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Mary of the Zoodochos Pege: The Authorial Treatment of the Theotokos and Its Historical Value

  • 중앙사론
  • 2019, (50), pp.181-210
  • Publisher : Institute for Historical Studies at Chung-Ang University
  • Research Area : Humanities > History
  • Received : November 27, 2019
  • Accepted : December 19, 2019
  • Published : December 31, 2019

Hee Min Yang 1

1Queen's University

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article examines the tenth century compilation of Miracula of the Zoodochos Pege (i.e. Life-Giving Spring) located near Constantinople. This text narrates the legendary miracles that were believed to be the work of the Theotokos of the holy shrine of the Pege. Unlike other holy individuals, the Theotokos, as the Mother of God, always occupied a special place in Byzantine religious and hagiographical tradition. However, the author of the Miracula of the Pege fashioned her as being capable of working miracles of her own volition, not simply as a channel of God’s grace. Such treatment of her is evidently distant from other Byzantine hagiographers who, to their greatest extent, merely portrayed her as being the greatest guardian of Orthodoxy and the highest interceder of Christians as being the Mother of God. However, the Theotokos of the Pege is, throughout the narrative, fashioned not as a divine instrument but rather as an independent worker of miracles. The greatest historical value of this Miracula, which was written at the zenith of Byzantium’s cultural and political supremacy, lies in its uniquely bold and potentially dangerous authorial treatment of the Mother of God and successfully aiding the cult to be continued without incurring any condemnation.

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