Creating Sacred Space by Commemorating Destruction: The case of the Monastery of Zographou

Scripta & e-Scripta vol. 7, 2009
  • Author(s):
  • Subject(s): Literary Texts // Story of the Martyrs of the Monastery of Zographou // Destruction of the Monastery of Zographou // Theology of history //
  • Published by: Institute for Literature BAS
  • Print ISSN: 1312-238X
  • Summary/Abstract:

    The destruction of a place or the desolation of a space may be just as laden with information and affective responses associated with political, social, or religious change as their construction. This article aims to establish this thesis by focusing on the example of the Anonymous Story of the Martyrs of the Monastery of Zographou, a source related to the destruction of the Monastery of Zographou on Mount Athos in 1275. The article begins by reviewing the existing scholarship on such unresolved problems as the dating, author, genre, and aims of the medieval text, as well as the circumstances that may have led to its creation. The article then proceeds to offer answers to these problems based on a new interpretation of the text, one that suggests novel connections between the literary qualities of the text and the aims of its author, as well as between its content and its intended audience. The article also proposes a re-evaluation of the historicity of the Anonymous Story of the Martyrs of the Monastery of Zographou, arguing in favor of the possibility that a writer could have departed from the known facts and employed legendary material in order to propagate certain ideas.