The article is dedicated to Theodore Metochites’ assessment of the phenomenon of a monastery and monastic life (mostly on the basis of the 40th Chapter of his Sententious Notes ) in juxtaposition with his predecessors in the ekphrastic genre. The descriptions in question and the “conceptual portrait” of the monastic institution and of the monk as an ascetic draw on a centuries-long late Antique Jewish and, later on, Christian tradition of conceptualizing the Temple, firstly that of Solomon, but then also the Christian one (first of all, St Sophia in Constantinople), as: a) a focal point of the life of believers; b) an antitype of the Heavenly Temple, i. e., of the New Jerusalem, the Divine Tabernacle, whereas its eschatological coming will be seen by the just in the Kingdom of God, according to the Bible. For Theodore, the monastery is both a spiritual and sensorial realization of the Divine Kingdom on earth. In its description, which is being used by the author as a tool of its contraposition to the turmoil of the theatrum mundi ( kosmikon theatron ), some traits of hierotopicity (Alexej M. Lidov) are clearly to be seen. The description was carried out in the genre of ekphrasis, but different features of other genres as well (such as philosophical and theological essay or threnos ) are discernible there. Metochites cries out that now all of the Church buildings and monasteries are destroyed or put in disorder, all of their magnificence remaining in the past. An idea of the very places’ activity in possessing monasteries, which is reflected in these deliberations, comes closer to contemporary trends in social topology. Such a monastic epithet as ‘God-possessed’ ( theoleptos ) may contain in itself an anagram of the name ‘Theoleptos of Philadelpheia’. Also typical for the style of Metochites’ thought are some allusions at Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (DN II, 9). Theodore’s Notes with its Ch. 40 allow us to support the more fresh speculations of Byzantinists like Ruth Macrides, Paul Magdalino, and Gilbert Dagron concerning immense creative freedom and wild imagination of those Byzantine intellectuals and polymaths who, like the Great Logothete, used to construe their own virtual worlds and attract those keen on reading to them.
|投稿的翻译标题||Between Theatrum Mundi and Receptaculum Dei. On Some Traits of Hierotopicity and Ekphrasis in Theodore Metochites’ Monastery Descriptions|
|州||Published - 2022|
- 03.00.00 HISTORY AND HISTORICAL SCIENCES
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