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Christopher Walter

St Demetrius

From The Warrior Saints in Byzantine Art and Tradition, published by Ashgate, England 2003.

2. The original Demetrius

However controversial interpretations may be of the early evidence, the fully fledged Demetrius of the period after Iconoclasm grew out of the pristine martyr. This evidence will be presented in three parts: the texts, the archaeology and the iconography.

1. The texts

Paul Lemerle has not only published an erudite edition of the first two Collections of Miracula, but also summarized the contents of the other early texts, for which a scholarly edition is not yet available.(3) Here it need only be said that the Passio prima was long accessible only in the Latin translation due to Anastasius Bibliothecarius, dated to 876-82. This version was the one published by Cornelius de Bye in the Acta sanctorum.(4) Only much later was the Greek text published by Hippolyte Delehaye.(5) However, Cornelius de Bye published the Passio altera,(6) in its original Greek. Most of those, including Cormack and myself, who have written about Demetrius have summarized the two Passions.(7) Both situate the martyrdom of Demetrius in the calidarium of the baths. Both attribute his death to the fury of the Emperor Maximian, because it was by the prayers of Demetrius that Nestor overcame his favourite gladiator Lyaeus. Both attribute the construction of Demetrius' shrine on the site of the baths to Leontius, eparch of Illyricum, who, according to the Passio altera, would have been miraculously cured by the saint.

Lemerle has observed how little concrete information is given about Demetrius in the Passio prima, in which interest is concentrated rather on the combat between Nestor and Lyaeus. The Passio altera is more informative: Demetrius was a member of a highly placed family of senatorial rank. He held various offices: ἐκσκέπτωρ (secretary); ἀνθύπατος (proconsul); ultimately consul. It is not told explicitly that these functions entailed military duty. Concomitantly with his civic duties, he evangelized, holding Gospel meetings in the baths. For the rest, the story proceeds as in the Passio prima, except that a new character enters on the scene, Lupus, Demetrius' personal servant, whom we may qualify as his batman. He rescues the saint's orarion, collects his blood, dipping his imperial ring in it. Lupus is, naturally, also put to death.

Again Leontius, eparch of Illyricum, whose interests were divided between Sirmium and Thessaloniki, wished to have relics of the saint for the shrine which he intended to build at Sirmium. Such relics, apparently, did exist. However, Demetrius forbade Leontius to take away more than a bloodstained chlamys and a part of his orarion
The question arises as to the real origin of Demetrius. Did he really belong to Thessaloniki or to Sirmium? The conduct of Leontius makes it clear that he considered Demetrius to be associated with both cities. Hippolyte Delehaye observed that, although no Demetrius was commemorated in Thessaloniki in early calendars, a deacon of that name is mentioned in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum. Moreover Leontius is a historical figure, attested by a constitution dated 412-13 in the Theodosian Code. Therefore, unless one is inclined to push scepticism ad absurdum, it is plausible to accept Leontius as the person who established - having the authority and means to do so - the cult of Demetrius, both in Sirmium and Thessaloniki. Destroyed by the Avars in 582, Sirmium could no longer rival Thessaloniki as the focal point of the saint's cult. Nevertheless, there existed at Sr(ij)em, as late as the eleventh century, a church dedicated to him. His association with Sirmium is perpetuated in the modern name of the city, Sr(ij)emska Mitrovica, but how a deacon there was metamorphosed into a consul in Thessaloniki is far from being clear. It is just another of those 'chemical operations' of early hagiography which puzzle the modern mind.

The Passio prima was known to Bishop John of Thessaloniki, who composed his collection of Miracula in the seventh century.(8) It was also known to Photius.(9) However, neither this text, nor the Passio altera, nor the Metaphrastic Passion(10) provide any information which is historically reliable about the martyrdom of Demetrius and the origins of his cult. Indeed his sanctuary had certainly been founded before these texts were composed. It is highly plausible to suppose they were intended to explain why it was built on a site potentially so little adapted to the foundation of a Christian sanctuary.

Before turning to this, allusion must be made to the two earlier collections of Demetrius' Miracula, works of much higher quality than the Passions, and published properly by Paul Lemerle. Neither collection betrays great knowledge of or interest in the 'historical' Demetrius. Bishop John was content in the prologue to his (first) collection to write: 'You know what is said in the account of the martyr's passion, that "by inexpressible signs of great power, prodigies, healings and charisms his efficacity became famous everywhere"'.(11) John became Archbishop of Thessaloniki during the reign of Phocas (602-10), but most of the miracles which he recounts date from the episcopate of his predecessor Eusebius (before 22 September 586, to not later than the end of 603).(12) Lemerle made it explicitly clear that he was primarily interested in the historical information that Archbishop John's text might yield. This explains his painstaking efforts to date events precisely, which, he recognized, Archbishop John presented in a typological rather than a chronological sequence. As is well known, Thessaloniki was exposed at this period -and long after- to attacks from Slav marauders. However, although Archbishop John has something to say about the interventions of Demetrius to protect the city against them, his anecdotes (the departure point for a homily or exhortation) are mostly concerned with miracles perpetrated at his ciborium.

Since we are primarily concerned with Demetrius as a military saint, it would be as well to observe what Lemerle avers to be his first and unique intervention as such, at least as recounted by Archbishop John.(13) The incident, which occurs in Miracle no. 13, merits a detailed account. The Slav marauders, after mistakenly attacking the fortified convent of St Matrona at daylight, having realized their error, began to place their ladders against the fortifications of Thessaloniki itself. Demetrius appeared on the walls, in military dress and struck with his lance the first marauder to mount the ladder, causing him to make fall backwards those who were following him, while he himself was killed. Traces of blood marked the place which he had reached and from which he fell.

However, even if this is the only specific reference in the two collections of Miracula to Demetrius being actually armed, he definitely figures in them as the defender of Thessaloniki. In Miracle no. 14 of John's collection, a man with a ruddy complexion, riding a white horse and wearing a white mantle, alarmed and repelled the marauders, who took him to be the leader of a hidden army.(14) Again, in Miracle no. 1 of the anonymous collection, Demetrius appears, in defence of the city, marching on the ramparts and on the sea, 'wearing a white chlamys', which was, particularly in early representations, an item of military dress.

Lemerle dated the composition of the anonymous collection of Miracula some seventy years after John's. He considered it to have been intended to be at once a complement to and continuation of the preceding collection. It begins by recounting events which had occurred during John's episcopate. Then, after a gap of about two generations, the author describes events which occurred during his own lifetime. His approach was possibly more to Lemerle's taste than that of Archbishop John. In his introduction to Miracle no. 3, the author wrote:

If it was necessary to record all the miracles wrought by St Demetrius, at Thessaloniki and everywhere, the world would not suffice to contain all the accounts: release of prisoners, healing of the sick, help in wars, guiding sailors ... As for healing illness or demoniac possession, the whole country is sufficiently informed for it to be superfluous to write about them. I am going therefore to return to my preceding intention [which was to write history].(15)

The question of St Demetrius' military status will be discussed further in connection with his portrait. For the present, in spite of his interventions against the enemies of Thessaloniki, it is clear that, compared with that of Theodore Tiron at Euchaita, for example, his military status is only explicit in the 16th and last miracle in the anonymous collection, which Lemerle was surely right to interpret as a later addition.(16) Miracle no.16 recounts how the African Bishop of Thenai, Cyprianus, was captured by -and rescued from- the Slavs. The whole story is interesting, because it exemplifies how Demetrius was considered to operate, admittedly at a later epoch.

In captivity, the bishop addressed his prayers to God. Suddenly, as he prayed, a handsome young man in military uniform invited the bishop to escape from slavery by following him. He said that he was called Demetrius, was a soldier and lived in Thessaloniki, whither he took the bishop safe and sound. Then he disappeared. The bishop vainly asked where the 'soldier Demetrius' lived. He was told that many soldiers bore that name. Ultimately he was taken to the sanctuary of St Demetrius, where, seeing an icon of the saint, he recognized his deliverer. It may be conjectured that on this icon Demetrius would have been represented as a soldier, although this is not mentioned in the text. As an act of thanksgiving, the bishop resolved to build a church in Thenai, which, apparently, was to be a copy of that in Thessaloniki. With some difficulty, he obtained the necessary elements, including a ciborium. The sanctuary was duly constructed in Thenai, where Demetrius deigned to perform miracles, notably healing those who had been stung by scorpions, one of the banes, at that time, of life in North Africa.(17)

So much for Demetrius the military saint in the early literary sources. The Passions, unlike those of, for example, Sergius and Bacchus, do not display interest in his military antecedents (if, in fact, there were any). The Miracula, concerned only with the metahistorical Demetrius, extol his activity as protector of Thessaloniki, but do not go out of their way to relate this to his military status. In fact, during this early period, the recounted prodigies of Demetrius are eclectic, and, above all, connected with his ciborium.

2. The archaeology

Although the layout of the sanctuary only becomes directly relevant to Demetrius as a military saint, when the crypt was refurbished to receive his myron, a few general words must be said about the ensemble, surely one of the most complex of the rare early Christian sanctuaries to be, after many vicissitudes, still in use.(18)

Lemerle's account distinguishes three principal stages of construction: an unpretentious sanctuary, a martyrium which was destroyed when the present basilica was constructed; a basilica in the middle or latter half of the fifth century; a partial reconstruction in the seventh century after a fire, following the lines of the previous edifice but with some changes and adaptations. Lemerle also notes three important parts of the complex: (a) the great 'crypt' under the transept and apse; (b) a small depository for relics under the altar; (c) a hexagonal ciborium near the narthex placed against the north colonnade.

(a) The so-called crypt was a two-storey construction, which gave -and still gives - on to the street. It was originally a nymphaeum, later christianized as a hagiasma. The site of the Roman baths was no doubt chosen because it was in the calidarium that Demetrius was reputed to have been imprisoned. When the basilica was constructed, the upper storey was demolished. Access to the basilica from the hagiasma was by a staircase. We shall return later to the crypt.

(b) The discovery after the fire of 1917 of the depository for relics under the altar raised embarrassing (and perhaps insoluble) questions. It was habitual to place relics under the altar, the so-called ἐγκαίνιον. However, this reliquary, containing, it seems, fragments of a bloodstained garment, was never, from the time that we have literary records, a focal point for the Saint's cult. Sotiriou saw here the site of the original martyrium, a μικρὸς οἰκίσκος. Lemerle, for one, was sceptical about this. Whatever the relics may have been and whether a modest martyrium was, in fact, originally situated here, later to become the site of the altar, the exploration of these questions hardly advances our enquiry into the acquisition by Demetrius of the status of a military saint and in consequence is not attempted here.

(c) There remains the ciborium, a hexagonal structure, whose foundations were laid bare after the fire of 1917.(19) Although it was destroyed by fire more than once, it would seem that changes in its aspect concerned only details of construction and ornamentation or the kind of material used. The ciborium, with Demetrius standing in front of it, may be seen clearly in W.S. George's watercolour copy of a mosaic destroyed in the fire of 1917. Cormack suggested a sixth-century date for it.(20) The ciborium represented is, indeed, hexagonal, and conforms to various descriptions of it, notably in the Miracula. It may have served as a model for a rival ciborium in Constantinople, and certainly did for at least one reliquary.(21) The scholar who wishes to appreciate more fully the place of the ciborium in Byzantine iconographical tradition may consult Pallas' article.(22)

What cult might have been originally offered to the relic under the altar is simply not known. However, in the late sixth century, when the first miracles chronicled by Bishop John occurred, the focal point of Demetrius' cult was undoubtedly the ciborium. Bishop John makes no allusion to a relic under the altar, but he provides numerous descriptions of the ciborium and of what went on there. Often Demetrius emerged from the ciborium, like Thecla from her thalamus,(23) in order to perform a prodigy. The first miracle recounted by Bishop John was the healing of the exarch Marianus. Although his condition was desperate, he refused to have amulets hung about his neck, but he was escorted to 'what is called the silver ciborium of ... Demetrius, where some say his relics repose under the earth'. He entered and saw inside 'the silver bed which carries the effigy of the martyr'. In Miracle no. 6, it is recounted how Bishop Eusebius undertook the restoration of the ciborium, 'because it is said that it contains the martyr's tomb and that it is the most beautiful ornament in the entire church'.(24) St Demetrius obligingly arranged for the necessary silver to be available.

However, the most detailed description of the ciborium in John's Collection of Miracles is in no. 10: it stood on the left-hand side of the church, with a hexagonal base, eight columns, enclosing carved silver partitions, and it was roofed by discs, surmounted by a cross placed on a silver globe.(25) In the late Miracle no. 16 of the anonymous collection, it was probably inside the ciborium that the Bishop of Theani saw an icon of St Demetrius. The text does not say so explicitly, but it does recount how the bishop commissioned a ciborium for his church in Theani.(26)

The subsequent history of the ciborium is less clear. It may have survived Iconoclasm, only to be ravaged by the Saracens in 904 and ransacked by the Normans in 1185.(27) However, at some date, which cannot be precisely fixed, it ceased to be the focal point of the Saint's cult. This was to become the refurbished hagiasma, with its supply of the Saint's myron. The transformation is connected with two aspects of the Saint's cult, implicit in the recital of the late miracle: the spread of his renown outside Thessaloniki, and, above all, his acceptance as a military saint.

This section concludes with the citation of a passage from J.-M. Spieser's study of the basilica, in spite of the fact that his approach is rather different from mine:

Etant donné la date tardive a laquelle nous attribuons St-Démétrius, comment interpréter les vestiges les plus anciens qui sont sous l'église? Cela repose tout le problème de l'origine du culte de saint Demétrius à Thessalonique ... Les monuments peuvent-ils là aussi venir au secours des textes? Avouons tout de suite qu'il n'en est rien, sauf à entrer dans les hypothèses qui ne peuvent pas être démontrées. En effet, la fouille de l'église a permis de découvrir des vestiges antérieurs. L'interprétation, qu'on en donne, diverge: on a pensé que les murs ainsi découvertes appartenaient aux thermes sur l'emplacement desquels s'est élevée la basilique, à l'exception d'une abside, située à l'Est de l’ensemble, mais en avant de l'abside de l'église. Celui-ci serait un vestige de l’οἰκίσκος élevé par le préfet Léon attesté en 412. On a aussi pensé que cette abside faisait partie des thermes, au même titre que les autres murs découverts. Nous n'avons aucun moyen de décider. Même si la legende de l’οἰκίσκος paraît suspecte, il n'en reste pas moins possible qu'une église, plus modeste que celle du VIe siècle, ait précédé celle-ci. Cette hypothèse pourrait d'ailleurs bien s'intégrer à celle qui fait venir le culte de saint Démétrius de Sirmium, même si ce transfert s'est seulement passé au moment du déplacement du siège de la préfecture. Je pense néanmoins qu'il est prudent de ne pas trop s'aventurer dans cette direction et de se contenter des conclusions que nous avons tirées du monument tel qu'il nous est parvenu, tel du moins qu'il est parvenu jusqu'en 1917.(28)

3. The iconography

Again Paul Lemerle has provided us with a succinct and lucid exposition of developments in the early iconography of St Demetrius.(29) The three references in Bishop John's Miracula to icons of Demetrius are in no way developed descriptions. In his account of Miracle no.8, Demetrius appears on a ship carrying a cargo of corn 'dressed as we see him on his icons'.(33) In Miracle no.10, Demetrius is again seen inside his ciborium, 'in the costume in which one sees him on his icons'.(31)

In Miracle no.15, we are told that the Saint emerged from the 'ciborium such as he was represented in earlier pictures'. A final example -the only one to give explicit information- is that provided by the late Miracle no.16 in the anonymous collection. Here the Bishop of Thenai recognizes the figure of Demetrius on his icon as corresponding to the soldier who appeared to him in uniform.(32)

If we set aside the evidence of the late miracle, it seems clear that on his early icons St Demetrius appeared as he does in the surviving mosaics and on W.S. George's copies of those which were destroyed in 1917. Lemerle postulated that in the earlier pictures mentioned in the text of Miracle no.15 he was dressed in a simple tunic. Later he was represented in the court dress of the ev-votos, with which we are familiar. Lemerle conjectured that, since Demetrius was recognized in battle-scenes, there may have existed at an early date action pictures, in which he was represented fighting on foot or on horseback. However, there is no sure evidence that Demetrius, unlike Theodore and George, was represented before Iconoclasm in military dress, apart from the white chlamys. He had not yet been fully coopted into the army of military saints.

The evidence provided by Cappadocian monuments, so abundant for some military saints, is regrettably sparse for Demetrius and inadequately published. Four examples may be adduced, for none of which photographs are available. Karabas kilise, Soganli, has the advantage of being objectively dated by an inscription to 1060-01.(33) De Jerphanion read an inscription ΔΗΜΟΙΤΡΣ (sic) next to a figure holding a sword in his hand and a shield with Kufic ornamentation. Jolivet-Levy has confirmed that he was a 'saint guerrier'. The other three examples, although not objectively dated, may nevertheless also be assigned to the eleventh century. In the church of St Theodore, Tagar or Yesiloz, a saint, holding a lance and shield, is accompanied by an inscription ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΣ.(34) No description is available of the figure of ΔΙΜΗΤΡΗΟΣ in Elmali kilise.(35) Finally, Demetrius figures with other warrior saints in the Basilica of Constantine at Yenikoy, but, again, no description is available.(36) De Jerphanion added another example of a saint who was perhaps Demetrius in Göreme 18, but subsequently Jolivet-Lévy has identified the figure as Theodore.(37)

These sparse examples in Cappadocia at least tell us that St Demetrius was represented there in the eleventh century, but not earlier, as a military saint. To this iconographical evidence, a literary text may be added. A third collection of the Saint's miracles was compiled not later than the twelfth century, because it figures in Paris graec. 1517, a manuscript of that date.(38) The collection contains five miracles wrought by Demetrius in diverse places, one of which was Cappadocia. The Saint appeared to a peasant at Drakontiana. This led to the construction there of a church dedicated to him.(39) De Bye confessed his failure to identify Drakontiana.(40) Others have been more optimistic.(41) Hild and Restle propose an identification of Drakontiana with Drazala, now known as Kabakli, and situated 31km south south-west of Kayseri. Be this as it may, no record exists of a church dedicated to St Demetrius in Cappadocia. On the other hand, the text describing the saint's apparition to the peasant is relevant. Demetrius presented himself as a soldier on horseback and declined his identity.

In fact, although evidence that Demetrius was regarded as a military saint earlier than the eleventh century exists, it is slight. On seals, for example, it was natural that the Bishops of Thessaloniki would want their patron saint to be represented. The earliest surviving example is the eighth-century seal of Bishop Peter; on this Demetrius wears a tunic. However, Bishop Romanus (after 1038), had Demetrius represented on his seal holding a spear and shield. His example was followed by his successors in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Surprisingly, the earliest dateable seals with a military effigy of Demetrius are those of two monks, Euthymius and Metrophanes (tenth century).(42)

One may also ask why, during the early period, St Demetrius' cult spread so little outside Thessaloniki. He certainly had a few personal clients elsewhere, as, for example, at Nikopolis in Epirus. There, in the atrium of basilica A, is an inscription, according to which Bishop Dometius thanks Demetrius for his protection.(43) A portrait of Demetrius was painted in the seventh century at Santa Maria Antiqua, Rome.(44) He also figures in the line of saints in Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna mostly Roman, with, however, Cyprian of Carthage, Vincentius of Spain and Polycarp of Smyrna. Demetrius, of course, is not represented here, any more than the others, in military dress. He is beardless, with short dark hair and a youthful face. This representation is exceptional, and was possibly inspired by an intention to recuperate outstanding non-Roman saints for the universal church.(45)

It is clear, then, that Demetrius was accepted as a saint, but one with a limited clientele outside Thessaloniki. Moreover he was venerated as a martyr, rather than as a warrior saint, until the end of the ninth century. Why was there this reticence during the first centuries towards a saint who, later in the East, was to acquire such enormous popularity? Perhaps one reason was the enigma of his relics. It may have been impossible at any time -in the early Christian period as much as today- to affirm where if anywhere the saint's relics were situated. In the οἰκίσκος? Perhaps, but was it ever a focal point for veneration? Under the ciborium? The fullest early account of the attitude in Thessaloniki to the Saint's relics is to be found in Bishop John's Miracle No. 5.(46) He affirmed that the Thessalonians do not have the habit, as elsewhere, of exposing their saints' relics in order to inspire pious sentiments. The whereabouts of these relics remains hidden. For this reason, it was not possible to accede to the request of the Emperor Maurice for a relic. A similar reply was given to the Emperor Justinian, implemented by an account of being warded off by flames when digging for the relics.

Bishop John did imply that the Saint's relics were somewhere underneath the basilica but that they were inaccessible. The tradition did develop that they were, in fact, underneath the ciborium. Whether or not it was true, it seems that, by the end of the seventh century, it was accepted that they were somewhere in the basilica. The evidence is supplied by Justinian II's Saltpan Edict, inscribed on a marble block. It was rediscovered in 1885; but, for reasons unknown, disappeared, not, however, without having already been copied in facsimile.(47) The most important phrase for us in this inscription is the explicit reference to the presence of the Saint's body in the basilica. However, here, once again, Demetrius is not called a military saint.

If later he certainly became one, it was some time before he was aggregated to the état-major of the army. Several circumstances favoured his adoption: the increasing renown of military saints in imperial circles particularly from the time of Basil II; promotion of his cult in Constantinople, where, according to Raymond Janin, there were no less than ten churches dedicated to him.(48) With these may be conjugated two new sources of renown in Thessaloniki: the flow of his myron and his intervention to save the city from the Bulgarian vojvod Kalojan.

Before turning to these, reference must be made to a rare -but recurring, particularly in late Byzantine art- iconographical theme, that of Demetrius enthroned. He may be the first warrior saint to have been represented thus in a painting in his basilica, dating most probably from the sixth century, regrettably destroyed by the disastrous fire of 1917 but happily recorded.(49) Demetrius, seated, receives a mother who holds out her child towards him. There is no evident reason why, in the cycle in which this scene appears, this should be the only occasion when the saint is represented so. It would be unwise to over-interpret it.

Grabar studied the iconographical theme of enthroned martyrs.(50) However, it is not evident that Demetrius was represented here in his capacity of being a martyr. Ordinarily enthronement was reserved in iconography for imperial figures.(51) However, at a later date, there are cases of warrior saints being represented enthroned; outstanding among them is the twelfth-century bas-relief of Demetrius inserted into the west facade of San Marco, Venice. It is accompanied by another, copied by a local artisan, of St George.(52) Clearly it was not a prerogative of Demetrius to be represented enthroned, even if the privilege was readily attributed to him, as, for example on an icon in the skevophylakion of the monastery of St Barlaam, Meteora.(53) Since other enthroned warrior saints will be turning up, it is preferable to postpone discussion of the significance of this iconographical theme.


3. Lemerle, op. cit. II, Commentaire, Appendice I: Note sur les Passions et sur le troisieme Recueil des miracles, pp. 197-203.

4. De Bye, Acta sanctorum, Oct. IV, 87-9 = PG 116, 1167-72 (BHG, 496) = PL 129, 715-26 (BHL, 2122).

5. BHG, 497, Delehaye, Les légendes grecques, pp. 259-63. Summary presentation by Lemerle, op.cit., II, pp. 197-8.

6. BHG, 497, De Bye, ed. at., 90-5 = PG 116, 1173-84; Lemerle, op.cit., II, pp. 199-202.

7. Vid. supra (n. 1).

8. Lemerle, op. cit., I, p. 53.

9. Bibliotheca, ed. P. Henry, VII, Paris, 1974, pp. 213-15 = PG 104, 104-5.

10. BHG, 498, De Bye, ed. cit., pp. 96-104 = PG 116,1185-1202; Lemerle, op. cit., II, p. 202-3, noted scathingly that it is only l’amplification rhétorique et dévote de sa source, qu'il dilue sans y rien ajouter'. In fact, one might have hoped that the Metaphrast would have presented Demetrius as a more conventional military figure. However, its only contribution is to state that in his youth he underwent military training. The Sirmondianus is not more informative, Syn CP 163-6. It gives a Constantinopolitan account of Demetrius, offering no hint as to the Saint's military status, but mentioning that his Synaxis took place ἐν τῷ δευτέρῳ. For this church - and others at Constantinople, see Janin, infra (n. 48).

11. Lemerle, op. cit., I, p. 49, 53 lines 5-6; Delehaye, p. 262, lines 20-2 (for the original passage in the Passio). It is blatantly hyperbolical, because the Passio prima gives no information about prodigies wrought by Demetrius.

12. Lemerle, op. cit., II, p. 171.

13. Lemerle, op. cit., I, pp. 131-3, § 120, II, p. 172. In an Encomium of St Demetrius, Bishop John notes, among the characteristics of the Saint, his invisible alliance in wars', Anne Philippidis-Braat, 'L'enkômium de St Demetrius par Jean de Thessalonique' (BHG, Auctarium 547h), TM 8,1981, p. 406,1. 33.

14. BHG, 513, Lemerle, op. cit., I, pp. 145,157, § 160-1.

15. Ibid., I, pp. 190, 193-4, § 216 (Lemerle picked up the reference to John 21, 25); II, p. 172-4.

16. Ibid., I, p. 234-41.

17. The existence of a port and bishopric at Theani are attested in other sources, Ibid, I p. 236, n. 12. However, no further information is available about the shrine and the benevolent activity there of St Demetrius. To this apparition of Demetrius as a soldier may be added another that recounted in the Life of Theophano, Leo VI’ s saintly first wife, and composed shortly after her death in 895 or 896. The apparition was shared by both husband and wife, and occurred while they were at prayer. They saw a young man in military dress holding a spear and shield, E. Kurtz, Uber die hl. Theophano, die Gemahlin Kaisers Leo VI, St Petersburg, 1898, p. 10, lines 10-12, § 15; P. Magdalino, 'St Demetrius and Leo VI', Byzantinoslavica 51, 1990, pp. 198-9.

18. The bibliography is considerable and listed by J.-M. Spieser, Thessalonique et ses monuments du IVe au VIe siècle, Paris, 1984. The fundamental study is that by G.A. and M. Sotiriou, Ἡ βασιλική τοῦ ἁγίου Δημητρίου Θεσσαλονίκης, Athens, 1952. Spieser added rightly that Sotiriou's report, made as ephor for Byzantine antiquities shortly after the disastrous fire of 1917, Ἀρχαιολογικόν Δελτίον 4, τεῦχος 3-4, 1918, pp. 1-47 (Athens, 1921), should also be consulted. It presents dramatically the extent of the disaster and wryly the discoveries which the fire made possible. P. Lemerle's article, 'St-Démétrius de Thessalonique et les problèmes du martyrion et du transept', Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 77, 1953, pp. 660-94, reprinted as such but with added references to his op.cit. (n. 4), Appendice II 2, pp. 205-18; Spieser, op. cit. supra, pp. 165-214. Idem, 'Remarques sur Saint-Démétrius de Thessalonique', Mélanges M. Chatzidakis (Athens, 1992), pp. 561-9; reprinted Urban and Religious Spaces in Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium (Aldershot, 2001), XI

19. Illustrated, R. Cormack, 'The Church of St Demetrius: The Watercolours and Drawings of W.S. George', The Byzantine Eye, Variorum, London, 1989, no. II, fig. 3.

20. Cormack, art.cit. (n. 1), fig. 4.

21. N. Theotoka, 'Περὶ τῶν κιβωρίων τῶν ναῶν τοῦ ἁγίου Δημητρίου Θεσσαλονίκης καὶ Κωνσταντινουπόλεως', Μακεδονικά 2, 1941-52, pp. 395-413. The reliquary, albeit octagonal, in the Treasury of the Patriarchate of Moscow, certainly derives -perhaps through the intermediary of a ciborium in Constantinople- from that in Thessaloniki, because it carries an inscription: Ί am the faithful image of the ciborium of the martyr Demetrius, transperced by a lance ...' It was made for the coronation of Constantine X Doukas (1059-67) and his second wife Eudokia Makrembolitissa. It is therefore clearly dated. What is of particular interest for this study is the representation on the doors of Sts Nestor and Lupus in military dress, holding spears.

22. D.I. Pallas, 'Le ciborium hexagonal de St Démétrios de Thessalonique', Zograf 10 1974, pp. 44-58. He interprets the ciborium as a προσκυνητάριον for the veneration of an icon.

23. C. Walter, The Origins of the Cult of St George', REB 53,1995, p. 304.

24. Lemerle, op.cit., I, pp. 90-1, 93, § 55.

25. Ibid., pp. 110-11,114, § 87.

26. Ibid., pp. 235, 238-9, § 311.

27. Cormack, art.cit. (n. 1), p. 549.

28. Spieser, op. cit. (n. 18), pp. 213-14.

29. P. Lemerle, 'Note sur les plus anciennes representations de saint Demetrius', ΔΧΑΕ 10, 1981, pp. 1-10. It should obviously be studied in conjunction with R. Cormack's 'The Church of St Demetrius, the Watercolours and Drawings of W.S. George', reprinted in The Byzantine Eye, London, 1989, and his Writing in Gold, London, 1985, pp. 50-94. R. Hoddinott, Early Byzantine Churches in Macedonia and Southern Serbia, London, 1963, pp. 141-55, plates 29-34, is also useful.

30. Lemerle, op. cit., I, pp. 100,102, § 70.

31. Ibid, pp. 111, 115, § 89.

32. , Ιbid, pp. 235, 239, § 311.

33. Jerphanion, II, p. 337; Jolivet-Lévy, pp. 266-70.

34. Jerphanion II, p. 193; Jolivet-Lévy, p. 214.

35. Jerphanion I, p. 435.

36. Jolivet-Lévy, pp. 282-3.

37. Jerphanion I, p. 486; Jolivet-Lévy, pp. 121-2.

38. Lemerle, op.cit., II, p. 203.

39. The text was published by De Bye, AA SS, ed.cit. (n. 4), 197 = PG 116,1396-7 (BHG, 531).

40. Ibid., p. 197, note b: 'Nec urbem nec pagum hujus nominis, qui in Cappadocia situs sit, in geographicis, seu tabulis, seu lexicis invenio'.

41. E. Hild and M. Restle, Tabula imperii 2: Kappadokien, Vienna, 1981, p. 172.

42. V. Laurent, Le corpus des sceaux de l'empire byzantin, V 2, Léglise, I, Paris, 1963-65, Peter, no. 449, Romanus, no. 455; the monks Euthymius, no. 1391, and Metrophanes, no. 1412.

43. E. Kitzinger, 'Studies in Late Antique and Early Byzantine Floor Mosaics I, Mosaics in Nikopolis', DOP 6,1951, pp. 86-7, 92.

44. Idem,’ On Some Icons of the Seventh Century', The Art of Byzantium and the Medieval World, ed. H. Kleinbauer, Bloomington/London, 1976, p. 137, figs 4, 5. Kitzinger noted the startling resemblance with one of the saints on the well-known Sinai icon of the Virgin and Child, a saint who would otherwise be identified as George.

45. F.R. Deichmann, Frühchristliche Bauten und Mosaiken von Ravenna III, Wiesbaden, 1958, pl. 123. Built probably by Bishop Agnellus, appointed 556.

46. Lemerle, op. cit. I, pp. 87-90, § 50-4.

47. J.-M Spieser, 'Les inscriptions de Thessalonique', TM 5, 1973, no. 8, pp. 156-8, with reproduction of facsimile; pl. VIII 2. J. Haldon, 'Supplementary Essay', The Miracles of St. Artemius, ed. V.S. Crisafulli and J.W. Nesbitt, Leiden, 1997, p. 59, n. 20, apparently doubted the authenticity of the edict. However, he provided no argument against it; moreover his bibliographical citations are jejune and archaic.

48. Janin, Eglises el monastères. The oldest known is τοῦ Δευτέρου, restored by Basil the Macedonian (867-85), and mentioned in the Sirmondianus as the church where his synaxis took place. Vid. supra (n. 10). However, according to the De cerimoniis I 21, Bonn, pp. 121-4, the court went for his synaxis to his church του Παλατίου, built by Leo the Wise (886-912). The other churches dedicated to Demetrius listed by Janin date from the mid-12th to the 14th century, and no doubt reflect the Palaiologans' particular devotion to the Saint, whom they had adopted as their family patron, as well as the growing cult of his myron.

49. A. Grabar, Martyrium II, Paris, 1946, pp. 95, 365, fig. 145, III, fig. xiix 1; Cormack, art. cit. (n. 19), no. 32, p. 70.

50. A. Grabar, 'Le trône des martyrs', CA 6, 1952, pp. 31-41.

51. A. Dumitrescu, 'Une iconographie peu habituelle: Les saints militaires siégeant. Le cas de St-Nicolas d'Arges', Byzantion 59, 1989, pp. 48-53.

52. O. Demus, The Church of San Marco in Venice. History, Architecture, Sculpture, Washington, 1960, pp. 128-31, fig. 40; Marković, p. 597, fig. 2.

53. A. Xyngopoulos, "Ἅγιος Δημήτριος ὁ Μέγας Δοὺξ ὁ Ἀπόκαυκος', Ἑλληνικά 15,1957, p. 135; Walter, 'St Demetrius', pp. 168-9; via. infra, xxi: Nestor and Lupus, n. 56.

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