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Kriton Chryssochoidis

The Portaitissa icon at Iveron monastery and the cult of the Virgin on Mount Athos

From Maria Vassilaki (Ed.), Images of the Mother of God, Ashgate, 2005.

During the reign of the iconoclast emperor Theophilos, an icon of the Virgin in the possession of a pious widow and her son from Nicaea in Bithynia was cast into the sea to save it from the destructive frenzy of its pursuers. Many years later it reappeared in the midst of a pillar of fire in the bay of St Clement's monastery, the future Iveron, on Mt Athos. The monks tried to approach it, but in vain, as the icon retreated out to sea. After the Virgin herself gave a sign to the abbot, the icon was taken to the katholikon of the monastery by a humble Georgian ascetic, Gabriel by name, who had walked across the waves to pick it up. Eventually, after another sign from the Theotokos, the icon was placed in the parekklesion, which had been built for this purpose at the entrance (πόρτα) to the monastery, to be its guardian and protector: whence it acquired the name 'Portaitissa' (Our Lady of the Gate).

This, in brief, is the story of perhaps the most celebrated Theotokos icon on Athos, which is still housed in Iveron and acts as the monastery's palladium (Plate 7, Fig. ii.i).(1) The Portaitissa is also, on present knowledge, the earliest recorded miracle-working icon on Athos, being first mentioned in the sources, indirectly but with certainty, in the Synodikon of Iveron between 1170 and 1183-1184, when Abbot Paul renovated the doors of the church (parekklesion) of the Portaitissa, which clearly housed the icon of that name. This is an indication that it had been constructed some years before, perhaps even in the eleventh century; certainly not before the middle of that century, however, as there is no reference to it in the Lives of the founders John and Euthymios or of Abbot George, who died in 1056.(2)

The icon itself was recently dated to the early eleventh or late tenth century, i.e. a few decades after the foundation of the monastery by the Iberians John, Euthymios and Tornikios (monk John) in 980.(3) It was previously attributed variously to the iconoclast period (ninth century), the early twelfth century and even much later, to the late thirteenth century.(4) However, by the thirteenth century the fame of the icon was such that even in formal documents the Iveron monastery is given the supplementary title 'Monastery of the most holy Theotokos who is called Portaitissa'-'Portiatissa'-'Portiotissa'.(5) In 1355-1356, when Patriarch Kallistos I assigned the abbot's office (hegoumeneia) and the katholikon of the monastery to the numerically superior Greek monks, the church of the Portaitissa was entrusted to the Iberians to 'perform their sacred hymnodies there' (ἐκτελῶσι καὶ οὗτοι ἐν αὐτῇ τὰς ἱερὰς ὑμνωδίας).(6)

We do not know of any special liturgical typikon for the akolouthiai which were held in the church in the Byzantine era, though in the first years of the sixteenth century the monks were tonsured and presented with their mega schema in the parekklesion in front of the icon.(7) About the same time the icon was covered with a precious revetment, the gift of Ambrosi, a Georgian nobleman of royal descent,(8) and a few years later, around 1517, the wife of the ruler of Wallachia, Neagoe Bassarab, donated a valuable podea.(9) Its cult spread to the Balkans and to Russia, particularly after the sixteenth century, and a remarkably large number of copies of it were produced.(10)

The presence of a celebrated ancient icon called the Portaitissa might have been expected to give rise to the composition of hagiographical Hypomnemata (memoirs) or Diegeses (narratives) going back to the Byzantine times on the subject of its appellation and history, and also of Byzantine hymnographical texts dedicated to its cult.(11) However, as we shall see, surviving Greek hagiographical texts on the Portaitissa, whether in full or abridged versions, do not pre-date the early post-Byzantine era.

The narratives, in the abridged version, contain the story of the miraculous appearance of the icon and its installation in the Iveron monastery. Usually headed 'Περὶ τῆς Πορταϊτίσσης Θεοτόκου' or 'Περὶ τῆς μονῆς τῶν Ἰβήρων', with small variations between them, they form an organic part of a group of texts known as 'Πάτρια τοῦ Ἁγίου Ὄρους',(12) which contain descriptions of fantastic or historical events and records of pious traditions, and also brief accounts of the foundation of Athonite monasteries and of the miracle-working icons they housed.(13)

All the texts of the Patria without exception make their appearance in the manuscript tradition in the first years of the sixteenth century, certainly before 1516. We know this because one group, which contains the narrative of the Portaitissa icon, was translated into Russian by Maximos the Greek, who must have become acquainted with the texts during his ten-year residence on Athos
(1505 or 1506 to 1516), before he emigrated to Russia.(14)

The full versions of the Greek texts are transmitted independently and are classified as Hypomnemata(15) or Diegeses.(16) They contain small variants between them, and some are faithful paraphrases in simple language (εἰς ἁπλῆν φράσιν) of the original more literary texts. The earliest known manuscript of any version of the text dates from as late as 1599,(17) but one of the variants must have appeared in the manuscript tradition in the first decades of the sixteenth century -certainly before 1540, the year in which another Hypomnema on the Portaitissa was copied by Pachomios Rousanos, as we shall see below.

In the full version of the Greek text, the narrative itself, with the miraculous appearance of the icon, its installation in the monastery, and the miracles it performed in later times, is preceded by chapters which form an apparent hotchpotch of texts with content similar to that of the Patria. They refer to the triumph of Christianity under Constantine the Great and the presence of monks on Athos at that time, the arrival of St Peter the Athonite on the mountain at the instigation of the Theotokos, the founding of Lavra by St Athanasios the Athonite and the instruction received from him by John of Iveron, as well as the story of the foundation of Iveron and the work of its founder Tornikios.(18)

The manuscript tradition of all the Greek versions of the narrative of the Portaitissa icon thus goes back to the early post-Byzantine era and does not pre-date the early sixteenth century. References to the transmission in Byzantine manuscripts of the abridged texts contained in the Patria and of the full narratives are without exception based on erroneous dating. Two of the manuscripts which transmitted the text of the Patria are dated to the fifteenth century in published catalogues,(19) but a study of the manuscripts themselves has shown that both were written around the mid-sixteenth or early seventeenth century.(20) A manuscript in the Synodal Library in Moscow (MS. no. 404) with the full Diegesis and the Akolouthia for the Portaitissa was given a twelfth-century dating in the middle of the nineteenth century.(21) The library's catalogue of manuscripts later attributed it to the sixteenth,(22) and this dating has recently been authoritatively revised to the seventeenth century.(23) However, the error is still being perpetuated and a recent study which dates the icon to the twelfth century attributes the text to the same period.(24)

This late dating of the Greek hagiographical texts on the Portaitissa icon obviously does not exclude the possibility of the composition of narratives or akolouthiai in Georgian during the Byzantine era. We know that at this time the icon was particularly venerated by the monastery's Georgian monks and that in 1355 or 1356 the church of the Portaitissa was assigned to them by Patriarch Kallistos for their exclusive liturgical use, after the katholikon was presented to the Greeks. Bury assumes the existence of an older Georgian text which served as a source for the Greek Hypomnema which he edited, without however providing any direct evidence or suggesting a date for its composition.(25)

A note in Iveron monastery manuscript no. 1864, which was copied in the late seventeenth century and contains the Hypomnema of Bury's edition, supports the view which the editor put forward a century ago.(26) Written in the copyist's hand, it reads

It is said that after the Iberians abandoned the monastery, the Greeks who settled there wished to translate the present Hypomnema from the Iberian language into their own dialect. But there was no proper interpreter or writer. For this reason it seems to me that the composition has been corrupted in many places. For it is happy neither in its phrasing nor in its copying. And it has therefore been corrected by us, as far as possible, and adapted to a simpler form, as can be seen here.

(Λέγεται ὅτι μετὰ τὸ καταλειφθῆναι τὴν μονὴν ὑπὸ τῶν Ἰβήρων, ἠθέλησαν οἱ ταύτην οἰκήσαντες Γραικοί μετενεγκεῖν ἐκ τῆς ἰβηρίδος φωνῆς εἰς τὴν ἰδίαν διάλεκτον τὸ παρὸν ὑπόμνημα• οὐκ ἔτυχον δὲ οὔτε ἑρμηνέως οὔτε συγγραφέως ὡς ἔδει• ὅθεν μοι δοκεῖ ἐν πολλοῖς διαφθαρεῖναι τὸ σύγγραμμα• οὔτε γὰρ φράσιν οὔτε ἀντιστοιχίαν ηὐμοίρει• διωρθώθη δ' οὖν ὅμως παρ' ἡμῶν, ὡς δυνατόν, καὶ μετερρυθμίσθη [cod.: μετερριθμήθη] εἰς τὸ ἁπλοϊκότερον, ὡς ὁρᾶται ἐνθάδε)

The anonymous copyist thus provides earlier evidence of a Georgian original of the Hypomnema and of an unreliable translation of it into Greek, which he himself tried to improve and to render in ‘a simpler form’ (i.e. in popular speech).

These comments are highly interesting and no doubt reflect reality, but they complicate the issue because, as previously mentioned, the Hypomnema must have been composed before 1540, although the earliest manuscripts date from 1599. We might suggest that by the word ‘corrected’ the author means rendering the text in popular speech. The question must remain open pending an examination of this new manuscript of the Hypomnema and, even more, research into the Georgian manuscript tradition of the history of the Portaitissa. The comment by L. Evseeva and M. Shvedova that the Georgian narrative on the icon dates from the thirteenth century is based on nineteenth-century Russian bibliography and is unpersuasive.(27)

A considerable period of time, about five centuries, also separates the appearance of the Portaitissa in the monastery from the earliest Greek hymnographical text devoted to her. A kanon bearing the acrostic 'Γαβριήλ θύτης', transmitted in a seventeenth-century manuscript and formerly attributed to the celebrated tenth-century hymnographer Gabriel, has been proved to be a much later work, composed by a hymnographer of the same name, presumably a seventeenth-century Athonite hieromonachos.(28) We do not know the date of composition of an unpublished akolouthia relating to the Portaitissa which is transmitted in a manuscript in Iveron copied in the first half of the sixteenth century. In fact this is not an akolouthia with hymnographical texts but the 'Τυπικὸν τῆς ἀγρυπνίας' (Typikon of the Vigil), which was celebrated after the transfer of the icon from the parekklesion to the katholikon of the monastery in specific circumstances (e.g. drought) and the 'Τυπικόν της λιτανείας' (Typikon of the litany) which followed. It does not contain any hymnographical text specifically composed for the Portaitissa icon but has associations with the well-known paracletic kanon to the Theotokos.(29)

The story of the miraculous arrival of the icon at Iveron is also included in another text, particularly noteworthy for its scholarly and rhetorical qualities, whose style suggests that it was written in the Byzantine era. This is an unpublished Hypomnema (as it too is headed) on the Portaitissa icon. In fact it is not a narrative but a panegyric composed to be read during the akolouthia preceding the litany of the icon on 16 August, the day following the feast of the Dormition, which is also the official feast day of the Iveron monastery, when the icon was taken in procession to the katholikon. The text is transmitted in one unique manuscript, copied in Iveron in 1540 by the celebrated scholar and author, the monk Pachomios Rousanos.(30)

In this Hypomnema, or rather panegyric, the anonymous author deliberately ignores the legend of the settlement of Athos by monks in the reign of Constantine the Great, the arrival of Peter the Athonite and the patridographic texts (texts related to the Patria) on the foundation of Iveron monastery. It begins with a historical reference to the iconoclast emperors from Leo III the Isaurian to Theophilos and continues with the celebrated narrative of the icon and a description of the miracles, exactly as in the other full texts. Instead of the history of the monastery, at the end of the text is a specific reference to its first abbot, John the Iberian, and his instruction by Athanasios the Athonite. Through the use of this ancient testimony, the author tries to demonstrate the special relationship between the two founders of Iveron and Lavra, and thus to promote the personality of John. With this aim he includes the following:

1. The virtually complete text of a document of 984, which we identify with a document of Athanasios the Athonite to Abbot John of Iveron dating from 984.(31) In this the founder of Lavra praises John, mentioning his evergetic activities in Constantinople on behalf of the Lavra monastery.
2. Extracts from the Diatyposis of the same Athanasios, which refers to the appointment of John as supervisor (epitropos) and spiritual leader of the monks of Lavra after his death.(32)

This text also, which is expressly stated to have been written in Iveron monastery, cannot in my opinion be attributed to the Byzantine era. The author is clearly aware of the full narrative text of the Hypomnema, whose earliest known manuscript, as previously stated, dates from 1599, and he uses it as a source, quoting many phrases verbatim. It therefore follows that a manuscript containing this text existed in the monastery before 1540.

All the evidence points to the anonymous author of the panegyric belonging to the circle of scholarly monks resident in the Iveron monastery at least during the 1530s. The only individual monk of whom we have definite knowledge at present is Pachomios Rousanos. Born in Zakynthos, he settled in the monastery no later than 1535 and remained there for about ten years until 1544, with intervals of absence when he undertook pastoral tours of duty outside Athos in the surrounding area.(33)

Following the bibliographical tradition created in the monastery in the previous decades(34) he undertook as his handiwork the task of copying manuscripts. By the year 1540 he had copied on the monastery's behalf at least ten manuscripts -some of considerable length- which are notable examples of his calligraphic skill.(35) He often inserts his own works into the texts he is copying; for example, the manuscript which contains the Hypomnema on the icon also includes two of his compositions, one of which is addressed to the monks of Iveron.(36)

After his lengthy residence in the monastery, Pachomios was thoroughly familiar with the contents of the library, as he often comments on the anthivola which he used, and he would certainly have been conversant with the Iveron archive which contained (as it still does today) the original document of Athanasios addressed to John of Iveron. He also knew the Diatyposis of Athanasios the Athonite, as the testamentary documents of the saint (Τυπικόν and Διaτύπωσις) form the content of one of the manuscripts which he copied on behalf of the Iveron monastery.(37)

The style and language of the text, which are not subjects for the present paper, and the very extensive use of passages from ancient Greek, hagiographie and patristic writings point to an author with considerable education and knowledge of ecclesiastical literature, and recall the literary manner and the grandiloquent, academic and often archaic style of Rousanos' writings. The most learned text devoted to the Portaitissa therefore does not belong to Byzantine literature, but should rather be considered a work of the fourth decade of the sixteenth century. It would probably not be over-bold to attribute it to the pen of Pachomios Rousanos himself and to include it in the catalogue of his writings for the first time. If this is so, all the Greek texts on the miraculous icon of the Portaitissa date from at least four centuries after its attested appearance at the very centre of worship in Iveron monastery.

The long interval separating the arrival of the icon in the monastery from the written narrative recording it is not unique to the Portaitissa. Exactly the same phenomenon occurs with another celebrated Athonite icon of the Virgin, the Theotokos Karyotissa (now known as the Ἄξιον ἐστί), housed and venerated in the church of the Protaton at Karyes. Its dating is disputed: some consider it a late thirteenth-century work originating from the workshop of the painter of the Protaton, while others date it to the fourteenth century.(38) But apart from the question of dating, there is firm evidence for the existence of an icon in the Protaton with the appellation ‘Μήτηρ Θεοῦ ἡ Καρεώτυσσα’ in the first decades of the thirteenth century.(39) Yet the narrative of the icon, which must certainly have been in circulation orally, as recently demonstrated, was only written down in the early sixteenth century by Serapheim, the Protos of Mt Athos, an active hieromonachos who composed Lives of Athonite contemporaries, making a systematic effort to prove them saints.(40)

It is to just this time that a forged Athonite Typikon can be dated, the ‘Νόμος καὶ Τύπος του ἁγίου ὄρους καὶ τοῦ Πρωτάτου’, otherwise known as the Τυπικόν τοῦ Μανουήλ Β' Παλαιολόγου τοῦ 1394’» as well as apocryphal compilations of documents of an administrative nature. These documents and the miraculous narrative of the Protaton icon were concocted, recorded or recollected from the past for the purposes of bolstering the declining institution of the Protos - in other words to serve the ideological and jurisdictional requirements of the central administration of Athos, based in the Protaton.(41)

As we have suggested above, this was also the period when the Patria of Mt Athos made their appearance. These effectively rewrote the history of the Mountain and of its monasteries, as the monks required a history which would display a lengthy tradition, celebrated founders and miraculous icons with a glorious past; historical inaccuracies and blatant chronological inconsistencies and contradictions were of no great significance. The main aim was to confront the crisis and the decline which had emerged since the Ottoman occupation in the fifteenth century, so that the holy site could rediscover its past glory and prestige in the world of eastern Christianity.

This new legendary history traces the foundation of the monasteries back to the days of Constantine the Great, Theodosios and Pulcheria. Partly factual, but mainly imaginary foundation chronicles are here interwoven with old and new tales of the miraculous icons which had been circulating orally, perhaps for centuries. Their consistent aim is to glorify the monastic foundations, and it is to this branch of patridographic writing that the narrative of the Iveron Portaitissa, at any rate in its Greek written version, belongs.

These sixteenth-century patridographic texts give a prominent place to promoting the Theotokos as the protector, guardian and spiritual owner of the Athonite peninsula. We know that immediately after the arrival of a small group of anchorites on Athos, the Theotokos cult came to the fore, as the church common to all the inhabitants of Athos, the Protaton, which must have been functioning in the late ninth century, was dedicated to her from the time of its foundation. She is also the dedicatee of the katholika of the three great koinobia (Lavra, Iveron and Vatopedi) founded in the tenth century.

In the eleventh century, the author of the Life of Peter the Athonite, the first Athonite ascetic of the eighth-ninth century, witnessed the rising glory of Athos and made the Theotokos appear to the saint in a dream to foretell the radiant future of the Holy Mountain.(42) As the fame of the area grew, the Virgin's prophecy to Peter was extracted from the Life and, notably during Athos' fourteenth-century efflorescence, turned into an independent text entitled ‘Ἐκ τοῦ βίου Πέτρου τοῦ Ἀθωνίτου'. This was copied many times and exploited by celebrated Athonite intellectuals such as Gregory Palamas in order to authenticate the Theotokos' prophecy.(43)

For the flourishing Athonites of the Byzantine era this modest, rather unpretentious tradition provided sufficient authority for the prosperity and glory of their holy site. The prophecy was of course included in the texts of the Patria of the Holy Mountain, but it could not bring consolation to the inhabitants of the Mountain in the immediate post-Byzantine period. Orally at first no doubt, it was remoulded and transformed into a legendary historical narrative incorporated within the patridographic cycle, which demanded the presence of the Theotokos herself on Athos to convert the idolatrous natives to Christianity and also an express declaration by her Son and Lord that the area should be exclusively assigned to her.(44) This declaration was supposedly ratified later by the first earthly Christian Lord, Constantine the Great, who ‘called Athos the garden of the Theotokos and ordained that the mountain should everywhere be called holy’ (περιβόλιον τῆς Θεοτόκου ἐπωνόμασε καὶ τὸ ὄρος προστάξας πανταχόθεν λέγεσθαι ἅγιον)(45) - an audacious statement aimed at launching the hopes of a revival of the monastic community and at restoring glory to the sacred space, which now existed in the new reality of an alien religious state.

The description of Athos as ‘the garden of the Virgin’, in widespread use up to the present day, has its origins at the dawn of the sixteenth century. And the icons of the Theotokos, with the miraculous narratives which we can trace in writings of the same period, are the flowers of that garden.


1. It is headed Ὑπόμνημα and was edited by J. Bury, 'Iveron and Our Lady of the Gate', Hermathena 10 (1897), 71-99 (text, 86-99).

2. J. Lefort, N. Oikonomidès, D. Papachryssanthou, V. Kravari and H. Métrévéli (eds), Actes d'Iviron II (Archives del'Athos, XVI) (Paris, 1990), n, 38. Cf. eid., Actes d'Iviron I (Archives de l'Athos, XIV) (Paris, 1985), 63.

3. P. Vocotopoulos, 'Note sur l'icône de la Vierge Portaitissa', Zograf 25 (1996), 27-30. Id., ‘Ή εικόνα της Παναγίας Πορταΐτισσας της Ιεράς Μονής των Ιβήρων’, in Άγιον Όρος. Φύση - Ιστορία. - Τέχνη II (Thessaloniki, 2001), 81-8, 273 (photo).

4. Th. Steppan, 'Überlegungen zur Ikone der Panhagia Portaitissa im Kloster Iwiron am Berg Athos', in Sinnbild und Abbild. Zur Funktion des Bildes, Kunstgeschichtliche Studien-Innsburg (Veröffentlichungen der Universität Innsburg, 198), Neue Folge, I (1994), 23-49 (early 12th c.). For the datings, see Vocotopoulos, ‘Η εικόνα της Παναγίας Πορταΐτισσας', 83-4.

5. Lefοrt et al, Actes d'lviron III (Archives de l'Athos, XVIII) (Paris, 1994), 6 and documents no. 61 (year 1273), line 11; no. 62 (year 1283), line 63.

6. Lefort et al., Actes d'lviron IV (Archives de l'Athos, XIX) (Paris, 1995), document no. 93, lines 65-6.

7. K. Chryssochoidis, 'To βιβλιογραφικό εργαστήριο της μονής Ιβήρων στις πρώτες δεκαετίες του 16ου αιώνα', in Η ελληνική γραφή κατά τους 15° και 16° αιώνες (ΙΒΕ/ΕΙΕ, Διεθνή Σομπόσια, 7) (Athens, 2000), 530 : autobiographical note of prohegoumenos Dionysios of Iveron.

8. Lefort et αι., Actes d'lviron IV, 24 and 27. Ζ. Skhirtladze, The Revetment of the Portaitissa Icon (Tbilisi, 1994) (in Georgian). The same subject is comprehensively covered by Skhirtladze in an unpublished doctoral thesis submitted at the Tbilisi State University, which I have been unable to examine: ‘The Portaitissa Icon at Iveron and the Jakeli Family of Samtskhe’ (in Georgian). See Bulletin of British Byzantine Studies 21 (1995), 40-1.

9. P. Nästurel, Le Mont Athos et les Roumains. Recherches sur leurs relations du milieu du XIVe siècle à 1654 (Orientalia Christiana Analecta, 227) (Rome, 1986), 107.

10. For an indication of the extensive bibliography in Russian, see I. Bentchev, Bibliographie der Gottesmutterikonen (Bonn, 1992), 153-8.

11. Cf. Lefort et al., Actes d'lviron I, 63 n. 6.

12. M. Gedeon, Ο Άθως. Αναμνήσεις - έγγραφα - σημειώσεις (Constantinople, 1885), 303-4. S. Lampros, 'Τα Πάτρια του Αγίου ‘Oρους', NE 9 (1912), 129-30.

13. On the Patria, see the note by D. Papachryssanthou, Ο Αθωνικός μοναχισμός. Αρχές και οργάνωση (Athens, 1992), 30 n. 29.

14. A. Ivanov, Literaturnoe nasledie Maksima Greka. Kharakteristika, atributsii, bibliografiia (Leningrad, 1969), no. 278, 177-8, and no. 327, 196-7.

15. Ὑπόμνημα περί τοῦ ἁγίου ὄρους Ἄθω καὶ περὶ τῶν κτιτόρων τῆς σεβασμίας καὶ βασιλικῆς μονῆς τῶν Ἰβήρων, καὶ περὶ τῆς ἁγίας καὶ προσκυνητῆς εἰκόνος τῆς Θεοτόκου τῆς Πορταϊτίσσης• καὶ ὅθεν καὶ ὅπως καὶ κατὰ τίνα τρόπον εἰσῆλθεν ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ μονῇ καὶ μερικὴ θαυμάτων διήγησις (BHG, 1070, 1070b).

16. Διήγησις πάνυ ὡραία περὶ τῆς ἱερᾶς καὶ σεβασμίας εἰκόνος τῆς Πορταϊτίσσης, πῶς ἦλθεν εἰς τὸ Ἅγιον Ὄρος, εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν μονὴν τῶν Ἰβήρων (BHG, Auctarium, 1070).

17. The manuscript Oxon. Lincoln College 10, containing the Hypomnema, was copied in Constantinople by Michael Anerestos in 1599 and used for Bury's edition, see ‘Iveron and Our Lady’, 75-6.

18. Ibid., 77-8.

19. For a catalogue of manuscripts of the Patria, see M. Rigo, 'La Διήγησις sui monaci athoniti martirizziati dai latinofroni (BHG 2333) e le tradizioni athonite succesive: alcune osservazioni', Studi Veneziani, n.s., 15 (1988), 78-9 n. 26.

20. The manuscripts are: (i) Karakallou 66 (=1579): see S. Lampros, Κατάλογος των εν ταις βιβλιοθήκαις του Αγίου Όρους ελληνικών κωδίκων I (Cambridge, 1895)1 136; personal observation showed that it was copied around the mid-16th c. (ii) Lavra 1142 (I 58): see Spyridon Lauriotes and S. Eustrathiades, Κατάλογος των κωδίκων της Μεγίστης Λαύρας (Paris, 1925),188; it cannot be dated before the early 17th c. as it contains inter alia works by Dionysios the rhetor, an Athonite intellectual of the late l6th and early I7th c.

21. V. Langlois, Le Mont Athos et ses monastères (Paris, 1867), 17 (the manuscript is referred to by its former number, 436).

22. Archim. Vladimir, Sistematicheskoe opisanie rukopisei Moskovskoi Sinodal'noi (Patriarshei) Biblioteki I. Rukopisi grecheskiia (Moscow, 1894), 603-4.

23. B. Fonkich and F. Poljakov, Grecheskie rukopisi Moskovskoi Sinodal'noi Biblioteki. Paleograficheskie, kodikologicheskie i bibliograficheskie dopolnenia k katalogu archimandrita Vladimira (Filantropova) (Moscow, 1993 ), 132.

24. Steppan, 'Überlegungen zur Ikone der Panhagia Portaitissa', 37-8.

25. Bury, ‘Iveron and Our Lady’, 77.

26. The manuscript is uncatalogued. It has been numbered and described by monk Theologos, librarian of Iveron monastery, to whom I am most grateful for this information.

27. L. Evseeva and M. Shvedova, ‘Afonskiie spiski Bogomateri 'Portaitissy' i problema podobiia v ikonopisi’, in A. Lidov (ed.), Chudotvornaia ikona v Vizantii i Drevnei Rusi (Moscow, 1996), 346-7 n. i. I was unable to refer to the recent book by Timothy Gabashvili, Pilgrimage to Mount Athos, Constantinople and Jerusalem, 1755-1759, translated and annotated by M. Ebanoidze and J. Wilkinson, Caucasus world. Georgian Studies on the Holy Land I (Richmond, Surrey, 2001), which refers extensively to the journey of the Georgian bishop Timotheos to Iveron and to the narrative of the icon.

28. P. Paschos, Gabriel l'hymnographe. Kontakia et canons (Paris and Athens, 1978-79), 81-7 and 262-77 (edition of the canon).

29. MS. Iveron 847, fols 33-54. The text is headed: Ἀκολουθία συνταχθεῖσα ἐν τῇ σεβασμίᾳ μονῇ τῆς ὑπεραγίας Θεοτόκου τῆς Πορτιάτισσας καὶ ἐπικεκλημένης τῶν Ἰβήρων, ὅταν μέλλει γενέσθαι ἀγρυπνία, εἰς τὴν Ὑπεραγίαν Θεοτόκον τὴν ὀξυτάτην βοήθειαν τοῦ γένους ἡμῶν τῶν χριστιανῶν ἵνα ρύσηται ἡμᾶς ἐξ ἐχθρῶν ὁρατῶν καὶ ἀοράτων καί δωρήσηται τῆς αὐτοῦ ἀγαθότητος το ἔλεος.

30. MS. Iveron 593, fols 223v-238r. The text is headed: Ὑπόμνημα περὶ τῆς τιμίας καὶ προσκυνητῆς εἰκόνος τῆς ὑπεράγνου δεσποίνης ἡμῶν Θεοτόκου τῆς ἐπικεκλημένης Πορταϊτίσσης, ὅπως τε κατήντησεν ἐν τῇ κατὰ τὸν Ἄθω σεβασμίᾳ μονῇ τῶν Ἰβήρων καὶ ὑπὸ τίνων αὔτη ἡ μονὴ ὠκοδομήθη (BHG, 1070e). An annotated edition of the text by the present writer is in the course of preparation.

31. Lefort et al., Actes d'Iveron I, document no. 6, lines 1-21.

32. Ph. Meyer (ed.), Die Haupturkunden für die Geschichte der Athosklöster (Leipzig, 1894; repr. Amsterdam, 1965), 124 line 27 - 125 line 7; 125 line 21 - 126 line 1 ; 127 lines 6-10; 128 lines 1-16.

33. I. Karmiris, Ο Παχώμιος Ρουσάνος και τα ανέκδοτα δογματικά και άλλα έργα αυτού νυν το πρώτον εκδιδόμενα (Athens, 1935). 5~6•

34. Chryssochoidis, 'To βιβλιογραφικό εργαστήριο της μονής Ιβήρων', 523-68.

35. They are enumerated in the autograph catalogue which is inserted in MS. Iveron 593, fol. 301 v (9 manuscripts). The catalogue edited by Lampros (Κατάλογος II (Cambridge, 1900), 179-80) should have included the present manuscript, which is omitted.

36. Karmiris, Παχώμιος Ρουσάνος, 23 and 61—2.

37. S. Iveron 754 (Lampros, Κατάλογος II, 179). The manuscript does not have a bibliographical note, but personal observation indicates that it is the work of Pachomios Rousanos.

38. I. Tavlakis, ‘Παναγία Άξιον Εστίν. Η εικόνα’, in To Άξιον Εστίν, Παναγία η Καρυώτισσα, η εφέστια εικόνα του Προτάτου (Mt Athos, 1999), 22-3 (considering it a product of the workshop of the painter of the Protaton). E. Tsigaridas, ‘Η εικόνα ‘Άξιον Εστίν' του Πρωτάτου και η Παναγία Κυκκώτισσα', in Πρακτικά Συνεδρίου, Η Ιερά Μονή Κύκκου στη βυζαντινή και μεταβυζαντινή αρχαιολογία και τέχνη (Nicosia, 2001), 185-7 (dating it to the second half of the 14th c.).

39. S. Kissas, ‘Dve Domentijanove beleske ο Protatonu’, Hilandarski Zbornik 6 (1986), 54.

40. K. Chryssochoidis, ‘Παραδόσεις και πραγματικότητες στο Άγιον Όρος στα τέλη του ΙΕ' και στις αρχές του Ιζ' αιώνα’, in Ο Άθως στους 14°-16° αιώνες (Αθωνικά Σύμμεικτα, 4) (Athens, 1997)- 11-21.

41. Ibid., 99-108, 115-18.

42. The Life of Peter the Athonite, ed. K. Lake, The Early Days of Monasticism on Mount Athos (Oxford, 1909), 25. See also D. Papachryssanthou, ‘La vie ancienne de saint Pierre l’Athonite. Date, composition et valeur historique’, ΑnΒοll 92 (1974), 40-1.

43. Papachryssanthou, 'La vie ancienne de saint Pierre l'Athonite', 20-1. Gregory Palamas, Λόγος εἰς τὸν θαυμαστὸν καὶ ἰσάγγελον βίον τοῦ ὁσίου ... Πέτρου τοῦ ἐν τῷ ἁγίω ὄρει τοῦ Ἄθω ἀσκήσαντος, PG 150, 1005 (BHG, 1506). Lampros, 'Τα Πάτρια', 135-7•

44. Lampros, 'Τα Πάτρια', 124 line 20- 126 line 2.

45. Ibid., 127 lines 7-12.

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