Panou, Eirini (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis is the first scholarly attempt to examine the veneration that Mary’s parents – and her mother Anna in particular – enjoyed in Byzantium. The four pillars upon which this examination will be based are topography, texts, relics and iconography.
The topography of Constantinople is examined in relation to that of Jerusalem in order to bring to the surface new ideas on the development of Constantinopolitan topography. I also look at the motives behind the construction of the first church dedicated to St Anna in Constantinople and its relation to the topography of the Holy Land.
In terms of textual production, I show that until the eighth century Mary’s parents and their story recounted in the second-century apocryphal Protevangelion of James, were intentionally ‘ignored’ because of the non-canonical nature of the text. But from the eighth century onwards the situation dramatically changes with the emergence of Byzantine homilies and Ι will explore the reasons that triggered this change as well as the way Mary’s parents are presented in this genre.
Finally, I discuss the problematic around Anna’s relics, her association with iconophilia, demonstration of Orthodoxy, healing and protection of childbirth. Last but not least, the examination of iconographical evidence will uncover the visual impact of Anna’s cult and will complete the study of her veneration in Byzantium.
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