Saint John of Damascus is depicted next to the Virgin, on the lowest part of the soffit on the eastern arch of the narthex. His head is slightly turned to her and his right hand also points that way. His garments indicate his property as a monk. He is dressed with a pallion over a tunic, kukulion, cloak, and an analabos is hanging in front of his body. He also wears a turban on his head, evidence of his origin.
John holds an open scroll. He is popular for his theological writing and also the hymns he wrote, contributing to the formation of the Oktoihos or Paraklitiki. He is portrayed in a few other Cypriot Byzantine churches and also, in the central nave of Asinu, on the layer dated to the thirteenth century.
The full text of the canon is "What praiseworthy ode will our weakness offer to you other than the cheerful one into which Gabriel initiated us? Rejoice, You who gave birth to God, Virgin, unmarried Mother". Clearly John is connected on many levels with the Virgin in Asinu. He is depicted next to her on the narthex pointing and glancing at her, through the inscription on his scroll canon referring to her and the incarnation, is sung on Sunday morning in the first mode and contextually, as a hymnographer of Mary.
John of Damascus ‘fits’ perfectly the iconographic connotations of the narthex of Asinu. Either by his hymns which are sung in the funerary service, taking place in the narthex of a Byzantine church and, therefore, linked to the funerary program of the Asinu narthex or by ecclesiastical hymns sung during vesper service of the date of his commemoration which ask him to intervene for the salvation of the souls. A particular hymn sung during the orthros service of 4th of December politely asks John to serves as a mediator through his hymns with the prayers of several saints, the Virgin, Saint John the Forerunner, the apostles, the prophets, the ascetics, the hierarch, the Just and the martyrs, In other words, for all saints included in the frescoes of the narthex. Thus, John of Damascus is associated with Mary and foremost, with the Deesis and its intercessional context.


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Digital Heritage Research Lab of Cyprus University of Technology


Digital Heritage Research Lab of Cyprus University of Technology
Library of Cyprus University of Technology

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Digital Heritage Research Lab of Cyprus University of Technology





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Απαγορεύεται η δημοσίευση ή αναπαραγωγή, ηλεκτρονική ή άλλη χωρίς τη γραπτή συγκατάθεση του δημιουργού.


Ioannides, Marinos, “John Of Damascus,” Αψίδα, accessed October 14, 2019,