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In the narthex of Asinou Saint Sozomenos is pictured on the west face of the northeast respond as a monk. The Saint is connected with Cyprus but in the hagiographical texts there are three saints with the same name, thus making it difficult to discern which of them is linked to the island. Probably all three of them have bonds with Cyprus, each one in a different part. The most intriguing of the three is Saint Sozomenos who lived as hermit in close vicinity to the village of Potamia. Interestingly, the latest layer of frescoes in his cave depicts Sozomenos in the same prosopographical type as that in Asinu and is dated to the second quarter of the fourteenth century. This means that the two pictoral programs have a small time gap between them and therefore a similarity is expected.
Saint Sozomenos of Potamia, like every figure in the narthex of Asinou, was not chosen by chance. He is commemorated on 21st of November, the same day the Virgin is presented to the Temple. In this way he is related to Mary. Additionally, in a service composed in his honor, an encomium is written for his healing abilities and he is continuously asked to intervene for the salvation of the faithful. His name, also, can be associated with what the narthex promotes, deriving from the verb 'sozo' which means 'to save', a direct connotation of the salvific context of the frescoes of the narthex. Thus these connotations contribute to the promotion of the general message of the narthex of Asinou.




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.


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Ioannides, Marinos, “Saint Sozomenos,” Αψίδα, accessed November 29, 2021,