Archangel Michael flanks the eastern side of the northern door of the narthex. He is a popular figure among the Orthodox people, even today.
His depiction stands out from the representations of the other holy figures in the narthex. He is pictured wearing imperial uniform and stands on a cushion. He holds a staff, the lower end of which forms a lance and its upper end reminisces a sceptre in the form of a double lily. Loros, the wrapped scarf around Michael’s body, seems adjoined with the lower decorated edge of his tunic.
On the left side of the figure, a large spot on the present layer has been destroyed. Thus, the subject layer was revealed, attesting that again the figure of Archangel Michael was depicted on the exact same position, although in a larger scale. Analyses carried out in the subjected layer prove that this layer was painted not long before the layer of 1332 A.D. . Therefore, it is legitimate to assume that the earlier representation might be an ex-voto from a particular donor.
Michael’s duties, as well as those of other archangels and angels, range between being God’s servant assisting him constantly in heaven and spreading His will to humans. Other duties include the protection of the faithful from Satan and also protecting churches. Thus the placement of the figure of Michael in churches is strategic. He is placed either in the narthex as at Asinou or close to or facing the entrance doors. Additionally he is connected to the dead as a companion of souls to Hades. Lastly, it is believed that Archangel Michael functions as an arbitrator between humankind and God. Several hymns ask for his contribution to the salvation of the souls of the deceased and pictography represents archangels participating in the Last Judgement, as in the vault of the narthex at Asinou. Therefore, he is a figure matching perfectly the iconographic program of the narthex.


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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-130

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

Citation

Ioannides, Marinos, “Archangel Michael,” Αψίδα, accessed November 12, 2019, https://apsida.cut.ac.cy/items/show/45325.