Beyond East and West: Geocommunicating the Sacred Landscapes of “Duklja” and “Raška” through Space and Time (11th-14th Cent.)


ID Name Class Description
133108 Altar (parts), Ston, Church of the Virgin of Lužine Artifact The inscription on the fragment of the altar screen, found near the church: ...ORE SCE... as (IN HON)ORE SANCTAE (MARIAE?) is dated probably at the beginning of the 9th century, while some scholars are discussing another origin from the Church from the beginning of the 12th century. Its been decorated with floral and geometric design with twelve three-way interlaced circles inside which there are eight-leaf rosettes. The empty space is filled with seven-leaf palmettes. Stylistically its been connected to pre-Romanesque style. There are also parts of the lintel preserved as well as liturgical furniture.
132946 Belgrade Prophetologion Artifact Belgrade Prophetologion (NBS Rs 652) is the oldest surviving Serbian copy of the prophetologion and dates back to the first quarter of the 13th century. Written on parchment, the manuscript stands out for the beauty of the written letters and the peculiar initials that adorn it. Most of the initials are made of geometric or floral-geometric interweaving, in which a fantastic or realistic animals are sometimes added. The initial O on l stands out on fol. 58v, which is in the form of the head of Christ Emmanuel. The eclectically conceived initials show the influence of Oriental models and Romanesque elements that reached Serbian lands via an indirect route, mostly through southern Italy. The manuscript comes from Ras, and today it is kept in the National Library of Serbia. Actually, it reached the previous National Library from Skopje and disappeared during the evacuation which occurred at the beginning of the First World War. In 1969, the manuscript was found in Germany and returned to Serbia by ransom.
132953 Bratko's Menaion Artifact Bratko's Menaion, a collection of liturgical hymn compositions for the entire church year, is a convolute, created during the second quarter of the 13th century (between 1234-1243) and the first half of the 14th century. The manuscript is named after the scribe of the first part of the book dated in the 13th century - Presbyter Bratko. More than ten scribal hands were recognized in the copy, and the names of two more copyists - Nikola and Radoslav - were recorded. The illumination of the manuscript consists of several intertwined headpieces and small initials. The manuscripts is kept in the National Library of Serbia in Belgrade (NBS Rs 647), and it was added to the old collection of manuscripts of the previous National Library (No. 212), where it arrived as a gift from Old Serbia (from Banjan).
132976 Bronze icon from the Patriarchate of Peć Artifact The icon with the representation of the Virgin with the baby Christ, of incongruous proportions, is probably the work of a provincial workshop. The gilded bronze icon of small dimensions (5.2x4.2x0.5cm) was made for private use. It was stored in the cavity of the wall of the Church of the Holy Apostles in Pec, built and painted during the 13th century. Today it is kept in the National Museum in Belgrade no. 26_2261.
133112 Capital, Dubrovnik, Church of St. Andrew in Pile Artifact In the sacristy of the Church is a well-preserved capital, which in the upper zone (abacus) is decorated with single-jointed hooks, the middle is made of smooth profiled leaves, and in the lower one there are three-jointed arcades from which a heart-shaped ivy flower emerges.
132762 Church in Zavala, altar screen Artifact Among the sculptural remains found during the excavation of the church of St. Peter in Zavala near Popovo Polje (near Trebinje), the altar screen deserves special attention. The preserved fragments are decorated with three-part ribbon ornaments, and the fragment with depictions of birds is particularly interesting. Most fragments have different geometrical ornaments and images of birds that symbolize the Eucharist. Scholars most often date it to the 9th or 10th century. It is kept in the Hercegovina Museum in Trebinje.
132743 Ciborium from Kotor Artifact The original ciborium from the Church of St. Tryphon in Kotor dates back probably to the beginning of the 9th century. It was found in secondary use above the door leading to the sacristy of the cathedral. It is an excellent example of pre-Romanesque sculpture with characteristic interlacing and zoomorphic figures on the ciborium arcade, along with an inscription on three sides of the ciborium (the fourth side is considered to be the one built above one of the doors in the building of the neighboring Diocese and it doesn't contain any inscription). We have to emphasize that scholars disagree regarding fragments of inscriptions, whether or not they belong to the same ciborium. Considering inscription some scholars dated this ciborium between 1169 and 1178 (also, L. Mirković believes that the inscription was engraved in the 11th century on a decorated plate in the 9th century). It was probably in the cathedral until the end of the 18th century, that is, the beginning of the 19th century, when it was dismantled as part of some reconstruction of the cathedral. Its parts were then built into the walls of the cathedral itself and other surrounding buildings. Also, various solutions have been proposed for the saints mentioned in the inscription on the slab of the ciborium. The new ciborium dates around 1362.
132738 Ciborium from Ulcinj Artifact The Ulcinj ciborium is one of the oldest (partially) preserved ciboriums. It dates back to the beginning of the 9th century. This ciborium stands out for its relief decoration with figural motifs made in the pre-Romanesque style (on the right is an image of a lion while devouring smaller animal, which on his part devours a bird, referring to the invocation of salvation (Psalm 21:22) and on the left is another lion represented above a palm tree) and a partially preserved inscription engraved along the frame of the ciborium. The frontal arcade of the ciborium was found in Ulcinj in 1937 (the exact location of the find remains unknown), then it was transferred to the National Museum in Belgrade. Since then, it has been part of the permanent exhibition of medieval heritage. In 2005, another fragment belonging to the same structure was identified allowing scholars to conclude that the ciborium had a rectangular structure and was probably positioned above the altar of the church. Apart from the names of the donors inscribed on the ciborium, namely of Gusma and her husband, the inscription mentions two Byzantine emperors Leo and Constantine, identified as Leo V and his son Constantine. This made it possible to date the ciborium and the church to the years 813-820.
132764 Codex Marianus (Marijino četvorojevanđelje) Artifact Codex Marianus, written in Glagolitic script on parchment, was created at the end of the 10th or the beginning of the 11th century. The manuscript is now kept in the Russian State Library in Moscow (Григ 6, Муз 1689 (ф. 87)). It is not possible to determine exactly where the manuscript was created (for some it is the western Serbian regions, presumably Bosnia, others point to the territories near the border with Macedonia), but the latest research points in favor of the southern Serbian lands, possibly Travunia. It was found on Mount Athos (where it probably arrived in the 14th century), and has been in Russia since 1845. Two folios are kept in the Austrian National Library. Codex Marianus contains decoration made with pen and ink. It consists of intertwined headpieces and initials. Unusual portraits of evangelists, following Byzantine influence form the late 9th and the beginning of 10th century, deserve special attention.
133032 Dečani Monastery, icons from the catholicon Artifact Four icons - Christ Pantocrator, Virgin Mary with baby Jesus, St. John the Baptist and St. Nicholas - adorned the middle part of the iconostasis partition of the Church of Christ Pantocrator in the Dečani Monastery. The icons were made around 1343, and were in place until the end of the 16th century, when they were replaced by new ones (those will again be replaced in the fourth decade of the 20th century). The icons are the work of one of the painters who painted the Catholicon of Dečani Monastery. In addition to their exceptional artistic value, these icons are a rare early example of icons that have been preserved in their original place.
133180 Dečani monastery, Coffin-reliquary (sarcophagus) with the relics of the Holy King Stefan of Dečani Artifact Dečani monastery, coffin.reliquary with the relics of the Holy King Stefan of Dečani represents the only surviving and hence particularly valuable medieval Serbian coffin-reliquary (sarcophagus). Its carved geometric, floral and zoomorphic ornaments finished by painting and gilding evoke the heavenly abode the saint dwells in. From the standpoint of function, it is undoubtedly an object of the highest rank. Its shape and location –raised on tall legs beneath the holy king’s fresco portraitat the side of the iconostasis – not only materialised the saint’s praesentia but also enabled all permitted forms of veneration. In addition to the usual ‘see and touch’, the custom of lying or pulling oneself under the coffin was, and still is, believed to be particularly effective. The royal relics have been perfectly preserved and therefore remain the foci of veneration to this day.
133003 Epitaphios (burial shroud) of King Stefan Uroš II Milutin Artifact The burial shroud or epitaphios of King Milutin, from the Museum of Serbian Orthodox Church, is assumed to have been made for the Banjska Monastery, the Mausoleum of King Milutin. It is believed that this shroud (mound-shroud/burial sheet) was created in the first decades of the 14th century (or around 1300, or during the second decade of the 14th century, or immediately after the king's death in 1321). A representation of Christ, as if lying in his tomb, surrounded by angels and seraphims was made on red etles silk and velvet with gold and silver wire and silk threads. The inscription embroidered in the lower section of the shroud is in Slavonic stating that it was commissioned by the Serbian King Stefan Uroš II Milutin: "Remember, O God, the soul of your servant Milutin Uroš. Probably the masters of this mantle were of Greek origin, it is even linked to Constantinople workshops, and it was certainly made according to Byzantine patterns. The shroud of King Milutin is kept in the Museum of Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, no. 4660. Prior to reaching the Museum it was kept in the Krušedol Monastery.
130174 Epitrachelion of Saint Sava Artifact The epitrachelion of Saint Sava (ca. 1175-1236) is kept in the Treasury of the Monastery of Cetinje (Cetinjski manastir). It is of Greek provenance and dated to the 12th century. The gold embroidered epitrachelion shows on top the Annunciation and below ten Saints with Greek inscriptions (below the Annunciation on the right from top to bottom: Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Nicholas of Myra, Saint Hierotheos, Saint Cyril and Saint Gregory of Nyssa; below the Annunciation on the left from top to bottom: Saint Basil of Caesarea, Saint Gregory the Theologian/of Nazianzus, Saint Dionysios, Saint Athanasius of Alexandria and Saint Spyridon). The epitrachelion was either deposited in the monastery by the Serbian Archbishop Danilo II (ca. 1270/75-1337) or by the Serbian Patriarch Arsenije III Čarnojević (1633-1706) in 1688, before he led the Serbian people in the so-called "Great Serbian Migration" (Velika seoba Srba) from Kosovo to the Habsburg Empire.
133025 Hvostan epitaphios (burial shroud) Artifact The Hvostan epitaphios (burial shroud) is called after the Monastery of the Mother of God in Hvosno, 20km from the Patriarchate of Peć, where it was found (discovered). Unlike other medieval epitaphios made with the embroidery technique, this was made using painter's colors. It is considered to be the work of Byzantine masters. It dates back to the 14th century (scholars date it differently). During the Turkish time, the shroud was hidden under the ruins of the Church of the Mother of God in Hvosno, and was discovered in the 20th century. Today it is kept in the treasury of the Patriarchate of Peć.
132983 Icon of Sts. Peter and Paul Artifact The icon of Saints Peter and Paul was a gift to St. Peters Basilica, by Queen Helen of Anjou (a nun at that time) and her sons Milutin and Dragutin, probably after 1282. In the lower register of the icon, Helen is represented with the pope, while her sons Dragutin and Milutin are painted on the sides. It is known that Queen Helen corresponded with Pope Nicholas IV, who was the head of the Roman Church at the beginning of the last decade of the 13th century (1288-1292). It is believed that it was during his pontificate that the icon was created, and then sent to Pope Nicholas IV. A few decades after the icon arrived in Rome, there was a belief that it was actually an icon that Pope Sylvester gave to Emperor Constantine the Great, at the beginning of the 4th century. Conditioned by this belief, a second layer of painting is placed over it in the 16th century (in 1535) by Leonardo of Pistoia. Than the figure of Queen Helen was replaced by the figure of Emperor Constantine, and the figures of the Serbian kings Milutin and Dragutin were transformed into "Greek nobles". On this occasion, an icon frame was added. In 1941, Pimen Sofronov restored the icon, when the younger layer from the 16th century was removed and the icon regained its appearance from the end of the 13th century. The icon is still kept today in the treasury of the St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
132905 Island of Mljet, Church of St. Mary, sculptural decoration Artifact The small number of preserved pieces of plastic within the Church of the Virgin of the Benedictine monastery in Mljet probably adorned the portal of the chancel. The figures were made in the Romanesque style resembling the monuments of Apulia. It dates back to the 12th century.
132968 King Radoslav's ring Artifact The engagement ring of King Radoslav was made in gold in 1219. On the "head" of the engagement ring of Stefan Radoslav, the latter king of Serbia (1227-1234), an inscription in the Greek language, written in verse, is engraved, with which he addresses his wife - Anna Komnenos, daughter of the ruler of Epirus, Theodore Komnenos Duka. The ring was made in the Byzantine manner, probably in Thessaloniki. The exceptionality of this ring is even greater when you consider that this is the only preserved example that bears the names of members of the imperial and royal families in the act of engagement. Today, the ring is kept in the National Museum in Belgrade.
133131 Kotor, Church of St. Mary (Collegiata), Fresco painting Artifact After the devastating earthquakes in 1979, the Church was left damaged. Restoration works followed soon after, when frescoes were found in the dome, apse, South and West walls of the Western bay, indicating the early 14th century in terms of style and iconography. A fresco of Christ Pantocrator is partially preserved in the dome, the Crucifixion is partially preserved in the apse, while the best preserved is the scene that begins the cycle of Christ's sufferings, which is Christ before Pilate, etc.
133121 Kotor, Church of St. Mary (Collegiata), Remains of sculptural decoration of Pre-Romanesque edifice Artifact Remains of sculptural decoration found in the lower layers of the altar apse and the sacristy, as well as the remains of church furniture, allow a certain reconstruction of the Early Christian basilica that was located on the site of the present-day Church dedicated to St. Mary. The decoration consists mainly of floral, geometric motifs (interlacing) and motifs of the so-called laufer der hund. The remains of the altar architrave beam, which consists of a three-part braid and an inscription in Latin IN N(OMINE) D(OMI)NI ET S (ALVATORI)... (J)OHANNIS CVM CONIV(GE), were found. The name Ivan that is read in the inscription is probably the bishop of Kotor with his wife. More parts of the inscription were found, but they were not preserved enough to allow interpretation. Above the Early Christian baptistery, a triangular pediment with an archivolt was found carved in local yellow limestone. The interweaving and motifs are similar to the motifs of Prince Ivan's inscription, whose tombstone was also excavated. The lintel with the inscription above the portal of the church also belongs to this group and its states: IN NOMINE D(OMI)NI D(E)I SALVATORI NOSTRIS IHS XPI INTER ANTUBVUS PAX EXIENTIBUS SALVTE.
132887 Kuti, Church of St. Thomas, fresco Artifact The remains of frescoes found in the Church of St. Thomas in Kuti date back to the 11th century. Fragments of frescoes reveal several saints' heads. They were probably made by Byzantine masters, as the similarity can be seen with the painting in the chapel and crypt of the Catholicon of the monastery of St. Luke in Fokida (Hosios Loucas), but also with the remains of wall painting in the Dubrovnik Cathedral and St. Nicholas in Koločep. Today, the found fragments are kept in the Regional Museum of Herceg Novi.
132806 Kuti, Church of St. Thomas, parapet plate Artifact In the Church of St. Thomas in Kuti, there used to be a representative carved stone altar parapets, of which the entire parapet plate with the scene of Adoration of the Cross is the only one preserved. It is probably dated in the last third of the 11th century. The developed figural decoration is distinguished by two stylistic peculiarities - the pre-Romanesque motif of the cross filled with braids woven with a three-part strip, and on the other hand, the innovative shaping of figures and the abandonment of flatness. Today it is kept in the Local Museum Mirko Komnenovic in Herceg Novi.
132747 Martinići, remains of sculptural decoration Artifact Fragments of low-relief sculpture with pre-Romanesque motifs of flowers, three-ribbon interlace, crosses, etc. covering the altar, the ciborium and column capitals were found. All three naves of the church were equipped with liturgical furniture. The remains of the ciborium, placed above the altar, are similar to those found in Kotor and Ulcinj dated to the 9th century, with motifs of crosses, octagons, stars and oak and ivy leaves. It also shows a resemblance to the decoration found in Zachlumia and Terbounia, which led researchers to believe that masters working on the Adriatic coast were also active in the heartland of the Balkans. The rood screen (chancel screen, cancellum) is still to be seen in situ (its bases) and numerous fragments decorated with various motifs of plaited plastic remained. The lower zone of the chancel screen of the middle nave had an inscription, of which fragments remain in Latin and Greek. The Greek text that was on the left side was proposed by Vojislav Korać (based on the opinion of Sotiris Kisas) in two variants: a. +.Ο Θ (EO)C TH ΠΡΕC (BEIA).....E TON (Π)ETR(0N)I... b. + Ο Θ (EO)C TH ΠΡΕC (BEIA)... (ΦYΛATT) E TON (Π)ETR(0N)I... The preserved part of the Latin inscription reads: + (MICH)AEL ET IOH(AN)E DIE.. ....ET GLORIA BEATO MIXAEL AR(CHANGELO):.. .....N.......LIN Remains of the Martinići plastic are kept in the Regional Museum of Danilovgrad (Montenegro).
132934 Miroslav Gospel Artifact Miroslav's Gospel is the oldest Serbian Cyrillic manuscript and one of the most important Serbian medieval manuscripts. It was probably made for the liturgical needs of the Church of St. Peter on Lim (near Bijelo Polje) at the end of the 12th century (most likely between 1180-1187). The manuscript is named after its ktetor, Prince Miroslav of Hum (brother of Stefan Nemanja), who is also the founder of the aforementioned St. Peter's Church. The content of the codex is based on the model from Saint Sophia in Constantinople, and the decoration, first of all the three hundred initials, exudes various Western influences - from Carolingian to Romanesque. It is believed that the illuminators came from Italy or southern Dalmatia. Stylistically different is the miniature with the busts of the evangelist at the beginning of the manuscript (l. 1v), whose iconographic patterns are seen in the manuscripts of the Christian Orient. It is possible that the Miroslav Gospel was created in some coastal scriptorium, as indicated by certain elements in the language and manner of decoration. It is assumed that it reached the Hilandar Monastery during the formation of its library. It was kept there until 1896, when the Hilandar brotherhood presented it to King Aleksandar Obrenović. Today it is kept in the National Museum in Belgrade (inv. no. 1536). Sheet 166 is in the National Library of Russia, in Saint-Petersburg.
133000 Monastery of Banjska, sculpture of a bird Artifact The fragmentarily preserved part of the architectural sculptural decoration with the representation of a bird cannot be determined with certainty where it was located within the Church of St. Stephen in the Banjska Monastery. The shape of the marble fragment suggests the possibility that it is part of an archivolt. Like the rest of the decoration, it is dated around 1315. Today it is kept in the National Museum in Belgrade, no. 26_2180.
132979 Monastery of Banjska, sculpture of the Virgin with Christ (the Sokolica Virgin) Artifact The sculpture of the Virgin with Christ comes from the Church of St. Stephen in the Monastery of Banjska, near Zvečan. The Church was built by King Stefan Uroš II Milutin between 1312 and 1316, when this marble sculpture was made in high relief. Once painted, the sculpture was placed in the lunette of the inner portal of the Church of St. Stephen, which was built according to the Church of the Virgin in the Studenica Monastery. The Sokolica Virgin bears the characteristics of Romanesque sculptures that rarely adorned monuments in the region of Raš. The sculpture of the Virgin with Christ was found in 1920 in the Church of the nearby Sokolica monastery, which is why it is called the Virgin of Sokolica. It is still kept there.
132889 Panik, frescoes Artifact Fragments of frescoes were found during the research of the Church in Panik. In question are fragments of heads of saints with inscriptions in Greek, so it is possible that they were done by the Byzantine masters. They are probably dated to 12th century. Today, these fragments of frescoes are kept in the National Museum in Sarajevo.
133028 Paraenesis of Ephrem the Syrian Artifact This is one of the oldest Serbian copies of Parnaenesis. Based on one of the records, it is known that the manuscript was written in 1337 by order of the first abbot of the Dečani Monastery. The parchment manuscript is decorated with two headpieces and a large number of initials. In 1860, Serafim Ristić, an archimandrite from the Dečani Monastery, gave it to the Society of Serbian Literature (today's Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts), in whose archives it is still kept under no. 60. And four folios are in the National Library of Russia, in Saint Petersburg (Гильф. 77).
133175 Relic of the head of St Gregory, now lost Artifact Among written account of Župan Desa is a mention of the reliquary with a cross and enamelled decoration for thehead of St Gregory, and duo saculi cum reliquiis, qui portantur ad gulam.
133167 Reliquary of Helen of Anjou, now lost Artifact According to written accounts Queen Helen of Anjou donated Staurotheke to the Sopoćani Monastery. The richly bejewelled reliquary in the form of a cross enshrined five pieces of the Holy Wood.
133153 Reliquary of the Holy Cross, Hilandar Monastery Artifact The Reliquary was most likely of Constantinople provenance and dated to the 13th century. The precious relic was donated to the Hilandar Monastery by St. Sava. A stavrotheque with a Holy Cross is still kept there today.
133157 Reliquary with the relic of the Forerunner’s right arm, the Chapel of St John the Baptist in Siena cathedral Artifact Reliquary with the relic of the Forerunner’s right arm is today kept in the crypt of the chapel of St John the Baptist in Siena cathedral. The foundation charter of the Žiča Monastery shows that King Stefan the First Crowned and his son Radoslav bestowed some of the most highly venerated Christian relics upon it, among which is the above-mentioned relic with the ultimate purpose to transfer the image of the Holy Land to Serbia, and in that way secure sacral legitimacy for the young kingdom. Later, in 1464 the Despot of Morea Tomas Palaiologos brought it with him to Siena, along with some other precious possessions, and turned it over to Pope Pius II in exchange for a handsome recompense. The relic consists of the embalmed, excellently preserved forearm and hand. The original cylindrical silver-gilt reliquary, clearly distinguishable from the later 15th-century one, is decorated with filigree ornaments, gemstones and rows of pearls. In terms of style and crafsmanship, it finds closest analogies in the work of Byzantine goldsmiths of the 10th to 12th centuries.The waist-length portrait of St John incised in the middle of its domical lid is encircled by the donor’s prayerful inscription: the Forerunner’s right arm. Protect me, Sava, Serbian archbishop. Based on analogies from the Byzantine world, it seems very likely that the relic was used on important state and church occasions. The relic enjoys the status of a highly venerated cult object ever since.
133115 Remains of sculptural decoration (pilasters/altar screen) Artifact On the preserved slab, which may be part of the altar screen, a cross with extended ends is carved in shallow relief. Its lower arm rests directly on a three-bar circle, which is intersected by rounded three-bar ribbons, and in the axis of the composition is a multi-petalled flower. Three-pronged ribbons on the sides of the cross end with lilies. The upper decorative zone is also decorated with lilies, shaped at the end of two-bar ribbons. There is a similar motif on the pilaster with a cross whose lower end develops into a circle filled with ivy leaves.
133117 Remains of sculptural decoration (pilasters/altar screen) Artifact On the preserved slab, which may be part of the altar screen, a cross with extended ends is carved in shallow relief. Its lower arm rests directly on a three-bar circle, which is intersected by rounded three-bar ribbons, and in the axis of the composition is a multi-petalled flower. Three-pronged ribbons on the sides of the cross end with lilies. The upper decorative zone is also decorated with lilies, shaped at the end of two-bar ribbons. There is a similar motif on the pilaster with a cross whose lower end develops into a circle filled with ivy leaves.
132995 Ring of Stefan Konstantin Nemanjić Artifact It is a gold ring with a representation of a double-headed eagle, discovered in a tomb of the Church of St. Stephen in Banjska. According to the latest research, it is believed to have belonged to Konstantin, the younger son of King Milutin and the brother of Stefan Dečanski. The ring dates back to 1322, when Constantine tragically died of unknown circumstances. This seal ring has decoration visible in three segments - on the head (double-headed eagle), around the neck (inscription: May God help whoever wears it) and along the ring. The skill of the work testifies to a goldsmith who worked in a Romano-Gothic artisan milieu, possibly in Italy. The ring is kept in the National Museum in Belgrade, no. 26_342.
132810 Rogačići, archivolt Artifact The preserved archivolt of the ciborium in Rogačići was made in the pre-Romanesque style. Although dated to the 11th century (in earlier literature even dated in the 12th century), the possibility that it was created in an earlier time cannot be ruled out. Fragments of the archivolt were found during the excavation of the six-leafed church in Rogačići, and today they are kept in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo.
133171 Staurotheke of King Stefan Uroš II Milutin Artifact Staurotheke of King Stefan Uroš II Milutin is kept in the Dominican Monastery in Dubrovnik, Croatia. It has the form of a double cross of sheet silver with twisted rosettes at the ends of the arms and the donor’s inscription engraved on the front and back of the handle. The important inscription states that the reliquary was commissioned by King Milutin and the Bishop of Raška Gregory II for the church of Sts Peter and Paul in Ras. It also contains the donors’ prayer for the forgiveness of sins, sanction for whoever should dare harm the church or the Holy Wood, and verses about the protective powers of the True Cross.
133160 Staurotheke of St. Sava of Serbia, Diocesan Museum in Pienza Artifact Staurotheke of St. Sava of Serbia is today kept in the Diocesan Museum in Pienza. Along with the Forerunner’s arm, the Despot of Morea Tomas Palaiologos relinquished it to Pope Pius II, who then donated it to Pienza. The silver-gilt reliquary has the shape of a double-arm cross and is richly decorated with filigree, pearls and precious stones. The relic of the True Cross is accessible to view through two cruciform apertures sheltered by rock crystal. Besides exquisite crafsmanship the staurotheke carries a rather complex symbolism, common in this type of objects. Its handle bears a calligraphic repoussé inscription: ‘Sava, the first Serbian archbishopand patriarch’. The reliquary replaced an older one and has been reliably dated to the last quarter of the 14th century by style and workmanship, as well as by the title ‘patriarch’ attached to Sava of Serbia, which reflects the state of affairs after 1375, when the dispute between the Serbian and Byzantine churches caused by the former’s elevation to the rank of patriarchate was settled.
132784 Ston, Church of St. Michael, frescoes Artifact Wall paintings have been partially preserved on the side walls and in the apse, while smaller fragments were discovered on the vault of the eastern aisle. In the niche of the western bay, there is a figure of a ruler with a crown and a model of the (Ston) church in his hand. It is the most famous fresco which allowed the dating of the Church (along with the inscription on the lintel). On the opposite, southern side, is an image of St. George, with a sword and a shield in his hand, next to which the inscription (GE)O(R)GIVS. Above the ruler, only the lower parts of two figures have been preserved, one in a ceremonial robe and the other unclothed and shackled in a humble position. Both are directed towards the west, so it is assumed that it is an image of a sinner and on the west wall was a scene of the Last Judgment. Some researchers date frescoes somewhere between 1051 and 1081, while others suggested earlier date (first half of the 11th century). In recent times, frescoes have been associated with close examples of Ottonian book illumination and wall painting or Regensburg illuminations from the end of the 10th century (BamStbib, Msc. Lit. 142, f 4v). Nevertheless, closest analogies are to be found in Byzantine painting of the first half and/or middle of the 11th century in the southern Italian region of Apulia (such as in the church of Sta. Marina in Muro Leccese or in the crypt near Grottaglia (Gravina di Riggio)).
132774 Ston, Church of St. Michael, relief decoration Artifact Within the church of St. Michael in Ston, several original pieces of architectural decoration and church furnishing, dated in the 11th century, have been preserved. All openings of the early medieval building that have been preserved indicate the pre-Romanesque bas-relief style of their frames and the early medieval frescoes in the interior, which harmonize the composition with the arrangement of the windows. The relief decoration was made in the pre-Romanesque style (some of the researchers Jurković and Tomas recognize two chronological layers of the sculpture). The lintel, used in a secondary function as a tombstone, is decorated with three crosses, connected to each other by a two-bar braid; the upper field is filled with an inscription, which has been interpreted and dated differently in historiography. B. Gabričević recognized the verse in the inscription: (ARCHANGELUS) MICHAELUS FORTITER SUPER SECO PACIFICOQUE OMNES ROMANOS Among the fragments of liturgical furniture, the remains of the altar screen and ciborium can be recognized.
132891 Studenica, Church of the Mother of God, altar trifora Artifact The trifora of the altar apse of the Church of the Mother of God in the Studenica Monastery, is made of marble and dated around 1190. Rich plastic decoration is found in the lunette, window frame and window sill in the form of relief, as well as the console supports in the form of two almost free-standing figures/statues (actually made in high relief). The altar trifora of the Studenica Catholicon is characterized by stylistic similarities with monuments of Italian Romanesque sculpture. I is interesting to note that the trifora from the Dečani Monastery is made entirely like the trifora from this Monastery.
132896 Studenica, Church of the Mother of God, consoles Artifact The consoles of the arcade frieze of the Southern façade of the Studenica Catholicon were made of marble, around 1190, a the time of the erection of the the Church of the Mother of God. The consoles are variously decorated with motifs of human and animal heads. Student sculpture has models in Romanesque art.
132900 Studenica, Church of the Mother of God, transenna Artifact The lead transenna on the central window of the North wall of the under-dome area of the Church of the Mother of God in the Studenica Monastery is the only preserved example of such decorated window opening in Serbian medieval art. This transenna is contemporary with the construction of the Studenica Catholicon, and dates from around 1190. The lead window sash was filled with colored glass in the larger gaps, and the decoration consists of ten medallions (once probably 12). In the center of each field there is a figural representation whose outlines are made with a series of densely drilled holes. Various motifs such as floral motifs and representations of realistic and fantastic animals, facing the center of the plate decorated the transenna. Eight preserved fields have depictions of animals, and only two have rosettes. The window frame was restored, so it is possible that certain fields were given a place that did not originally belong to them.
132808 Sušćepan, Church of St. Stephen, parapet plates Artifact In the Church of St. Stephen in Sušćepan, two parapet plates, decorated in the pre-Romanesque style, were found. Each is divided into two square surfaces, framed by a border covered by braids of three-part strips. A griffin is represented on the upper surface of both plates, while a stylized floral ornament is placed below. These marble slabs date back to the 11th century and were then part of the iconostasis. Today, younger buildings were built (adjacent) to the wall in the same place.
132047 The Book of Gospels of Divoš Tihoradić Artifact The Book of Gospels of Divoš Tihoradić (Дивошево јеванђеље) was discovered 1960 in the monastery church of St. Nicholas in Podvrh in the Bijelo Polje county. Its origin is dated in the first decades of the 14th century and was commissioned by the nobleman Divoš Tihoradić.
133019 The Kumanica Gospel (the Tetraevangelion from Kumanica) Artifact The Kumanica Gospel is a manuscript from the 16th century, in which four miniatures with portraits of evangelists, dated in the 14th century, have been inserted. These author's portraits of evangelists are considered to be the most beautiful examples of the early Palaeologian style in Serbian medieval manuscript decoration. The miniatures are dated to (the first half of) the 14th century. The Kumanica Gospel are kept in the SAS Archive in Belgrade, no 69.
132959 The Prizren Gospel Artifact The Prizren Gospel, written on parchment, in the Serbian recension of Old Church Slavonic, was most probably created in the last decades of the 13th century. It was purchased from Hadji Jordan from Skopje around 1880, in the village of Bitinja in the Sirinić area, in the then district of the town of Prizren, after which it was named. It was kept under the number 297 in the former National Library in Belgrade. Unfortunately, the manuscript was destroyed on April 6th 1941 during the German bombing of Belgrade. However, the manuscript can be studied based on black and white photographs and descriptions of previous researchers. Within the codex were 36 miniatures, mostly located on the margins of the text. Their contours were made with black ink, with a thick pen or brush, and was partially painted with a reduced palette - light blue, red, ocher yellow and warm brown. Figural representations were indirectly related to the text next to which they were painted. Among the miniatures were author's portraits of the evangelists (Matthew and Mark), various New Testament themes and figures, images of saints, etc. They were unskillfully executed and unusually iconographically resolved. The researchers recognized in them the influences of the Christian Orient, primarily works of Coptic art.
133163 True Cross Reliquary, King Vladislav, now lost Artifact An 18th-century description of a now lost staurotheke which King Vladislav donated to the Athonite Monastery of St Paul describes this, today lost, staurotheke. In the upper part of the lid were depicted the Crucifixion and the Christ enthroned surrounded by saints, and in the lower, a king in proskynesis and an inscription in Old Serbian. The inscription, in which the ktetor prays for protection and assistance by the True Cross, reveals not only the identity of the king but also the role of the relic in the royal ideology of the Nemanjićs.
132745 Vrutci, Church of St. Stephen, remains of sculptural decoration Artifact Fragments of bas-relief sculptural decoration found within the Church of St. Stephen in Vrutci dates back to the end of the 9th/beginning of the 10th century. These are parts of church furniture or architectural plastic made in the pre-Romanesque style - with the recognizable motif of the interweaving of three-part strips.
132926 Vukan's Gospel Artifact Vukan's Gospel is a full aprakos, written on parchment probably between 1200-1202. The manuscript was copied by several scribes, and major part of the codex was written by the hand of the elder Simeon. The decoration of the codex consists of a large number of initials, several headpieces and two miniatures. Vukan's Gospel was written in Ras, but it was kept for a long time in the Karyes cell of Saint Sava. Bishop Porphyrius Uspensky brought it to Russia in the 19th century, where it is still today. The Gospel is kept in the National Library of Russia in Saint-Petersburg (Fn I 82), while one leaf is kept in the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences.