµakr V EarL(pavELav To TELxos &JTTp'U*vvE. Ti ovv To evTE'UIaEV 06 IIEQoaL EW6CkLOs

xaT( Tic 'EbCoT


Aa(36v O eatioxoatos

axELQoatoLTITOV ELxova TOO xvQLov xaL E6(YT OFv 6 EatL(Sxo-

atos ELS TOv atOXEµov xQaTCUv Tf v ELxova Xaµatovoav vatCQ Tov f XLov. OL be avtOLS at'UQ a'UT(YUS bLcoxcL 10 ELxOva IICQoaL tbovtes TfIv

atOXLs E a{t v. XQOvwv be xai vatex(bQovv aatQaXTOL xat YXEVT9 Qtfni bLabQ%t6vTwv atoXX&v Ev Tw xaLQCA) Tov BaoiXEws °Pwµavov bCbwxs Tw aRTIQa tic 'EbCOT)S &Qyvpiov otaT&µov xLXLabas b(ubexa xad EaQaxflvovs bLaxo6LOVS Ovs dxc ToTE 6 Pa(SLXE'US a'xitaX(hTOVc dg otbTlQa. Kai oTELX,as a&Ta T(:p (3aoLXEL Tic 'EbCuj avTLXn ws TfV LEQav ELxova TOO XQL(TTOV


xaL To xQLoTOyQa(pov earLOTOXLbLOV Cl OL aTaXEvTEs eati(yxoatOL aveX6(3oVTO

xaL Try Owµaiwv yi atQoGECWEQoV atavTOLa e av*Q(bJtwv aatsXativwv voo7-µaTa xai baut,oves XavvovTO xai ExQadov "aat6Xa(3E Kwv6TavtLvotiaroXLS Tov [ yav *qoavQov xai ov `Pwµave IIOQCpvQOyEVVTITE (3aoiXELa", Tic (3aaLXELas xaTa Tf V E xai bExaTT)v Tov avyov(STOV. `O be Pa6LXE'US ataTQLaQxTjs Ta'UTTjv xaTaataoagEVOL ExTOTE 7tav'1'l7uQLV (paibQav ExTEX01J6LV.




let down. Many years went by and a harsh and savage idolater became king in Edessa, who wanted to destroy the image of Christ and set up an idol in its place. The bishop of Edessa, a Godfearing man, found out about this and lit a lamp in front of the divine image, put a tile on 5 top of it and sealed the surface off with gypsum and bricks, finishing the wall off on the same level. And what happened when the Persians attacked Edessa? Bishop Eulalius took the image of the Lord, which

had not been made by human hands, and went onto the battlefield holding the image, shining brighter than the sun. When the Persians io saw the miracle-working image, they thought it was fire pursuing them and left, accomplishing nothing. And so the city was freed from them.

A long time went by and in the days of the emperor Romanus, he gave the emir of Edessa twelve thousand silver coins and two hundred Saracen prisoners of war that the emperor was holding in chains. He

15 handed them over to the king of Edessa and took in exchange the holy image of Christ, together with the letter Christ wrote, which the accompanying bishops took charge of. When they came into Roman territory, everyone was cured of their illnesses, and demons were driven

out shouting, "Receive this great treasure, Constantinople, and you, 20 Romanus Porphyrogenitus, success in your kingdom". This took place on the sixtenth of August. The emperor and the bishop established the day as a joyful celebration thereafter.

Epistola Abgari secundum Protaton 83 (P) et Vatopedi 928 (V) Protaton 83 (saec. XII) £288b - 2goa Vatopedi 928 (saec XII) £ 32ob - 322a

'Eaaiato? r) yQacp£toa vato AvyaQov tonaQxov OWTfQL 'IrIoov xai at£µcp*£toa 8L"AvavLou xovQooQo; £L; `I£Qoooxvµa. AvyaQo; ToataQxT1; 'It)oov EwtfQL aya*c avacpavevTL Ev atoX£t `I£QoooX,vµoLs, xauQ£Lv. "HxovotaL µoL to at£QL (YOU, xai twv otV Laµatwv, w; xai Ev Xo- 5 OTL av£v cpaQµaxwv xai (3otavwV vato oov ytvoREvwv, & ycp TvcpXov; u3X6t£LV atoL£t; xwXov; at£QLataT£tV XeatQo'c xa*aQLL;£L; xai axa'&aQta atVF- [tata ex(3aXX£L; xai Too; Ev [taxQoVOOL06

*£Qaat£v£L; xai yvvatxa aLµoQQoovoav oov aiaµevrjv iaow xai V£xQOV; r`jy£LQa;. Kai Tavta axovoa; at£Q' oov, xata vovv WµrIV To &T£QOV twv 8U'O Tl OTL ov £L O *£O; 6 xaTa(3a; E OOQavo0 xai atOL£t; TaOTa, Tl On vLO; Io £L Tov &OD atottV Tavta. 'Ibov Toivvy yQai(X; E8£r)*rJV oov oxvX,tjvaL xai

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TITL; cLQxeo£L '[tcpOTEQOL;, aµnjV.

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AEov nQCOTOV SL' O an£otcLXflV ataQa' ToU JTE[LVcivTO; lt£ atX7jQwoaL xai

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µ£ xai attot£voavT£; TQLOµaxcQLOL SE oil µT) iBovT£; xai acLOT£v(JavT£;,

bt£L8T xai ov µT) ewQaxcb; µ£ EatLaT£voa; 'TOLµaoTaL owTTJQLa 'tvxi; xai owµato; T(T) otxq) oov atQO; owtTiQLav Ttuv (3X£at6uvtwv o£ xai yaQ 25 Eyd ExXLVc o'OpcivoI); xai xcitfjX't&oy bia TO yevo; Twv av*Qthatwv ((xrloa be ataQ'&£vtxT)y otxtloty LVa TTIv ataQ6(3aoiV Twv Ev ataQab£Low

Eavtov ETaat£Lvwoa Lva vµd; µ£yaXvvw auTrI be r) EattotoX1 µov Oatov E(Iv atQo(3xrj*% £IT£ Ev bixrl £LT£ Ev '86), £LTE Ey 3tUQth000OiV Ti q ixiw0Lv 4 "Hxovotau] "HxouotE V I w5 om. V 5 yevoµevwv V 12 xal (I) om. V 14 fjtt;] 18 it LWavta µe] add. natQo; V 18 xal µeca to nXfjQcooaL om. V L tL; V 20 xai] xe V I *EQanevoet] xal *eQanevosL V 23-p. 118.6 tQL;µaxaQLOL ... deperditus 11


The Abgar Letters as recorded separately in Mount Athos manuscripts Protaton 83 and Vatopedi 928

A letter written by Abgar the ruler to Jesus the Saviour and sent to Jerusalem with Ananias the messenger. Abgar the ruler to Jesus the good Saviour who has appeared in the city of Jerusalem-greetings. I have heard about you and your cures, about how without medicine 5 or herbs you heal people. By your word only you give sight to the blind, make the lame walk, the deaf hear, you heal lepers, you cast out unclean demons by your word, you cure those who are tortured by lengthy illnesses. You healed a woman with a blood flow who touched you, and you raise the dead. I have heard all this about you and come io to the following conclusion-either you are God who has come down from heaven to do this, or you are the son of God and do it. By writing to you I am asking you to take the trouble to come to me and heal my suffering. I have also heard that the Jews are murmuring against you and seek to kill you. I have a holy city, which is large enough for both 15 of us. Amen. Jesus' answer to Abgar sent with Ananias the messenger. First of all

I have to fulfil what I was sent here for, and after that I have to be taken up to the one who sent me. After I have been taken up, I will send you one of my disciples, whose name is Thaddaeus although he is 20 also called Thomas. He will heal you and those with you, and give you eternal life. He will also make it impossible for any enemy to conquer your city, which is called Edessa. It is written about me that blessed are those who see me and believe, but thrice blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. Since you have not seen me and have believed in 25 me, your whole household will be saved in both body and soul in order that all who look on you will be saved. I left heaven and came down to earth for the sake of mankind. I came into a virgin's womb so that the sin of Eden could be wiped away. I humbled myself to glorify you. Wherever this letter of mine is read, whether in private or in public,



boa tovtiotS cpaQµaxstcov Exovoty, rj xatiaSsoµov Exovoty rj 0µoa Eott btaXiftovtat. "Eoto So (PoQCOO avtTI ' v aYvbS atsxoµEVO S alto 7tav't6s 3tovqQov eayeatos xat Xey st avz' v EIstaoty sLvaL X& xaeaV tbo s 0 yQ a o s y£ ye aJtiat T-i t& t µov xstQ µ s'ta i nsoQ ayRsR tiffs Eµfc EocgQaytoa SE thv £7ttotoXfv E7t'ta ocpQaryLoty, ctt nVSS vito'ts'tayµEVat EL6LV. +' E 3 E a A




for those in heat or those in cold, for those who have been bewitched or poisoned, or in other similar cases, they will be delivered. Whoever carries this letter should be holy and free from all evil, and should read it for healing and firm joy. I have written this letter myself and sealed it with my own seal. I have sealed this letter with seven seals, which are copied below. + IF e 3 e a d

Docheiariou 235 saec. XVIII'

'EnioroXTI AvyaQov nQOS toy Ku Lov 4t hV 'IrIoovv XQLOtov. "HxovoraL Eµoi T6 JTEQi oov xai tcihv o(OV iaµatwv, C;rv avcv (3otavthv xai cpaQµaxwv noLELS &QanLa;, On t4 Xoyw µovw, tvcpXoLS to (3Xensiv xai to'US ev 1cixQOVOOLCZ

xwcpOLS tO &xoTJELv, XEJtQo'US Xafta

xai yuvaLxa aLµooQQovoav (YOU agicgsEvTjV


iaow xai ov)xvntovoaV tov viov tic )T1QaS ex vExQuty TiyEtQa;. Kai navta tavtcl &xo'UOa; atEQi oov a"V*QwnE, xata voUv F'MttlV Ei; BEVtEQOV tO E'LEQov On o'U EL O viOS toil *co'U 6 ex toil o'UQavoU xatap&S tavta atoLCOV'

8La tovto BEOµaL (YOU µEt( yQaµµatwv, xai ataQaxaXw GE EwS eµov ekiwv µ (lna LwoLI Na xai To' 3t&&o; OnEQ Exw l9EQ(XJL6oq xai (1) aitVLOv Lo xai ELQr)vrly naQexrIS. Kai JtoLTjoTflS t JT6 EL µov tO ixavov it O; to µrjBEVa TCOV eX*QCOV xatLOxvoaL avtty EwS tic ovvteXELa; tov aicuvoS. 'HxovotaL µov xai tovto ncQi oov, KiQLE, On of 'IOVBaLOL xatayoyy1 OU0L CT, xai 1jotLS Poi XovtaL of avca£Lv. "EonL O'UV [tOL JLOXLS (3QcixvtatrI xai 'EQQChG*ai poi xeXEVOov, K,6(4 µov. aQxeoEL aµcpotsQoLS iRLV xai



&vtEyQaTUE nQ0S AvyaQov o KvQLoS trlv Ma%6LQLO; EL, AUyaQE, xai µaxaQLa i t(XLS oov, "TLS xaXELtaL "Ebcooa.

MaxaQLOS ci On eniotcvoa; ci; e[te µ1'] ewQaxwS µE. I'e3LQantaL y$Q JtEQi eµovi µaxaQLoL oL µt1 ibovtES xai JTLOtcvoavtES, ov be µt1 ewQaxwS µE n8JLLotEuxaS, 'OyLELa EtoLµaoftFEtcL 0OL BLanavtOS, ooL tE xai tf xt )XEL 20 oov. IIEQi be wy EyQa'LI16Cc µoL tov With t OS GE, UEOV eoti JTXTlQC.&oaL &vaXTjgx"vaL nQOS toy anOOtELXavta µE JtatEQa &JtootcXCO be 0OL EVa

tciv µa*qtCUV µov ovoµatL Oa88aLov xai Owµac, oonLS xai tO Jta*o; oov ftQanE1JOEL xai

aibvLOV xai

GOL naQaOXOL xai


n()X£L tO ixavov, JTQOS 1Tjbeva twv ex*Qd)V xatLO)uoaL a' Tt g EwS tic 25

ovvtcX£La; tov aithvoS. Kai ycQ ExXLVav oiQavoi; xai xattj &oV 8La µtjtQav eavtOy Na t'YIv JtaQaPaoLV t71V ey tCU naQabcLOC0 Etancivowoa Na µEyaXw; vwwow, Jtavta vnoµevw Na &Va(36ow Ei; v$oS O"Jtov Eay JtQoPXT1*fj, ELT- eV O&u 30 tov &v*Qwnov. Avtrl be µov TI

thV owtTJQLav tov yevovS twv &v*QtJtwv JtaQ&EVLxhv

1 The pages are unnumbered in this late manuscript.

Docheiariou 235

A letter from Abgar to our Lord Jesus Christ. I have heard about you and your cures, about how without medicine or herbs you heal people. By your word only you give sight to the blind, make the deaf hear, the lame walk, you heal lepers, you cure those who are tortured by lengthy 5

illnesses. You healed a woman with a blood flow who touched you, and you raised the son of the mourning widow from the dead. I have heard

all this about you, my Lord, and come to the following conclusionyou are the son of God and have come down from heaven to do this. I am therefore writing to you to ask you to deign to come to me and io heal my suffering, and give me eternal life and peace. You can also make sure that no enemy will ever conquer my city until the end of the age. I have also heard, Lord, that the Jews are murmuring against you and seek to destroy you. I have a city that is small but holy, and large enough for both of us. Give the word for me to be healed, my Lord. The Lord received the letter and wrote back to Abgar.Blessed are 15 you, Abgar, and blessed is your city, which is called Edessa. Blessed are you for believing in me without having seen me. It is written about me that those who see me will not believe in me, and you have believed in me without having seen me and so good health is stored up for you and 20 for your city forever. As for what you wrote to me about coming to you,


first I have to fulfil and then be taken up to the Father who sent me. When I have been taken up, I will send you one of my disciples called Thaddaeus and also Thomas, who will cure you and give you eternal life and peace. He will also see to it that no enemies ever conquer your city. I left heaven and came down to save mankind, and I dwelt in a virgin mother to wipe away the sin that was committed in the Garden of Eden. I humbled myself in order to glorify you. I endured everything so that I might exalt mankind. This is my letter and wherever it is read,



(pvkax , Ev BLxaotflQk,) 11 Ev aQxovoLV, rj Ev (3aoLXsvoLV, rj Ev notaµcw Ev *aXao6 ,I T1 Ev v6aw T"I Ev a wotLa 11 Ev ovxo avtLC(" Ev 8aL OVLX; ovµcpoQa xaL 8La naoL xal navtoLwv Eotl ovµcpEQov, toe exovtoc tr1v svx)v 11


tavtrJv EOtw S£ 6 toLOVtoc av*9wnoc BLxaLOc, aµsµnros, ansxoµsvos &no navtoc xaxov xa6 o avayLVCUOxwv avrr)v Ev T(L) xw avtov xaL sic to noLµvLa avtov xai dLc toes aµneXwvac avayLV6hoxwv avti v Ev tw otxw avtov xai sic to noLµvLa xaL Fig avtov EotaL svXoyrJssVfl




oti oXoyQacpoc EotL try ibLa xsLQL µov, EocpQayL(Ya SE tr)v EnLOtoXrly tavtrly,

ocp9ayL8ac t o nvsc EtO6v vnotEtayµevaL Ev*aBs + + Y E X P A

`O OV otavQos 8rlX6L Sit Ex VsxQwv avaotaot-Qoa nayrlc Ev avtw os io &v*Qwatos cuc xai *Fog aatafc rµstva. To + 8r)x6L ipLk6g av*Qwatos

ovx std &W *soc oyac xai navtwv

To s 8rjXOL Eyw &oc

t wtos xai atX1 v µov &XXoc ovx Eotiv. To x 8rjX6L Xsgov(3Lµ xai Es@acwLµ Ayw avanEnavµaL. To Q 8rlX6L &votrIc Eysvoµsvrjv navtwv &v*QwnWv we esos µtyac. To v 8rjX6L v LMs (3aGLXsec xai *Fog twv &swv. To 8 6'gk6L 8t'gV6xwc tw xai 8LIXµevw sic toes akwvac.

2 voow] oaw, cod.




whether on the road or in prison, in a court of justice or in the senate house, or in the royal palace or in a river or on the sea, or in illness or sickness, or if you are falsely accused, or in cases of demonic possession, in all kinds of difficulties, whoever has this prayer and this letter, may 5 such a man be just, blameless, and kept safe from all trouble. Whoever reads it in his house or over his cattle or over his vineyard, reading it in his house, and over his cattle and over, they will be blessed because this

whole letter was written by my own hand and I have sealed this letter with seven seals, which are given below + + 1I' E X P A. Io

The cross means that I rose from the dead and that I underwent it as a man, although I was still God incapable of suffering. The W means

that I am not a mere man but a great God, the creator of everything. The E means that I am God alone and there is none besides me. The X means Cherubim and Seraphim, I rest (on them). The P means that I 15 became the deliverer of all mankind as a great God. The Y means that I am a great king and God of Gods. The A means that I live eternally and exist forever and ever.'

1 The explanations (apart from the cross) all depend on the first letter of the relevant Greek word. W is the first letter of uXos (mere), E is the first letter of eyth (the first person singular pronoun), X is the first letter of xeQov(3iµ (Cherubim), P is the first letter of pvotr1S (deliverer), and A is the first letter of the Greek word 8urlvex6)5 (eternal). The explanation in the seals in this manuscript leaves much to be desired. An explanation is given of the letter Y when it it is not given as one of the seven letters, and the grammar in the sentence about the Cherubim and Seraphim is faulty. That said, the explanation of the letter T makes more sense here than it does in Iveron 433.

The Menaion



K Iv


Megistes Lavras 393 saec. XIII £ 76a - 78b Megistes Lavras 751 saec. XVI f. 143b - 154a Megistes Lavras 76o saec. XIII £ 139b - 147a Megistes Lavras 905 saec. XIII £ 251a - 258a Megistes Lavras 1284 saec. XIV (1341) £ 259a - 265b Panteleemon 54 saec. XII £ 19b - 28a Docheiariou 32 saec. XII £ 102b - Lnb Hosiou Gregoriou 228 saec. XII £ 163b - 178b Koutloumousiou 3404 saec. XVI £ 1o8a - 111a Iveron 1684 saec. XVIII £ 8ob - 88a

t14 avtw Ls. Eis 'n v atavostnov xai axELQoatOLT tov Eixova

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ML2 Maui tcu avtlu Ls. Eis 'd v atavaeattov Eixova XQLOtov tov *sou f t &v.

ML4 Maui tCO avt4 Ls. Eis

atavoelttov xai axELQoatoirjtov Eixova

XQLOtov tov akqftLVOV l9EOU rl tthv.


ML5 P D Mrlvi tw avtcu is. `H e 'Ebeoorjs avaxoµLbrI tov ayiov µavbv

Iv G Tut avtw nevi, Ls. `H EJ 'Ebeooqs avaxoµIbr tfls axsLQOJTObgtov EixOvos to'U Ku9LOV [LCOV Ii ao'U XQL6roO, YjtoL tov ayiov

K Maui tCO avt@ Ls. `H E 'EbEOCiTls avaxoµib tfjs aXELQOitOLfltOU Eixovos 10 tov KvQiov i [LCov Ii cwov XQLOrov, rjtoL tov ayiov µavbr,LOV.

The Menaion

MLi On the sixteenth day of the same month. In memory of the coming of the holy image of Christ our true God, which was not made by human hands, from Edessa.

ML2 On the sixteenth day of the same month. In memory of the holy 5 image of Christ our God. ML4 On the sixteenth day of the same month. In memory of the holy image of Christ our God, which was not made by human hands. ML5P D On the sixteenth day of the same month. The coming of the Holy Mandylion from Edessa.

io Iv G On the sixteenth day of the same month. The coming of the image of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was not made by human hands, from Edessa, also called the Holy Mandylion.

K The same month, on the sixteenth day. The coming of the image of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was not made by human hands, from 15 Edessa, also called theHoly Mandylion.



Group I-MLDML¢ML5IvPD `O Ev µoQcPU OEov Osos vathQxwv

ws aatavyaaµa %a! xaQaxT'IQ toil

ataTQOS 8L' EvaatXayxviav aµETQ-gTOV (3ouAi ueL *E6a- dxwv CUQdt*Tl 8oOXov

cpoQEoas µoQcpt v. Ta'Trjs tt v EµcpEQELav µovos ws oLBEv avtos T ]V axQL(3f

8LET'Uatwos *EOxaQaxtws Ev Exµaysiua Tw toil arQoacbatov avtov y1s t?1


EkEVOLl EarExQotrlaw avv tots (3QotoLs Tchv &yyEXwv atXfl*vs xad atscp(utLOtaL

xooµos 6Qat6s is xai aOQatos. `O *EOatT6a atotE Twv OatLO&iwv MwaEws to lLQOawatov

OEO; xat 8L' avtov *EOxaQaxtoV µovov ExatEµias tcu aatELhovvTL 'IaQa(3aQ(3aQLxis nQOFQ- io 'qXhtrl ka(u, LSov E7tsMpiflGev (0 E ALyUatTOU Ex xoµsvos t?1 XQLOtwvvµw 1EyaXoat6XEL toil vsoXExtov Xaov, WE TOO *Eiov

xaQaxtljQos, ttjs atQwtottiatOU avtov wwQLxTis oiEws ov atQos atQOawatov PXEatsiV


Co PaaLa£tiwv THIS xTiosws aataarjs atTwxELav ExovaLOV Tovs EatLyvcnVtas avtov TrV a'vaQXOv xvQLOTTlTa,


8L6 xai arQos AvyaQov to *EOxaQaxta yQaµµata atEI nas adti oavta tnv awtrjQLav * hVVUaL to'UtOV T4) Ex[taysup avtov µoQcPtjs TY1s *Eias, ?1s trv OkEVoLV atFQLxaQ(us EoQTadovtes vvv EvcpQaLVOµEOa atiOteL cpwTLaµov aataQQvoµsvOL.

Group II - MD


aas tbsLv aE owtEQ Ev OAT tic atETQas twv OatLaOLwv T1 1V Mwofjs cpvaLv avQa 'HVas XEatTOtat?] xai ov tE*EataL ov taWT-qv aou

Tov aWatov osio t4 (3LaLc E'LBEV cis EcpLxtov avw xa*aQ*Eis Tas i teL; SE atavTE; ov µhV atvLyµatL &XX' Ev E'LxovL OF *EOv xaL av*Qwatov (3kEatoµEV.


'Eµvataycoyeito Mwofis Ev oQEL xL(3wtov Tov tvatov E4.LatVEU6EL 'l&E6a,

rqµELg bE Tov axQavtov toil q)o86tov Tvatov OROV avtov tic xaQLTOc Tas owEL; xai atQooxvvfaaL


atavTEs EatE-

cpavTj yaQ tic awtr1QLas to cpchs 8La Tic Eixovos XQLOtov Tov 'l&EOf),


xa!i aXr &La.

ii vsovextov P

14 &naofl9 MT4 i8 eoptatovtES] eoQtatov'Ec MI.q.


15 xvQLOtrIta om. Iv

17 TS] urv ML'



Group One

The one who is God in the form of God, like the radiance and picture of the glory of God. The image was made visible, bearing the form of a servant, through immeasurable mercy and by the divine will, the 5 likeness as only he himself has seen. The image of God was imprinted with all detail in the likeness of his face. The multitude of angels rejoices with mortals at its coming and the world is lit up, both seen and unseen. God glorified Moses with a vision of the back of the divine attributes, io


and only sent a likeness of God through him to the unbelieving Israelites. Behold, the image has left an unbelieving land just as the Israelites left Egypt and has come to the great Christian capital of the new chosen people, through the divine likeness and the awesome appearance of his face. We who have been deemed worthy of looking upon his face glorify him. He who rules over all creation willingly took on poverty, enriching his divinity and those who know his lordship with no beginning. And so he

sent the God-written letter to Abgar who had asked for salvation. We joyfully and enthusiastically keep the feast of the imprint of the divine form, we rejoice in faith, drinking in its light.


Group Two

Moses wished to see you, Saviour, and saw your glory from a cleft behind the rocks. Elijah did not behold your being either in the light breeze or in the powerful earthquake. As is attainable from on high, you have purified our perception and now we can all see you, God and 25 man, the unseen one, not in a mystery, but in a real image.

Moses took part in the form of the ark on the mountain by divine inspiration. We have been deemed worthy to see and worship the whole immaculate form of the author of life. We all praise the image of your face in the glory of grace. The light of salvation has shone through the 30 image of Christ, who is God, grace and truth.



Group III-MDML¢ ML5 Iv PD Eov tov ataQayayovto; toy avftQwatOV xat' ELxova tO atQoo*EV ov EµoQaJtaatavaX-q*ch; E tcpCQELav cpw-arjS av*LS, oL' EvorXayxvLav QaXXaxtov, ovV ayyCXoiS of XQLOtC 2E tov Ev to-LS ato*ovcLv evatQooIxov to-LS a'LtovoL tE TtdOLV Evrj%OOV oLOEOatota tfg tQaLOtrjtoS &ya*ott]ta, OLC 'q'V xTtQ tov 8La


oov toy "Eotrjoa; TO toStaQxq Tf; OXEOEWS Tic atEQi OE toy ito*ov, oµov of xa! trv vooov tw LXaQU) (YOU

oooew; Tw 1LaVTOUQyCO tov xQatov; oov

ts'l9'EagA£vw GE, owtEQ EV t(J) ExtvatcuµaTL.


Group IV- MD ML2ML¢ ML5 Iv D 'AyvoovvtL, to tic (3aoLXELa;, tic EnouQaviou aov, atQOS "v i [tag &ya*E tot; cp*aQtouS xa! xaµeQ3tsic avaywV, 0 ToLS auXoiS XEQOV(3Lµ aatQoGLtos, ovyxatiX*' EµoL thxQL xad Mow TOV aov &atootoxov tc4 AvyaQcu XQLOtC, EateR.wa; µvGTfQLOV oocpUUovta.


KaTLodhv GOU, Xoye xai oocwLa, Tov ltavtoovvaµevov atatQOS, *EOO tot)

ao Qatov ava EotatE 7t O Tciwv auihvwv TOT1S dxovo SOXOV &vfQ wato! 0QcP Q cpoV, xaTF-JTk Ittsto *eOV yLVCUOxwv oaQxo; xai a'µatoc xaL 'lpvxi; vocQaS ILQOGEILLkTlWEVOV 6 ToxaQ)-qS 06.

'A7tsi*eL0E t'fj atsQ'L trjv *eLav tov Jt60toLfIxoto; avtov, xoQTI, cwQLxtrIv 20

FVTOk v 6 yEVaQxr]S tf; a*avaoLa; ltavoXE*Qtav &vtixatrIXXd ato Tov wic of xoQ1jy6v tot; O'UoL xvocpOQrIoaoa acp&aQoLas hµa; µovrl ovvaOTEba ExQataLwoa;.

7 *avµatoµev] to OeQa(piµ tfl So?) XQLOtov Iv

ovyxatqX*e5 ML2 w@txthv]

Iv P 8 "Eotrjoac] Etrloav MI4 Io ev tw ExtvntIµatL] 13 &vaywv] &ya$wv ML2 MLq Iv D 14 Ovyxatqkfte]

20 tl] thv ML2 16-17 tov a'op&tov *eov MLI ML5 D 22-23 Svvaateia5 MLi ML2 M114 ML5 Iv D

Iv, cpQLxtlj ML4



Group Three

In the beginning you created man according to your image. We receive the man you made again through mercy, Christ, the true and unchanging likeness, and praise you with the angels. We wonder at you in longing, accessible to all who ask, mercifully 5 hearing us through your great goodness, by which it is fitting that you are Lord. We praise the beauty of your magnificence. 0 Saviour, you made yourself visible to the ruler, fulfilling his desire to see your nature and to be cured of his illness, grateful for your gift, Io your power to create, when he saw you in the figure.

Group Four

He who is unapproachable on the winds of the Cherubim comes all the way down to hell, to me, ignorant of your heavenly kingdom, to which in your goodness you take us, mortal and unworthy. 0 Christ, you sent 15 your apostle, a mystery of wisdom, to Abgar.

Looking upon the whole human form of your image, Word and wisdom of the Almighty Father, the unseen God, untouchable before the ages, the ruler was amazed, contemplating you as God who had taken on flesh, blood and soul. 20

0 Maiden, the founder of our race exchanged immortality for destruction, by disobedience to the divine and dread command of his Maker. You who bore the giver of life to all beings have strengthened us by the power of incorruptibility.



Group V-MLrML'MI4ML5IvPD Ka'ta Ti v *eLav cpvoty, owtsQ, 6 vataQxwV atavtrj avstbsos xa*' o (3QOtos bE xav *eav*Qwnos, yQaattos axQwµatinOtov tvatcooas osavtov tot) cpwttoµov Oov tot) nQoowatov tins avtio4Las tiov oov otxEtT v ovx aatsboxL-



AvtoxaQaxtw atQwtiotvnw TOO OWtfQos E siLxovLoµait oµotoµoQcpw *sovQycu µoQwTj atQ00FVaT1 OVtes of JTavtwv bsonotcuv µet' adbovs 'ts xai s'Xa(3sLas ths neatot*otss Ev avtiw xai OXCAOVtat xai XQa-

tatovvtat. `YneQ MwcEa toV *soattrly *eoyQacpovs atXaxas EµsyaXvv- Io * g, 3t0tvos(3aOµts toataQxa, Osatti V 'tot) *sov ?,oyov OF tiffs svos(3sLas nenrO'tsvxota, as ovboXws e(3Xepas *avµatovQyLas.

Group Ha - ML3 G 'Aatavtotaµsvos

atQos avLoxovta xa6 atQOg trIv rIµsTEQav to LsQov,


OCOTEQ, Exµayetov (YOU vvv o *socpQwv (30EGIXevs atX,qOLaoav vAOUxs'tat.

FXuxv tv rlAtos

oµµata, yXvxvtCQa bE oits i Orb, XQiOtE, tov acpoµo16)µatos ott o µhV to aiLo*rjta, avrtrj bE to vorItia cpartavys-L.

Group VIb - ML3 (VIa) G (sep.) MtxQa am atokts vatoboxrjv atQci)rly XQtotiE, fly ij OabbaLov 20 Eat'Xsvots voawv aataXattst xai tT-Is xecQos (YOU yQacp xai 'l&sLOV anoocpQaytoµa tov atQooconov (YOU.

Group VIIa - ML3 G At tthv xaQLtwv oov bWQeaL vnEQatXrjOvv*qOav, XQtOtC, a yaQ to 3tQt9]v fT) "Ebeoa EyxokatwoaµEVrl vEa bsxoithvn `Pcb[Ir) ayaWiat. 25

4 otxetrIv] ixet' v MLi ML2 ML4 D

4-5 ate8oxi[taaa5] add. E'Xoyctte navta tia

eQya x1QLov tov xvQ1OV (3otvta xai vncQvwovte sic navtag Iv io `YneQvwoaia ML2 12 c& e1ekas] evXa(3sLa5 ML21 15 Anavtotaµevov G thv (r)] tic G 16 n1 rjaLaaav




Group Five

O Saviour, in your divine nature you are without visible shape, but as

a mortal you took on the form of man. You imprinted an image of yourself with no paint and you did not spurn the form of a servant, 5 even in your light-giving and supernatural face. Looking in awe at the self-imprinted prototype of the Saviour in a

representation, the same as the divine form, we have no other Lord. Trusting in it with praise and blessings, people are protected and Io

strengthened. Most worshipful one, you have been glorified above Moses who saw

God and received the tablets written by God. You received a sacred letter of God's word from the ruler, blessing you. He believed in your piety and you deigned to cure him.

Group Six

15 Your holy imprint, 0 Saviour, leaves the city in the east and comes


towards ours. The emperor, thoughts bent on God, receives it. Sweet is the sun shining on our eyes, but the likeness of your face, Christ, is even sweeter. One shines with light that can be felt physically, and the other with light for the mind. Small was the city that first received you, Christ, which Thaddaeus visited and set free from illness, and the writing of your hand and the imprint of your face.

Group Seven

Christ, the gifts of your graces have been multiplied. The new Rome 25 rejoices on receiving what Edessa once proudly held in its breast.



Group VIIb - ML3 (VIla) G (sep.)

`QQauherlc X6.WL ataQa navtas, othteQ, tons v oig twv (3Qotcuv x&v y&Q

ovx sLbos eyes ovbe xaXXos ev xaLQw tov ata&ovs &W TO ovtt navta xatscp(bTL?sc xai brlXo-L (YOU trls µoQcprls i '&Ea, rls to extvnw&Ev woTTEQ *rloavQov f 1dv bsbtQrloaL. Ergs ioxvoc lrQooacpaLQs*eLoa twv AyaQrlvcuv 1j nXrl&vs woneQ e &XXocpvXowv xL(3wt6v 'IoQargXIxrly vEOV to tov JcQoochnov vvv nQooeatLbEbwxev


1'lv 7cQoosxtrloato ovbe yaQ *s atov,

ExµaysLov oov, XQLotE xai ayLa XUOL nQoosnLQQLntEO*aL.

Group VIII - ML3 G


`fttatL tv 7taoaV vooov, Xoys *sov, ecpvyabsvoas eni yf1S Evbrlµc&v &XXa xoXnovs atQos rtatQLxovs avEQxoµevos bLa tov extvncoµatos *sQaatsvsLc tas vooous rlµuly. `O xtEoas Xoyy navta xaL µoQcpw*eic tb &XXotQLov tic 'Nag [IOQ(Mg xatakEkowrev r`lµCLv to ibubµata ansQ vnobsxoµevoL Ev xaQa svcpQaLvo-


µe*a. ES oxr15 rltrloas tic oils ibeas ExocpQayLoµa o ttLotos (3aoiXevs, 6g etrltrloev, ovtws Etvxs, x'Qcs, xataXXrlXov suQaµsvoc *eLOV voµov to

Group IX - ML3 G


'EbEorls (3aoLxevs (3aoLXEa tcbv oXwv ov oxrintQa xad otQatov, &XX& nXrl*rl *avµatwv tcu Xoyw JtQogJEQovta EatLyvovs GE ixEtsve toV *eavOQwnov tov

ItQos avtov &cpLxEc*ai. 'ExµaysLov be dog oe 69Cov &ve(36a a "*Fog ov xat %vQLos"

3 tw ovtL navta] to navta ovn ML3 G

7 'IoµarlXitrly G

5 *rloauQos G I SeSthorltaL G

6 Et c] Trjs

12 xoXnov5 nQoc natQlxovs] [toxnou5 toiS natQLxo'S ML3


navta] to navta G I &?J,0'TQLov] aa,otQtov &XXotQLov G 15 xataTeTounev] xaTOLk Xk nev G I to tbLwµata aneQ vnoSexo[LevoL] iSLwµata anobexoµevoL G 18 vo[tov] no*ov G




O Saviour, you were more beautiful than all men. You were neither attractive nor beautiful at the time of your passion, but you shed light on everything, and your divine form has become visible. Your likeness, imprinted onto a cloth, has been given to us. The greatness of your strength, removing from the Hagarenes, like a new Israelite ark, the imprint of your face, has now bestowed this gift together with the glory it has won. It is not fitting for holy objects to be thrown to the dogs.

Group Eight

io When you were on earth, Word of God, you cured every illness with just your word. Now that you have returned to your Father's embrace, you heal our sickness through the figure. He who created everything with his word, and took on another form,

left us the unique feature of his own form, and we greatly rejoice on 15

receiving it. The faithful king sought the copy of your form with all his heart, and as he sought so he found, Lord, the appropriate fulfilment of the divine law.

Group Nine

zo The king of Edessa recognised you as king of all, not bearing a sceptre and army, but working a host of wonders with just a word. He asked

you, man and God, to come to him. When he saw your imprint he cried out, You are Lord and God.



GroupX - GK

"Q tov

*avµatog, 6 JtQocprltag µovov µsXstwv xai teQata

8vvaµeLg tE *swQthv 'IoQarlXLtrls Xaos toy svsQyetrjv XQLOtoy xa! XvtQwtrly aJtoJLEµnEtal KiQLOV avrlxoos bE yQacpcuv xai tu)v *avµatwv a*Catog A'tya9os Ey T, RaoiXcLa toOtov e iXa(3U)S JtQOtQ£JLetaL otxeLhoao'&aL 86 rl



T6 EXsos. "Q *EO11xt tov boyµatos Ev Jtavti E'1`}'VEL, Jtds 6 JtoLCOV to *EX,rlµa *eo'U

xai tovtov rltwv bextos avt4 cprloL, tovtov OcpQayic triXavyrls 6 to JtoXu aµrloaµevos E"40;, rltrloas xaL dXrlcpws trls *sav*QcwJtoO µoQcpflc EoQtLOV i4t%t v OwtrIQLav to aJtavyaoµa ME! r`lµLv avtcu xoQsiav


xai EX,JLLba C'MOktirQw6LV.

Xa"LQe tcuv Jttotwv 6µrly1QLg xarhoQthoa JtLotsL µoQcprly trly OEOyQacpov ,y T& otOLfly E yQaley Ea'Ut(u, 6 ` aox11µatL0tO ES yEVµatL 7taytO'UQy(A),, O'

xsLa ovvExwv JtQoOtayµatL, 6 oQog 6 tov JtatQos xai tw AvyaQw Jtct Cc xe JtLOte'UOavnL tatitTly JtQooxvveLV xci (YE(3eiv OdXXOv 6)g JtaQaxXrltov citootokOL; By Jt6XaL o'UQavO*sv


Group XI-GK Ewµatlxthg µoQcpw*fjvaL to xat' r`lµd; 6 to JrQLv aowµatos evboxia JtatQLxrl µrl aJtavrlvaµsvos µoQcprls ExaQL6ato rlµdLv r9etov ExtvJtwµa. `H a3taQ6EXaxtoc cpvnL; o tov JtatQos oQoc ax9L(3eoratos trly (3QotELav 20 bJLeX*Y0v oaQxa i&(b ata Ev yfl xataXEXoLJtev YlltLV Ei; O'UQavo'US


EaXevoµEVrly a3tatrl tov bvOREVOV; trly xXrlQOVOµLav (YOU Ebixauwoas XQLOte tots oEJttoL; oov Jta*eoty avtrly ebQauuoaL xai µoQcprls t4 ExtvJLCUµatL.

Group XII - von Dobschutz, Christusbilder' IIoLoig o'L yrlysveLS oµµaoLV citoiPOµs*a oov trly ELxova,'ly to tCOV ayyeXwv

orQatevµata (3XEJteiv abccos ov bs8vvrlrcL *c1xcu cpwti aotQaJttolteVrly; 'AJtaiQcL yaQ alto yfls &Jtk nwv OrlµEQov xal JtoXLV JtQOS (3acLXLba xai Xaov

4 anone[ntietia, G

11 eXnI8a] eX,ndSwv G

' Ernst Von Dobschutz, Christusbilder, Untersuchungen zur christlichen Legende, Leipzig 1899,

pp. 125-126 of second appendix.




Group Ten

O incredible wonder! The Jewish people alone cared for the prophets-

they saw the miracles and wonders of Christ in his goodness and rejected the Lord and redeemer. Abgar in his kingdom did not know 5 the scriptures and had not seen any miracles, and yet in faith he made haste to establish contact in glory with the source of mercy. 0 the divine sound of God's teaching for all peoples! Everyone who does the will of God and seeks him out will be declared acceptable for him. The shining seal, he who shows abundant mercy, sought the io radiance of the form of God made man in purity for us to keep for him this joyous feast day, salvation and the hope of redemption. Greetings to the assembly of the faithful, who in faith revere the divinely made form which the one who is without form made of himself through the spirit of creation. He who holds the universe together by 15 his word, the radiance of the Father, sent it to Abgar in his belief to worship and revere as another Paraclete, which in the past he sent to the apostles from heaven.

Group Eleven

He who was bodiless at first did not refuse to take on a body among us 20 through the Father's will. He granted us the divine figure of his form. The unchanging nature, the precise definition of the Father took on human flesh and left us his appearance on earth when he went up to heaven.

0 Christ, you justified your inheritance that had been shaken 25 through the trickery of the evil one, and you strengthened it through your holy passion and the figure of your form.

Group Twelve

With what eyes shall we who are born on earth look upon your image,

when the hosts of angels cannot look at it without fear as it flashed 30 with divine light? Today it leaves the land of unbelievers and through

the divine will comes to stay in the queen of cities, and amidst a



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believing people. The emperors rejoice at its coming, Christ, and fall down before it in fear and faith. With what hands shall we who are made of earth touch your image, 0 Word? How shall we, stained by sin, touch our sinless God? How shall we in defilement touch the unapproachable one? The Cherubim

hide their faces in fear and the Seraphim cannot bear to look upon your glory. Creation serves you in fear. And so do not condemn us, Christ, who receive your awe-filled form unworthily but in faith.

Once more the divine day of the Lord's feast is here. He who is io seated on high has now clearly come to us in his holy image, he who is not seen by the Cherubim on high is seen in an image by those he became like, indescribably formed by the undefiled finger of the Father according to his likeness. We are made holy by worshipping it in faith and love. 15

We venerate your undefiled image, o good one, and ask for forgiveness for our sins, Christ and God. You were willingly crucified to redeem those you had made from slavery under the enemy, and so we cry out to you in gratitude-you have filled everything with joy by coming down to us to save the world, Saviour.


author. the by Photograph Athos. Mount Latvra, Mcgisti of monastery the at chapel side in Mandylion



author. the.

by Photograph Athos. Mount Stavronikita, of monastery the from Mandylion 2.

author. the by Photograph Athos. Mount Ancireas, Agios of Skete abandoned the firom Mandylion 3.

4. \loclern Manclylion for sale to tourists in Ouranoupolis. Photograph by the author.

Cappadocia. Photogn-aph by Lennox Manton. With kind permission of the photographer.

5. Mandylion at Sakli,


Y-7 6


\fandylion at Sakli, Cappadocia (detail;. Photograph by Lennox Manton. With kind permission of the photographer.

C 4f-


photographer. the of permission kind \Vith Manton. Lennox by Photograph Cappadocia. Sakli, pool, the in Mandylion

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