Two figures, the personifications of Earth and Sea, occupy the upper zone of the northern semidome of the narthex. The depictions contain two young people covered with crowns. Almost always, the figures are female corresponding to the gender of their names. The Earth sits on the back of a lion, portrayed frontally, moving eastwards within a rocky surrounding. She holds the tail of a serpent while its head ends to a goblet. In the mountainous environment trees, birds, a serpent and a feline, in other words creatures to be found on earth, are painted.
The Sea is pictured sitting on a sea monster and holding a sailing boat and a paddle. Additionally, fish and octopus are drawn by the painter within the sea.
Traditionally, Earth and Sea are to be placed near the trumpet-blowing angels on the western wall. However, at Asinou these were intentionally located above the Kingdom of Heaven functioning as cosmological symbols.
The depiction of Sea as a figure within an iconographic program of a church can be found already in early Cypriot examples of the Second Coming such as in Saint Nicholas of the Roof at Kakopetria dated to the twelfth century and in the church of the Transfiguration at Sotira dated to the late thirteenth century.


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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, “Personifications of Earth and Sea,” Αψίδα, accessed July 18, 2019,

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