I am always amazed at the symbolism depicted in our icons.
In the icon of Pentecost, there is an "elderly" gentleman down at the bottom (see attachment). I understand that he represents the inhabited world, mankind, etc. The 12 scrolls he holds are the teachings of the 12 Apostles, which he (we) have received.
My question is...why is he wearing a crown?
The icon depicts " the twelve Apostles" seated on a semi-circle, an arrangement that utilizes the symbolism of the circle, receiving the Holy Spirit as tongues of fire. The historical reality of the individuals gathered at Pentecost makes way for the traditional depiction in the icon as Matthias, James, son of Alphae and Jude are replaced by Paul and the Evangelists Mark and Luke.
In the dark vault stands a man who is wearing rich clothes and a crown that symbolize the visible world awaiting the final achievement of salvation brought by Christ. He is depicted as an old man called " King Cosmos " who is a prisoner "of darkness and shadow of dead " (Luke I, 79).
He holds a linen cloth that contains twelve scrolls symbolizing the preaching of the twelve Apostles.