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The “grave covering” of St Demetrios between Byzantium and Rus

White, Monica

Authors

Monica White Monica.white@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

Much scholarly attention has focused on the role of St Demetrios in the maintenance of the civic identity and cultural independence of Thessalonika, the Byzantine Empire’s second city. Yet Thessalonika did not always win this struggle with Constantinople. In the mid-twelfth century, the emperor Manuel Komnenos launched an aggressive campaign to transplant Demetrios’ cult to the capital by requisitioning an item described as the saint’s ‘grave covering’. This relic, with its miraculous oil-exuding properties, became a new focus for the veneration of Demetrios beyond the control of the Thessalonian church authorities. It also exerted a profound influence on the Rus prince Vsevolod Iurevich, who spent a number of years in exile in Byzantium in the 1160s. After returning to Rus, Vsevolod imported a similar relic to adorn the city of Vladimir, demonstrating both his understanding of contemporary developments in Demetrios’ cult and his desire, like that of Manuel, to transplant its most noteworthy features to his own capital.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Journal Književna istorija (=Literary History)
Electronic ISSN 0350-6428
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Issue 152
APA6 Citation White, M. (2014). The “grave covering” of St Demetrios between Byzantium and Rus
Keywords Vsevolod Iurevich, Manuel Komnenos, St Demetrios, relics, reliquaries, grave covering/slab, hagiography
Publisher URL http://knjizevnaistorija.rs/editions/152White.pdf
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information Uploaded with written permission from publisher

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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