The Prophet Zechariah or Zaharias is depicted on the southern half of the soffit above the eastern doorway of the narthex. As Prophet Isaiah on the other side, he is depicted as an old man with grey long hair and a pointed beard but, additionally, Zacharias wears the priestly hat, an ornamented grey tunic and the so-called paludamentum, bordered with pearls and gems and held together with a brooch. The passage written on the scroll, taken from Luke I:68, reads Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favourably. The inscription reminds of a passage from Matthew 3:2 and 4:17 : “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” ; which is depicted on the scroll of John the Forerunner below. Similarly, the conveyed message is again that salvation will happen only when one is repentant.
The figure at Asinou, can be easily confused between the Prophet Zechariah and priest Zacharias, the father of John the Forerunner. Prophet Zachariah is usually portrayed as a beardless, bareheaded young man while priest Zacharias is depicted as an old man with the priest hat and the scroll. Therefore a confusion arises regarding which person is depicted in the narthex of Asinou. Nonetheless, as from the twelfth century onwards the two figures are frequently fused. In Asinou, however, the priest Zacharias as a prophet must have been depicted as he was a popular figure in Cypriot iconography.


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Digital Heritage Research Lab of Cyprus University of Technology

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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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Image

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JPG, MP3

Item Identification:

Figure-096

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

Citation

Ioannides, Marinos, “Prophet Zechariah,” Αψίδα, accessed July 19, 2019, https://apsida.cut.ac.cy/items/show/45300.

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