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Cult-Vir-Mary-art - 1/3/10

 

"The Cult of the Virgin Mary" by Lady Dominica de Zeragoza.

 

NOTE: See also the files: Lite-Metaphor-art, Relics-fr-all-art. relics-msg, saints-msg, pilgrimages-msg, heretics-msg, Icons-art, M-Cult-th-Lit-art.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.

 

These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.

 

While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.

 

Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org

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This paper was originally written for the author's University degree in history.

 

The Cult of the Virgin Mary

by Lady Dominica de Zeragoza

 

Discuss the development of the Cult of the Virgin Mary and its participation in the establishment of the image of a Christian woman and the structure of their participation in monasticism within the Christian church.

 

            To adequately discuss the development of the cult of the Virgin Mary, its impact on both the imagery of women and their roles in monastic participation, one must take into account the factors that brought about its creation: the changing social structures of the times, the changes in culture and station of the Catholic Church within the Roman Empire, the Churches endeavours to encapsulate the rituals and customs of other religions to support their growing constituency and the formalisation of structures and doctrines within the Church itself.  This paper will address these issues in relation to Byzantium from the first to seventh centuries.

 

            It must be noted that the Christian Church moved away from the pagan rituals that often involved fertility and sexuality to an ideology based on human frailty, guilt - as personified by Adam and Eve, and death.[[1]] Brown tells us that the renunciation of sexual activity became linked at a symbolic level "with the regaining of the Spirit of God, and, so, with man's ability to undo the power of death."[[2]]  From this beginning Christianity established two representatives for women:  Eve, who became the defining woman of "Original Sin,"[[3]] and Mary who was the untainted ever-virgin.[[4]]

 

And it was through a virgin who disobeyed [namely Eve] that mankind was stricken and fell and died, so to it was through the Virgin [Mary], who obeyed the word of God, that mankind, resuscitated by life, received life.  For the Lord [Christ] came to seek back the lost sheep, and it was mankind that was lost; and therefore He did not become some other formation, but He likewise, or her that was descended from Adam [namely, Mary], preserved the likeness of formation; for Adam had necessarily to be restored in Christ, that mortality be absorbed in immortality.  And Eve [had necessarily to be restored] in Mary, that a virgin, by becoming the advocate of a virgin, should undo and destroy virginal disobedience by virginal obedience.[[5]]

 

It must also be noted here, that Mary is not named within the extra-canonical literature until Ignatius of Antioch,[[6]] she does not appear by name again until Justin Martyr sets out to justify her praise by the Church.[[7]]

 

            The imagery and fabrication of the Mary ideal was created over a considerable period of time; it can be argued that many pagan goddesses have been melded into her persona.  Incorporation of aspects of the great Mother, Mother of Gods, Rhea, Cybele, Tyche and Isis can be supported.[[8]]  This encompasses the creation of her image – mother and child – which was an almost direct copy of an image of Isis and Horace.[[9]]  

 

            While Mary was venerated for her role in the incarnation of Christ almost from the beginning of Christianity,[[10]] documentation for the founding of the cult of the Virgin is possible from the second century: apocryphal stories written around 140-160 CE, and the Protoevangelion of James[[11]] began to establish her among the common people by making her, and Christianity, more understandable to the masses.[[12]]

 

            Over the next two centuries Mary's role was expanded, with more emphasis placed on her saintliness.  Her role as the "ideal model for Christian virgins"[[13]] was solidified, with the ideals of purity, modesty, good works and prayer becoming the template for all to follow.[[14]] She was, however, still seen to have imperfections, a notion that would later be weeded out of the literature.[[15]]  It is within these centuries that hymns to Mary began to emerge,[[16]] Ephraim the Syrian[[17]] being one example, when initial documentation for the conception can be found,[[18]] and when the idea that it was Mary who imparted "immortal flesh to Christ" was first documented.[[19]]

 

Within the fourth century the first 'cults' are documented, Ephanius describes a group called the Collyridians, he cites them as a cult that worshipped Mary as a goddess of possible equal standing to God,[[20]] later research by Carroll, suggest that these 'Collyridians were a derivative of the Montanist's.  This clarification is advantageous as it removes Ephanius' notation from one stand-alone organisation to a group that has a history prior to his writing and a future after it.  This group continued to flourish into the sixth century and could be found throughout Asia Minor and North Africa.[[21]]

 

Perhaps the most fundamental solidification and validation of the cult occurred during the fifth century:  Initially this began with Christianity moving into the role of accepted religion, publicly if not privately, due to the enforcement of restrictions against the practices of pagan faiths,[[22]] and the Edict of Milan.  Carroll believes that the sudden rise in the profile of the cult at this time cannot be ignored; it grew, side by side with the station of the Church.[[23]]  

 

The conflicts between Nestorios and Cyril, which would eventually lead to the Council of Ephesus, focused the title of 'God-bearer' or 'Theotokos' onto Mary.[[24]]  Incorporated into this conflict was Proclus' sermon, 428,[[25]] which established the first commemoration to the Virgin within the capital.  This commemoration established not only a point for women to celebrate being women,[[26]] but also the focusing of praise onto the Virgin herself.[[27]]  Over this decade of the fifth century Mary was raised as an object of devotion "second only to Christ himself."[[28]]   

 

The Council of Ephesus 431, ratified Mary as Theotokos - 'She Who gave birth to God,'[[29]] solidifying her image as a woman with a child to her breast, as taken from Isis[[30]], the image that would be transferred throughout the Christian world.[[31]]  From this point there is an increase in liturgical praises to the Virgin both in the form of poems and hymns.[[32]]

 

The Council of Chalcedon 451, further cemented Mary's role within the Church,[[33]] spearheaded by Pulcheria, who had devoted much of her private and public life to promoting and the worshiping the Virgin.[[34]]  She achieved not only the Councils ratifications but established the validity of the cult by erecting three major Churches dedicated to her worship.[[35]]  This provided Theotokos – the Virgin – with a permanent residence within a major city.[[36]] It also gave The Virgin a new level of 'supernatural' persona that would lead to her becoming the patron saint of the city.[[37]]  Pulcheria further validated the Virgin and her worship by developing and expanding the Churches devotionals to Mary: public veneration with new ceremonies and practices were introduced.[[38]] Further weight was added to these ceremonies with Pulcheria acting as a pontifex to the people, and instructing the ecclesiarchs.[[39]]  Perhaps, however, the most distinguishing action cementing the Virgin and her cult as a religious force to be reckoned with was Pulcheria's claim that her identity and that of the Virgin were one and the same.  In the manner of Tetrarchs she claimed divinity, the first imperial person since 325 to do so.[[40]]

 

 

It can be argued that despite all these changes, for the average Christian, the most important change was the confirmation of Mary's high status within the church pantheon.[[41]]  Her appeal to the new constituents of the church may have played a role in this increased station.[[42]] The reality of these changes was more attitude than lifestyle; the cult of the Virgin now carried powerful messages and icons, with virginity and obedience at the forefront of its creed.[[43]]

 

From this point many scholars agree that the cult of the Virgin was allowed to expand almost unchecked.[[44]]  Churches and shrines in her honour appeared not only in Byzantium, but also in Rome itself.[[45]] It is also argued that the Church recognised the potential of the cult to maintain and increase its constituents, providing them with a form of Christianity they could readily understand and accept.[[46]] It is during the sixth century that liturgical praises began to appear, both in the form of hymns and poems,[[47]] feast days in her honour made their way into the Church calendar, and the story of her childhood, life and death were expanded and documented, as were the works on her miracles. It is also during this century that she becomes the official patron of Constantinople.[[48]]

 

By the seventh century feasts for the Virgin had made their way to the West[[49]] Within Byzantium, Theotokos – the Virgin, absorbed more and more of the older deities roles and duties, especially those of Tyche, and a greater transition of worshipping practices from the older religions crossed over into use within the Catholic Church.[[50]] Through this melding of images, Theotokos was able to appear as a powerful image for public veneration.[[51]]  Fundamental in all these changes was the consistent veneration and expectation of chastity, humility and obedience from women.[[52]]

 

From the beginning the ideal that those "who 'neither married nor were given in marriage' might become 'already equal to the angels,' and had already 'attained the world beyond and the resurrection.'"[[53]] Amphilochius states "virginity is an unenslaved position, a free dwelling-place, an ascetical training ornament. Higher than human habits, and a release from the sufferings which occur daily from the mortal human condition"[[54]]  

 

Prior to this it appears that many attitudes carried over from the Jewish faith. [[55]]  From the second century on, virgins, and the practitioners of abstinence, would change both the balances of power in society and religion.[[56]]  It must be realised that the promotion of virginity as a life long role had foundations firmly based within the evolving social structures.  People were discouraged form marrying outside their faith or social status, these limitations would have made finding suitable marriage partners within some social structures difficult, if not impossible.[[57]]

           

            These facts impacted on female participation within the Church itself, more women, and men, were instilled with this 'devotion' to abstinence, virginity, and the ideal of monasticism,[[58]] leading larger numbers to join monastic orders, either voluntarily, or through family placement, often from a younger age.  However, should a family later find a suitable marriage arrangement, these youths could be just as easily removed from the monastic life and thrust back into the world.[[59]]  The church also became an alternate to exposing unwanted children; they could now be dedicated to the Church.[[60]] These 'Brides of Christ' would become the status image for virginity itself.[[61]]

 

            Brown describes some of the paths virginity and abstinence could take during these centuries: virginity itself – throughout life, the abstinence from sex within married relationships,[[62]] a withdrawal from sexual relations within marriage after entering into the Christian faith,[[63]] and a move into continence after the death of a partner.[[64]] Chaste communities developed, the faithful lived together;[[65]] these communities became the foundation of what would later develop into the monastic orders, initially non-segregated, later separated under evolving stringent doctrines.[[66]]

 

            With this ecclesiastical history in mind one must look at the development of the depiction of the Virgin and its use within the Church.  Mary has become one of the most portrayed women within art and music.[[67]] As stated previously, Marian iconography was influenced by depictions of Isis.[[68]]  Depictions of the virgin from this point, within two major streams, retain the same formula throughout the following centuries. The first major stream of icons depicts the mother and child, as with Isis: A third century Coptic frieze[[69]] demonstrates an initial starting point.  While the backgrounds may change and facial features and colouring move more towards the western European over time, little else changes.[[70]]  One depiction in this style became important in another way; The Virgin of Vladimir[[71]] transported the iconography of the Byzantine Virgin to Russia.  The other major style depicts Mary and child with supporting guards in the form of saints or angels.[[72]]

 

            Tertullian put forward these questions:

"How could ordinary human beings, men and women 'subject still to doctors and debt,'[[73]] dare to claim to have achieved, in the narrow compass of their cramped lives, the new freedom which, so they said, had become available to them with the coming of Christ?  'How can you possibly think that you are freed from the Ruler of this Age, when even his flies still crawl all over you?'[[74]]"

 

The cult of the Virgin gave people some of the answers. Within the Catholic structure Virgins moved from status symbols held inside the home overlayed with supernatural powers.[[75]] To groups who could congregate together,[[76]] establishing relationships outside the home,[[77]] and taking on roles within the church and its surrounds.[[78]] This change in structure allowed access to education,[[79]] mobility,[[80]] and a sense of freedom for many,[[81]] for a time women had equal access to holiness.[[82]] Basil of Ancyra believed "that men needed in women what they lacked in themselves" and that this was gift "bestowed on women by God".[[83]]

 

            There were alternate views to these ideas: some saw the development of the cult as a means to enslave women totally.[[84]]

 

'For the first time in human history the mother kneels before her son; she freely accepts her inferiority.  This is the supreme masculine victory, consummated in the cult of the Virgin – it is the rehabilitation of woman through the accomplishment of her defeat'[[85]]

 

Virginity, obedience, purity and modesty, became the chains that bound women into a role where the Catholic Church controlled nearly every aspect of their lives.[[86]]  Part of this enslavement was the establishment of guilt, through Eve, to all women.  Mary achieved redemption from this sin[[87]], but she remains unique.  Others saw an attempt to turn women into men.  Mary herself states "Praise his [Jesus'] greatness, for he has prepared us and made us into men,"[[88]] the Gospels of Thomas provide other examples.[[89]]

 

            Through all of this the one consistence is the loss or denial of sexuality for women.[[90]] The ever-increasing advocacy for virginity, the move of monastic communities into controlled and segregated monastic orders, placed greater control into the hands of the Church.  It is also clear that the Church is not above using worship, including the cult of the Virgin, to obtain and control new constituents.  The development of the cult initially allowed women an opportunity to worship in a manner almost of their own making.  As the Christian Church formalised itself into a major religion this worship was formalised to adhere to the new ideals.  The cult became a tool; one that has developed over time to encapsulate all that is required for 'good women' within the faith, both monastically and within the outside world. It also provided the alternate image in Eve.

 

Attachment One: Examples of Cyril's hymn's to Mary

 

Hail, Mary, the revered É.

The treasure chest of the world,

The inextinguishable lamp,

The crown of virginity,

The sceptre of orthodoxy

The indissoluble temple.

Hail the location for the uncontainable one

The mother and virgin

Through whom the Trinity sanctifies

Through whom the honored cross is named

And revered in all the world.

Through whom heaven delights

Through whom the angels and archangels rejoice

Through whom demons flee

Through whom the devil who tempts fell from heavenÉ[[91]]

 

 

Hail to Mary, Theotokos, Virgin Mother

Lightbearer, unstained vessel.

É For conceiving without seed, you gave

birth in a manner meet for a god.

Hail Mary, the temple where God rested,

More than holy, as the prophet David spoke,

Crying out, 'Your holy temple , marvellous in

       Righteousness'[[92]]

Hail Mary Theotokos, through whom the prophets

Cried aloud, through whom the shepherds glorified,

Saying with the angels, this fearful hymn,

'glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace

and good will towards men.'[[93]]

É Hail Mary Theotokos, through whom came the true

light our Lord Jesus Christ, who said in the Gospels

'I am the light of the world.'[[94]]

É Hail Mary Theotokos, through whom was announced

in the Gospels, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of

the lord,'[[95]] And through whom the orthodox church

was founded in cities, villages and on islands,

É Hail Mary Theotokos, through whom blossomed and shined the beauty of the resurrection.[[96]]

 


Figure One: Italian altarpiece The Madonna of Humility with the Temptation of Eve[[97]] Female good and female evil are clearly identified in these contrasted figures

 

 

The positives and the negatives of this image formulated that which should be attained, and that which should be avoided.  Within The Madonna of Humility with the Temptation of Eve the Madonna is displayed as the 'good woman,' disembodied, she is shrouded except for her face, hands and breast, all required fields for the nurturing and protecting of the child, she is guarded by angels, is surrounded by stars.  Eve, the 'evil woman' while given less space, displayed naked and given no comfort in her pose, is body itself.  She is earth, life and death, plants and animals, her form is realistic: "Her naked body – her realistic breast, so different from the Virgin's breast above; her flowing, wavy hair and shapely thigh – signals her sinfulness, just as the Virgin's lack of body reveals her goodness."[[98]]
Figure Two:  Isis and Horis and the Virgin with Jesus[[99]]

Figure A is a depiction of Isis suckling Horus a third century Coptic frieze, Figure B is Mary suckling Jesus, fifth to sixth century tombstone from Fayum, Egypt

A                                                                     B

 

 


Figure Three: six century Syrian ivory panel[[100]]

 

Though the eastern territories had never been fully Hellenized, Byzantime influences are often evident in their art, as demonstrated in the Virgins features below.

 

 

 

 

 


Figure Four: pre-iconoclast Byzantine six-century Virgin enthroned.[[101]]

 

The monastery of St Catherine's, built by Justinian, where this image is located, holds the only extensive collection of pre-iconoclast Byzantine images.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Figure Five: Sixth century icon of Mary[[102]]

 

This image is found in St Catherine's Monastery in Sinai and depicts the Mother of God flanked by two saints.

 

 

 

 

 


Figure Six: Virgin and Child in the apse of Hagia Sophia[[103]]

 

"This monastic depiction of the Virgin and Child in the apse of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is dated 867.  A famous sermon by the patriarch Photios describes the image and celebrates the end of the period of iconoclasm." [[104]]

 

 

 

 

 

 


Figure Seven: the Virgin of Vladimir[[105]]

 

Byzantine art exercised a profound influence over the art of Kievan Russia, particularly through this icon, the Virgin of Vladimir, painted in Constantinople about 1125 and subsequently taken to Russia.

 

 

 

 


Figure Eight: Late 15th century Icon[[106]]

 

The Virgin is almost always depicted with Christ in Byzantine art, emphasizing the importance of her role in his incarnation.  This representation has her flanked by two angels

 

 

 


Bibliography

 

http://ministries.tliquest.net/theology/apocryphas/subapostolic/pjames.htm Website with a translation of the Protoevangelion of James

 

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/irenaeus_00_proof_eintro.htm Website with a translation of Irenaeus, Proof of the Apostolic Preaching

 

http://www.tserkovnost.org/stephrem/ Online source for the works of Ephraim the Syrian

 

Attkinson, Clarissa W., Buchanan, Constance, H., and Miles, Margaret R., Immaculate and Powerful – The female sacred image and social reality, Crucible, Great Britain, 1987

 

Brown, Peter, The Body and Society: Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity, Faber and Faber, London, 1990

 

Brown, Peter, The World of Late Antiquity, Thames & Hudson, London, 2004

Cameron, Averil, The Mediterranean world in Late Antiquity: AD 395-600, Routledge, London, 2000

 

Carroll, Michael p., The Cult of the Virgin Mary – Psychological origins, Princeton University Press, Guilford, Surrey, 1986,

 

Cunningham, Mary, Faith in the Byzantine World, Lion Book, oxford, 2002

 

Daly, Mary, The Church and the Second Sex, Geoffrey Chapman, London, 1968

 

Daley, Brian E., On the Dormition of Mary – Early Patristic Homilies, St Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY, 1998

 

Gregory, Timothy E., A History of Byzantium, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 2006

 

Herrin, Judith, Women in Purple: Rulers of Medieval Byzantium, Phoenix Press London, 2002

 

Limberis, Vasliki, Divine Heiress – The Virgin Mary and the Creation of Christian Constantinople, Routledge, London, 1994

 

Miles, Margaret, R, Carnal Knowing: Female nakedness and Religious Meaning in the Christian West, Beacon Press, Boston, 1989

 

Norwick, John Julius, Byzantium the Early Centuries, Guild Publishing, London, 1988

 

O'Faolain, Julia and Martines, Lauro, (eds), Not in God's Image – Women in History from the Greeks to the Victorians, Harper Torchbooks, New York, 1973

 

Pelikan, Jaroslav, Mary Through the Centuries – her place in the History of Culture, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1996

 

Sawyer, Deborah F., Women and Religion in the First Christian Centuries, Routledge, London and New York, 1996

 

Vryonis, Speros, Byzantium and Europe, Thames and Hudson, London, 1967

 

Warner, Marina, Alone of all her Sex – The myth and the cult of the Virgin Mary, Picador, Great Britain, 1990

 

 


Endnotes:



[1] Brown, Peter, The Body and Society: Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity, Faber and Faber, London, 1990, p. 86; Pelikan, Jaroslav, Mary Through the Centuries – her place in the History of Culture, Yale University Press, New Haven, Ch. 3

[2] Brown, 1990, p. 86

[3] Sawyer, D., Deborah F., Women and Religion in the First Christian Centuries, Routledge, London and New York, 1996, pp. 156-157 – citing Augustine; Pelican, ch. 3; Attkinson, Clarissa W., Buchanan, Constance, H., and Miles, Margaret R., Immaculate and Powerful – The female sacred image and social reality, Crucible, Great Britain, 1987, p. 173

[4] Sawyer, pp. 156-157; Limberis, Vasliki, Divine Heiress – The Virgin Mary and the Creation of Christian Constantinople, Routledge, London, 1994, p.106; Miles, Margaret, R, Carnal Knowing: Female nakedness and Religious Meaning in the Christian West, Beacon Press, Boston, 1989, pp. 140-141; Cunningham, Mary, Faith in the Byzantine World, Lion Book, oxford, 2002, pp.98-100; This imagery is artistically displayed in fig. one; Pelikan, ch. 3; Attkinson et al., pp. 2, 173; Daly, Mary, The Church and the Second Sex, Geoffrey Chapman, London, 1968, p. 46 –citing PG 13, 1819 C. In Lucam homilia VIII, f4 – PL 40, 186. De fide et symbolo, 4 and – PL 38, 1108. Sermo 232,2; Attkinson et al., p. 173

[5] Pelikan, pp. 42-43 – citing Iranaeus Proof of the Apostolic Preaching 33 (tr. Joseph P. Smith, revised); an online version of the work can be found at http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/irenaeus_00_proof_eintro.htm

[6] Limberis, pp. 101-102 – citing Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Ephesians 7:2, The Anti-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1

[7] Limberis, pp. 101-102 – citing Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho 66; Apology 1.33, The Anti-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1

[8] Limberis, pp. 127-130, 133-134 - citing Jane Harrison, Prolegomena to Greek Religion, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1903, p. 560; and Farnell, Lewis R., The Cults of the Greek States, 5 Vols, New Rochelle, NY, Caratzas Brothers, 1977, pp. 140-141, citing John of Damascus, PG, 96.741-744; A pictorial representation of this can be seen in fig. 2; Brown, 1990, p. 92, citing Odes of Solomon, 8.14, p. 42; see esp. Cramer, Geist Gottes, p.37 and Robert Murray, Symbols of Church and Kingdom, pp 312-320, ""In Syriac, the word for spirit was feminine.  The Spirit was the mother of the soul:

      I fashioned their members,

      And my own breasts I prepared for them,  

     That they might drink my holy milk and live by it"

[9] Brown, Peter, The World of Late Antiquity, Thames & Hudson, London, 2004, p.142, Carroll, p. 111 - citing Fergusin, John, The Religion of the Roman Empire, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1970:239; Hyde, Walter W., Paganism to Christianity in the Roman Empire, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1946: 54; Witt, R.E., Isis in the Greco-Roman World, London: Thames and Hudson, 1971: 272-273, As demonstrated in Figure Two

[10] Cunningham, pp.98-100

[11] An online copy of a translation of the Protoevangelion of James can be found at http://ministries.tliquest.net/theology/apocryphas/subapostolic/pjames.htm

[12] Limberis, p. 102, 104, - one of the oldest extent prayers addressing Mary as Theotokos, "Under your mercy we take refuge, Theotokos, do not reject our supplications in necessity but deliver us from danger." (Limberis, p. 104 – citing (f26) Gabriele Giamberardini, Il culto mariano in Egitto nei primi sei secoli: Origine-Sviluppo-Cause, Jerusalem, Franciscan Printing, 1967, ch. 6); Cunningham, pp.98-100;

[13] Cunningham, pp. 98-100 – citing a letter written by Athanasius

[14] Cunningham, pp. 98-100

[15] Cunningham, pp. 98-100; Limberis, p. 118 – citing Panarion 79.p. 353

[16] Limberis, p. 105, Documentation from Gregory of Nazianzus, Sozomen and Theodosius 1 all provide validation that Mary was being worshipped, "the power of God was there manifested by dreams, by visions, and by miraculous cures of divine diseases; these miracles were usually attributed to the instrumentality of Mary the Holy Virgin, the Theotokos" Limberis, p. 105 – citing Sozomen, Eccl. Hist. 7.5; Daley, Brian E., On the Dormition of Mary – Early Patristic Homilies, St Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY, 1998

[17] http://www.tserkovnost.org/stephrem/ Online source for Ephraim the Syrian

[18] Limberis, p. 103, citing Ephraem Syrus Hymnen, in Edmund Beck (ed. And trans.), Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae, Louvain, 1903; 'Bride of Christ', Hymen de nativitate, Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae187,3,1,16; 'purification by holy Spirit', Hymen de ecclesiae, Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae 199,88,36,2; 'immortal flesh', Hymen de virginitate, Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae 224,3,3; "According to Ephraim Mary was the 'bride of Christ', the conception of Christ occurred through her ear, and Mary was cleansed of the sin of Adam by the Holy Spirit before she conceived"i

[19] Limberis, p. 103, citing Brown; Norwick, John Julius, Byzantium the Early Centuries, Guild Publishing, London, 1988, p. 431 citing  - Nestorius' argument against this idea "the Virgin Mary could not be described as the Theotokos, the Mother of God, since such a description would suggest that the devine nature was born of woman."; Gregory, Timothy E., A History of Byzantium, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 2006, p. 103; Cunningham, p. 130 – citing John 10.30, "'The Father and I are one' (John 10.30) justified the idea that the Virgin Mary, or Theotokos, in fact gave birth to God."

[20] Limberis, pp. 118 – citing Panarion 78.23, p. 351 "They say that certain women from Thrace who live there in Arabia have held this vain doctrine, so that in the name of the ever-Virgin they offer a small loaf, and meet together"

[21] Carroll, Michael p., The Cult of the Virgin Mary – Psychological origins, Princeton University Press, Guilford, Surrey, 1986, p. 47

[22] Carroll, p. 77; Cunningham, pp.98-100, Pelikan, p. 56

[23] Carroll, p. 77

[24] Cunningham, pp. 99-100

[25] Limberis, p. 106 – citing - Martin Jugie, La Mort et l'Assomption de la Sainte ViŽrge, Studi e testi, no. 114, Vatican, 1944, p. 175

[26] Limberis, p. 106, "Women were called by the Theotokos herself to celebrate their release from the sins of Eve.  So first the holiday was to allow virgins – and all women – to corporately recognize and enjoy their own happy state which resulted as a consequence of the Theotokos' actions"

[27] Limberis, p. 106, citing  Martin Jugie, La Mort et l'Assomption de la Sainte ViŽrge, Studi e testi, no. 114, Vatican, 1944, chapter 3, pp. 67-8

[28] Cunningham, p. 100

[29] Brown 2004, p. 143; Limberis, pp.55-60

[30] Figure 2

[31] Brown 2004, p. 143; Limberis, pp.55-60; Vryonis, Speros, Byzantium and Europe, Thames and Hudson, London, 1967, p. 147; pictorial depictions are demonstrated in figures One through Eight

[32] Cunningham, pp. 99-100; examples of Cyrils Hymns to the Virgin are in Attachment One

[33] Cunningham, pp. 131-132, quoting The Definition of the Council of Chalcedon, 451, "We all with one voice confess our Lord Jesus Christ one and the same Son, the same perfect in Godhead, the same perfect in manhood, truly God and truly man, the same consisting of a reasonable soul and a body, of one essence with the Father as touching the Godhead, the same of one essence with us as touching the manhoodÉ born from the Virgin Mary, the TheotokosÉ to be acknowledged in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way abolished because of the union but rather the characteristic property of each nature being preserved, and concurring into one person and one hypostasis."

[34] Limberis, p. 57, Herrin, Judith, Women in Purple: Rulers of Medieval Byzantium, Phoenix Press London, 2002, provides further details on Pulcheria's life and actions

[35] Limberis, p. 57, The three churches were the Hodegetria, the Blachernae, and the Chalkoprateia, (Limberis, p. 57 – citing Theophanes, Chronographia, 105; Theodore the Reader, Migne, Patrologia Graeca, 86.200, 86.168)

[36] Limberis, p. 57, 59; this took the form of "her shroud, her cincture, and an icon of her painted by St Luke" (Limberis, p. 57 – citing Norman H. Baynes, 'The Supernatural Defenders of Constantinople,' in Byzantine Studies and Other Essays, London, University of London, 1955, pp. 257-60)

[37] Limberis, p. 59

[38] Limberis, p. 59 – citing Limberis Divine Heiress – The Virgin Mary and the Creation of Christian Constantinople, ch. 4, and p. 141

[39] Limberis, p. 59

[40] Limberis, pp. 60-61

[41] Carroll, p. 85

[42] Carroll, pp, 5, 85; Cunningham, pp.98-100

[43] Cameron, Averil, The Mediterranean world in Late Antiquity: AD 395-600, Routledge, London, 2000, pp. 149-150, citing - Averil McAmeron, Christianity and the Rhetoric of Empire, 165ff. The complex of ideas and associations surrounding the concept of Mary in relation to women: E Pagels, Adam, Eve and the Serpent, London, 1988; O'Faolain Julia and Martines, Lauro, (eds), Not in God's Image – Women in History from the Greeks to the Victorians, Harper Torchbooks, New York, 1973, p. 74, citing -  Chrysosiom, Instructions to Catechumens, trans. by W.R.W. Stephens and T.P. Brandram, Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, IX, p. 169, "Dost thou wish to adorn thy face? Do so not with pearls but with modest dignityÉ. These are the tints of virtue.  By means of these thou wilt attract angels, not human beings, to be thy lovers."

[44] Carroll, pp. 83-84;

[45] Carroll, p. 5, citing Denis-Boulet, Noelle M., 1960, The Christian Calander, New York, Hawthorn Publishers; and Graef, Hilda, 1963 Mary, a History of Doctrine and Divotion, Vol. 1, From the Beginning to the Eve of the Reformation, New York, Sheed and Ward

[46] Carroll, pp. 83-84

[47] Examples of two such hymns can be found in Attachment two

[48] Cunningham, pp.98-100; the siege of Constantinople by the Avars and Persians in 626 provides one example of Mary's miracles,

[49] Carroll, p. 5, citing Denis-Boulet, Noelle M., 1960, The Christian Calander, New York, Hawthorn Publishers; and Graef, Hilda, 1963 Mary, a History of Doctrine and Divotion, Vol. 1, From the Beginning to the Eve of the Reformation, New York, Sheed and Ward

[50] Limberis, pp. 127-128 – note more on the assumption of the role can be found on pp. 128-130, 141, and 140-141, citing John of Damascus, PG, 96.741-744, The example given is of the crossover of worship from Rhea to Theotokos, "people were either syncretising the Theotokos as the mother of the gods, or, as is more likely, were worshipping the Theotokos with the same rituals and language as they had employed for the worship of the mother of the gods.

[51] Limberis, p. 141

[52] Warner, Marina, Alone of all her Sex – The myth and the cult of the Virgin Mary, Picador, Great Britain, 1990, p. xx

[53] Brown, 1990, p. 87 citing  – D. E. Aune, The Cultic Setting of realized Eschatology in Early Christianity, pp. 195-212)

[54] Amphilochius of Iconium, PG 39.37 as quoted in Limberis, p. 106

[55] Brown, 1990, p. 146, citing I. Timothy 2:12 and 15, Let women learn in silence with all subjection.  But I suffer not a women to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silenceÉ. Not-withstanding, she shall be saved through child-bearing if they [her children] continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

[56] Brown, 1990, p. 146, citing I. Timothy 2:12 and 15, "Married men trembled on the brink of being demoted to the position of women: their physiological involvement in sex made them ineligible for roles of leadership in the community.  Some women, however, edged closer to the clergy: continence or widowhood set them free from the disqualifications associated with sexual activity."

[57] Brown, 1990, p. 147, citing f33- Hippolytus, Refutation of all Heresies 9.7, in J.H. MacMahon, trans., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 5:131.  

[58] Brown, 1990, p. 260 - 261, citing  – D Amand and M.C. Moons, 'Une curieuse homŽlie grecque sur la virginitŽ,' p. 35;

[59] Brown, 1990, p. 260, citing  – Evelyne Patlagean, PauvretŽ Žconomique et pauvretŽ sociale ˆ Byzance, pp. 113-128, and 'L'enfant et son avenir dans la famille Byzantine.'; Council of Saragossa (380), cannon 8 and Council of Carthage (397), cannon 4; John Boswell, Exposition and Oblatio: The abandonment of Children and the Ancient and Medieval family, pp 13-19 and Cynthia Patterson, 'Not worth the raising: the causes of infant exposure in ancient Greece;

[60] Brown, 1990, p. 260, citing  – Basil, Letter 119.18, in R.J. Deferrari, Saint Basil: Letters, 2:109, cf Balsamon, P.G 138:651 and Novell 6 of Majorian in 458, "Parents, and brothers and other relatives bring forward many girls before the proper age, not because the girls have an inner urge towards continence, but in order that their relatives may gain some material advantage from so doing."and Brown, 1990, p. 101, citing later examples of the community of the Abelonii, reported near Hippo – presumably in the mountains – by Augustine, de haeresibus 87: Patrologia Latina 42:47.  For  marcionite villages that survived in the hills near Cyrrhus into the middle of the fifth century, see Theodorest, Historia Religiosa 21: P.G. 82: 1439D-1449B and Letter 81: P.G. 83: 1261C)

[61] Brown, 1990, p. 262, citing various churches; Brown, 1990, p. 271, citing – L. Th. Lefort, 'Sur la virginitŽ,' Coptic text. P. 128; trans. p. 257; and f63 – Gregory Mazianzen, etter 223: P.G. 37: 364C; Theidiret, Historia Religiosa 30.1 P.G. 82: 1492D, "it was the virgins who could call themselves 'daughters of Jerusalem.' They stood for all that was most holy and enduring in the heart of the settled land."

[62] Brown, 1990, p. 96, citing  – Peterson, 'Einige Beobachtungen zu den AnfŠngen der christlichen Askese,' p. 219,  "a 'boycott of the womb'; they could withhold their bodies from sexual intercourse, thereby cheating death of further prey."

[63] Brown, 1990, p. 96 citing - J.Z. Smith, ' The Garments of Shame,' in Map is not Territory; Hippolytus, Apostolic Traditions, 21.5 and 11, "The initiates stepped naked into the baptismal pool.  They were thought to have put off the sexualised 'garments' of their old body."

[64] Brown, 1990, p. 149 citing - B. Kštting, 'Univira in Inschriften,' in W. can der Boer, et al., eds., Romanitas et Christianitas. Studia I. H. Waszink oblata, pp. 195-206

[65] Brown, 1990, p. 100, citing - G. Flecker, Amphilochiana, p. 69 and Epiphanius, Panarion, 46.3, with A. Guillaumont, 'Le nom das 'Agaptes' and p. 101, citing later examples of the community of the Abelonii, reported near Hippo – presumably in the mountains – by Augustine, de haeresibus 87: Patrologia Latina 42:47.  For marcionite villages that survived in the hills near Cyrrhus into the middle of the fifth century, see Theodorest, Historia Religiosa 21: P.G. 82: 1439D-1449B and Letter 81: P.G. 83: 1261C; Brown, 1990, p. 266 "These informal structures meant that ascetic women were free to seek protection and spiritual guidance from males of any kind – from relatives, from ascetic soul-mates, and from men of exceptional insight or learning."

[66] Brown, 1990, p. 141, citing Eusebius, Life of Constantine, 1.53, E.C. Richardson, trans., Library of the Nicene Fathers, 1:497, provides this example of initial changes "As late as the 320s, the Emperor Licinius harassed the churches in the eastern provinces, by a law that 'enjoined the men should not appear in company with women in the houses of prayer, and forbade women to attend the scared schools of virtue or to receive instruction from the bishops"

[67] Pelikan, p. 2

[68] Brown, 2004, p.142, Carroll, p. 111 - citing Fergusin, John, The Religion of the Roman Empire, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1970:239; Hyde, Walter W., Paganism to Christianity in the Roman Empire, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1946: 54; Witt, R.E., Isis in the Greco-Roman World, London: Thames and Hudson, 1971: 272-273, As demonstrated in Figure Two

[69] Figure 2

[70] Later depiction of the Virgin and child can be found in Attachments Six and Seven.

[71] Attachment Seven

[72] Examples of this style can be found in Figures One, Three, Four, Five, and Eight

[73] Brown, 1990, p. 84, citing  – Tertullian, de pudicitia 22.3

[74] Brown, 1990, p. 84, citing - Tertullian, Adv. Marc, 1.24.6

[75] Brown, 1990, p. 263, citing– ibid, pp. 41-43 and The Canons of Athanasius 92 and 98, W. Riedel and W.E. Crum, ed. And trans. pp. 58, 64

[76] Brown, 1990, p. 265, citing – Life of Olympias6, in Elizabeth A Clark, trans., Jerome, Chrysostom, and Friends, p. 132; Gregory of Nyssa, Life of Macrina 7.6; 11.9-13; 26.31-34 in P. Maraval, ed., GrŽgioure de Nysse: Vie de Sainte Macrine, pp. 164, 176, 232, "Olympias was able to install 250 such dependents in the convent that flanked the Great Church of Constantinople"

[77] Brown, 1990, p. 265, citing  – examples from Socrates, Eccles. Hist. 9.2 and Theodoret, Eccles. Hist. 3.10:  – R. RŽmondon, 'L'Žglise dans la sociŽtŽ Žgyotienne ˆ l'Žpoque Byzantine,' p. 260 and E.A. Judge, ' The Earliest Use of 'Monachos',' pp. 82-83;  – Pseudo-Athanasius, S™tŽrios Logos peri parthenias 9, in H,. von der Gotz, ed., Texte und Untersuchungen 29.2, pp. 43-44;

[78] Brown, 1990, p. 265, citing - Palladius, Hist. Laus. 1.4; 5.3; 67.1 and Theodoret, Eccles. Hist. 3.14

[79] Brown, 1990, pp. 276/7, citing  – Vita Euprax 2.8 and 3.37: 367E and 274D; Vita Febron 4: 18F; Brock and Harvey, trans. p. 154

[80] Brown, 1990, p. 150, citing R. MacMullan, 'Woman in public in the Roman Empire,' pp. 208-218 with R. Van Bremen, ' Women and Wealth", esp, pp. 233-237.  Brooten, Women Leaders, pp. 157-165; and – I Timoothy 5:13

[81] Cameron, pp. 148 – 9, citing R. Rosemary Ruether (ed), Religion and Sexism, New York, 1974

[82] Cameron. Pp. 148-9, citing - Elizabeth A. Clarke, Jerome, Chrysostom and Friends, New York and Toronto, 1979

[83] Brown, 1990, p. 268, citing Basil, de virginitate tuenda 3: 676C

[84] Daly, pp. 19-20

[85] Daly, pp. 19-20 – citing Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sez, translated by H.M. Parshley, (London: Jonathan Cape, 1953), pp. 188 and 21

[86] Daly, pp. 19-20

[87] Daly, p. 46, citing – PG 13, 1819 C. In Lucam homilia VIII, and – PL 40, 186. De fide et symbolo, 4 and  – PL 38, 1108. Sermo 232,2, Augustine claimed "since man (homo) fell through the female sex, he was restored through the female sex.  'Through the woman, death; through the woman, life"

[88] Miles, p. 56 – citing Gospel of Mary, in The Nag Hammadi Library, ed. James M Robinson (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1977), 472

[89] Miles, p. 56, citing - Gospel of Thomas 51.19-26, in The Nag Hammadi Library, ed. James M Robinson (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1977), 130, "'Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life'. [But] Jesus said, 'I myself shall lead her, in order to make her male, so that she may become a living spirit, resembling you males.  For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.'"

[90] Cameron, pp. 149-150

[91] Limberis, pp. 109-110

[92] Psalm 64:6, as quoted from Limberis, p. 110

[93] Luke 2:4, as quoted from Limberis, p. 110

[94] John 8:12, as quoted from Limberis, p. 110

[95] Mathew 21:9, as quoted from Limberis, p. 110

[96] Limberis, p. 110

[97] Miles, pp. 140-141

[98] Miles, pp. 140-141

[99] Brown, 2004, p 142

[100] Vryonis p. 78

[101] Vryonis p. 105

[102] Cunningham, p. 165

[103] Cunningham, p. 34

[104] Cunningham, p. 34

[105] Vryonis, p. 147

[106] Cunningham, p. 98

------

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