Author Topic: The Medieval Monasteries of Serbia  (Read 808 times)

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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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The Medieval Monasteries of Serbia
« on: November 17, 2007, 02:04:45 PM »
Never underestimate those used-bookstores!  I found an awesome book on the medieval monasteries of Serbia (titled the same).  It has hundreds of pictures, many in color, with an introduction by Serbian Patriarch Pavle.  Not only is it a history of Serbian monasteries, but a sort of history of Serbia herself.  So far, it's been an amazing read (though a little cumbersome because of the Serbian language next to the English language).  Probably the most enlightening fact so far has been the mentioning and accompanying picture of The Virgin of Banjska, a 14th century sculpture of the Theotokos, now in the church of the Sokolica monastery.  I noticed a few of the icons have had their eyes scratched out which reminded me of a passage in Balkan Ghosts by Robert Kaplan, that explains the people living near old monasteries in Serbia will scratch out the eyes of saints and eat the paint to cure them of various diseases of the eyes.

One particular caption to a picture of ancient monastery ravaged by time, negligence, and invaders really made me think:

 "Though sad, the appearance of the Church of the Presentation of the Holy Virgin in Drenca still testifies of its spiritual luxury.  The present look results from the ravages of time and our negligence: numerous invaders and enemies desecrated this holy place place for centuries, and we have- just as simple as that- forgotten about it.  Yet monasteries do not die- they only withdraw, to reappear when better times allow."
"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying