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Title: Icons as Symbols of Power in Medieval Georgia
Author(s): CHICHINADZE, Nina
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 122    Issue: 3-4   Date: 2009   
Pages: 405-422
DOI: 10.2143/MUS.122.3.2045876

Abstract :
The article discusses ideological aspects of the veneration of major cult icons in Medieval Georgia as miracle-working icons of Christ and the Virgin associated with Constantinople and the Byzantine Imperial Court. Considered as symbols of royal power they were actively involved in the political and spiritual life of Medieval Georgia. The increasing cult of Constantinopolitan 'icon-relics' corresponds to the idea of apostolicity of Christianity in Georgia and the messianic role of Georgian language occurring in the hymnographic and historiographic literature of the 10th -12th cc. The commissioning as well as the embellishment of replicas of Constantinople miraculous icons with precious metal repoussé covers and/or the creation of lavish icon-cases by the Georgian kings had not only a religious purpose but also a strong political background. The relic-icons were actively involved in creating of a model of a strong unified country, with the special mission of defending the Orthodox faith.

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