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Byzantine Art and Gospel Commentary: The Case of Luke 13:6–9, 10–17*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 April 2016

François Bovon
Harvard University
Nancy P. Ševčenko
International Center of Medieval Art


This paper represents a conversation between two disciplines that too rarely enter into dialogue: New Testament studies and the history of Byzantine art. Two gospel passages have been chosen for analysis here: the first is a parable, the parable of the fig tree (Luke 13:6–9); the second, which follows immediately upon the first, is a miracle story that provokes a controversy (Luke 13:10–17). Both passages appear exclusively in the Gospel of Luke. Our joint study will start with exegetical notes on the Gospel of Luke and the history of the interpretation of these particular verses and will then turn to the miniatures that illustrate them in an eleventh-century Byzantine manuscript in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Parisinus graecus 74 (figs. 1–2). François Bovon has interpreted the Gospel of Luke in a German collection, the Evangelisch-katholischer Kommentar zum Neuen Testament, a series attentive to the history of the reception (Wirkungsgeschichte) of the biblical text in the life of the Christian church. He will explain the two New Testament passages and follow the path of patristic and Byzantine interpretation during these periods.

Copyright © President and Fellows of Harvard College 2016 

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The editors wish to thank Dr. Nancy P. Ševčenko, co-author of this article with our departed and beloved colleague, Professor François Bovon (editor of Harvard Theological Review, 2000–2010), for her work in overseeing the final editing of the essay.

Nancy Ševčenko writes: Casual discussions between the two authors of this article about an eleventh-century illuminated Byzantine gospel book in Paris led us to this joint article. François Bovon chose two passages from the Gospel of Luke that are illustrated in the Paris manuscript and proposed that he and I together explore the extent to which the exegetical traditions of the relevant gospel passages may have influenced the two accompanying miniatures. Sadly, this article was still in progress at the time of François Bovon's death in November 2013. I have tried to preserve his vision for the article as far as possible, as a tribute to a much-missed colleague and valued friend, and I warmly thank the Harvard Theological Review for consenting to publish the results of our investigations in his memory.


1 Bovon, François, Das Evangelium nach Lukas (Lk 9,51–14,35) (2nd ed.; EKKNT 3.2; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Patmos, 2008) 379408Google Scholar.

2 Translation is taken from the NRSV.

3 See Isa 5:1–7; Jer 2:21, 8:13; Ezek 17:6, 19:10–11; Hos 9:10; and Mic 7:1; also see Ternant, P., “L'homme ne peut empêcher Dieu d’être bon,” AsSeign 72 (1964) 3652, at 41Google Scholar.

4 The reader will find more details and additional bibliography in François Bovon's Das Evangelium nach Lukas, 379–408.

5 The literal translation of v. 11 reads, “And behold a woman having a spirit of disease for eighteen years . . .” The verb “appeared” as found in the NRSV is not present in the Greek.

6 See also Luke 14:5 and Matt 12:11–12.

7 See, for example, the Damascus Document (CD 11.13–14). Found in Cairo, Egypt, more than a century ago, this Damascus Document belongs to the same group of texts as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

8 Irenaeus of Lyon, Adversus haereses 4.36.8; see also ibid., 3.14.3, in Irenaeus, Contre les hérésies. Livre IV (ed. Adelin Rousseau et al.; 2 vols.; SC 100; Paris: Cerf, 1982) 2:914–17.

9 See Ambrose of Milan, Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucan 7.160–72, in Ambrose of Milan, Traité sur l’Évangile de S. Luc (ed. Gabriel Tissot; SC 52; Paris: Cerf, 1958) 67–72; Cyril of Alexandria, Sermones in Lucam 96, in Smith, R. Payne, A Commentary upon the Gospel according to S. Luke, by S. Cyril (2 vols.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1859) 2:446–54Google Scholar; and Bovon, François, L’Évangile selon saint Luc 9,51–14,35 (CNT 2/3d; Geneva: Labor et Fides, 2009) 341Google Scholar.

10 Tertullian, Adversus Marcionem 4.30.1. “Thus, by having done this work according to the terms of the law, [Christ] did not break but confirm the law, which commanded that no work should be done but such as had been done for every living soul—and how much more for a human soul?” (Tertullian, Adversus Marcionem [trans. Ernest Evans; Oxford: Clarendon, 1972] 435).

11 Only a small portion of Origen's Homiliae in Lucam is preserved, and unfortunately it is not concerned with our chapter.

12 I am not in favor of the translation of the NRSV: “Look around you.”

13 Origen, Commentarii in evangelium Joannis 13.42, in Der Johanneskommentar (ed. Erwin Preuschen; vol. 4 of Origenes Werke; GCS 10; Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1903) 274–78.

14 Ibid.

15 See also Origen, Contra Celsum 8.54, where we read the following: 1) Satan holds the woman with bonds, and this is still the case today for many human beings; 2) only the divine Logos is able to liberate ties, those of the woman and those of human beings, since he came down to have his dwelling in Jesus; 3) Celsus is wrong: the Christians do not insult the demons—they fight against them (Origen, Contre Celse [ed. Marcel Borret; SC 150; Paris: Cerf, 1969] 294–99).

16 Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio 45, In Pascha 26 (PG 36:660).

17 Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio 40, In baptismum 33 (PG 36:405–6). In the same oratio (40, In baptismum 9 [PG 36:369–70]), Gregory speaks of the human counterpart of the divine gift of baptism and interprets the merciful vinedresser and the manure spread around the tree in an anthropological and ethical way rather than in a christological and soteriological one. The manure is an image for the tears, the sighs, and the long vigils. See Gregory of Nazianzus, Discours 38–41 (ed. Claudio Moreschini and Paul Gallay; SC 358; Paris: Cerf, 1990) 272–73 and 214–16.

18 The expression ἡ συνκύπτουσα, “the bent woman,” as a description of our woman from Luke 13 has become a traditional name; in Luke 13:11, however, συνκύπτουσα is not yet a name or a title, just a participle: the woman was συνκύπτουσα (she was bent over).

19 Romanos the Melodist, Hymn 51, On the Ten Virgins, 1. See Romanos the Melodist, Hymnes (ed. José Grosdidier de Matons; SC 283; Paris: Cerf, 1981) 298–99. Symeon the New Theologian (Ethics 2.1) provides a list of Christians who, he believes, decided to adhere to Christ: among them he includes the forgiven sinner woman of Luke 7, the prodigal son of Luke 15, and the woman who lost blood (Luke 8:43–48) and was bent (Luke 13:11). Here he seems to merge the two women. See Symeon the New Theologian, Traités théologiques et éthiques (ed. Jean Darrouzès; SC 122; Paris: Cerf, 1966) 312–25.

20 Ambrose of Milan, Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucan 7.160–75.

21 Ibid., 7.167.

22 See Cyril of Alexandria, who himself identifies the vinedresser with the Son (Sermones in Lucam 96); see Payne Smith, Commentary, 2:440.

23 Ambrose of Milan, Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucan 7.171.

24 See ibid., 3.8.

25 Ibid., 7.164–70.

26 Cyril of Alexandria, Sermones in Lucam 96, in Payne Smith, Commentary, 2:450.

27 Ambrose, Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucan 7.173–75.

28 The metaphoric understanding of a woman as a figure of the church is as old as the apostle Paul; see 2 Cor 11:2.

29 The end of sermon 96, as well as sermons 97 and 98, is lost in the Syriac version. The end of sermon 96, which interests us here, can be restored through fragments of Greek chains (Payne Smith, Commentary, 2:450). See another preacher, Pseudo-Chrysostom, who connects the two stories in Luke 13:6–17 (De remissione peccatorum [PG 60:759–64]): while the parable tells how Jesus binds the tree, the miracle story shows how Jesus unbinds the woman.

30 See Catenae graecorum patrum in Novum Testamentum (ed. J. A. Cramer; 8 vols.; Oxford: E Typographeo Academico, 1844) 2:107.

31 See also Maximus the Confessor: “The bent woman is either nature or the soul bent with regard to the whole intellectual power concerned with action through the devil's deceit” (Quaestiones ad Thalassium 41 [CCSG 7:279]). See also Maximus Confessor, Quaestiones et dubia 176 (CCSG 10:21).

32 See Lukas-Kommentare aus der griechischen Kirche aus Katenenhandschriften (ed. Joseph Reuss; TUGAL 130; Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1984); Aubineau, Michel, “Les ‘Catenae in Lucam’ de J. Reuss et Cyrille d'Alexandrie,” ByzZ 80 (1987) 2947Google Scholar; Bovon, François, “De saint Luc à saint Thomas en passant par saint Cyrille,” in ΒΟΥΚΟΛΕΙΑ. Mélanges offerts à Bertrand Bouvier (ed. Lazaridis, Anastasia Danaéet al.; Geneva: Édition des Belles Lettres, 1995) 93102Google Scholar.

33 One of them should be mentioned here. It was produced by Niketas of Herakleia, who lived around the end of the 11th cent., close to the time of Parisinus graecus 74. Unfortunately the one study available on that catena does not provide an edition of the text but only the identification of the fragments of Niketas's work according to the Athos manuscript Iviron 371. See Krikônês, Christos T., Συναγωγή Πατέρων εἰς τὸ κατὰ Λουκᾶν Εὐαγγέλιον ὑπὸ Νικήτα Ἡρακλείας (κατὰ τὸν κώδικα Ἰβήρων 371) (Thessaloniki: Κέντρον Βυζαντινῶν Ἐρευνῶν, 1973)Google Scholar, and see also Michel Aubineau's review in ByzZ 70 (1977) 118–21. On pages 354–59 Krikônês mentions the lemmata of approximately fifty passages related to Luke 13:6–17 quoted by Niketas and gives references to the editions, particularly to PG.

34 Theophylact, Enarratio in Evangelium Lucae 13 (PG 123:912–16); for a translation see The Explanation by Blessed Theophylact of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke (trans. Christopher Stade; House Springs, MO: Chrysostom, 1997) 166–68.

35 Theophylact, Enarratio in Evangelium Lucae 13 (PG 123:916–17); for a translation see Explanation by Blessed Theophylact (trans. Stade), 168–70.

36 Theophylact, Enarratio in Evangelium Lucae 13 (PG 123:917); for the translation see Explanation by Blessed Theophylact (trans. Stade), 170.

37 See Kazhdan, Alexander and Cutler, Anthony, “Zigabenos, Euthymios,” in Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (3 vols.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991) 3:2227Google Scholar.

38 Euthymios Zigabenos, Commentarius in quatuor Evangelia. Evangelium secundum Lucam (PG 129:853–1102).

39 Ibid., PG 129:1000–1.

40 Ibid., PG 129:1001C

41 Christian Förstel, conservator of Greek manuscripts at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, was kind enough to answer our queries and to check several points for us, there being as yet no full scholarly description of this important manuscript. We are very grateful to Dr. Förstel for his time and expert assistance. Henri Omont devotes exactly one line to Parisinus graecus 74 in his Inventaire sommaire des manuscrits grecs de la Bibliothèque nationale. Première partie: Ancien fonds grec, théologie (Paris: Picard, 1886) 10. He claims that it dates from the 12th cent. CE. This scholar also published in black and white the illuminations of Parisinus graecus 74 in another publication: Henri Omont, Évangiles avec peintures byzantines du XIe siècle. . . . Reproduction des 361 miniatures du manuscrit grec 74 de la Bibliothèque nationale (2 vols.; Paris: Berthaud, 1908). The two-page introduction concentrates on the illustrations and gives a minimum of information on the manuscript. The reader finds more information in Martin, Jean-Pierre-Paulin, Description technique des manuscrits grecs relatifs au Nouveau Testament conservés dans les bibliothèques de Paris (Paris: Leclerc, 1884) 6062Google Scholar. The most recent article relating to Parisinus graecus 74 is Hutter, Irmgard, “Theodoros βιβλιογράφος und die Buchmalerei in Studiu,” Bollettino della Badia Greca di Grottaferrata 51 (1997) 177208Google Scholar, plus seven plates. Some observations based on a firsthand examination of the manuscript will be offered here, but no attempt is made at a full codicological description. The codex, which is made from parchment of good quality, measures 235 × 200 mm and contains 215 folios. Its quires are regular quaternions. The ruling system is Leroy system 1, type 65C1 dex. Each page is ruled with twenty-eight lines in a single column. The script is Perlschrift, the letters slightly inclined to the right and pendant from the horizontal line. The ink is a medium brown; the initials are gold over carmine. Divisions in the text are marked by small red crosses (the equivalent of the later division into verses); the references to the Eusebian numbering are written in the margin, generally in gold ink (for example, ρξε’ [=165] at fol. 138v, at the beginning of the miracle story of the bent woman). (In the Novum Testamentum Graecum, unit 165 begins only at Luke 13:14.) The initial letter of the Lucan text corresponding to such units in Eusebius's canons is also written in gold. If a paragraph begins between two Eusebian canon units (as in the lower part of fol. 138v), the initial is more modestly written in red ink. Often in the upper margin one can read in small capitals the traditional title given to the biblical story written on the page; this title is preceded by the number of the unit according to the Eusebian numbering system. At fol. 140r, for example, one reads ΝΒ (= 52), πὲ (for περὶ) τοῦ ὑδρωπικοῦ (concerning the man with dropsy), a story mentioned in Luke 14:1–6. Finally, one is not surprised to find nomina sacra used in the usual way. See, for example, fol. 138v at the end of line 2: κε [with a line covering both letters] for κύριε, “Lord.” As a gospel book, the manuscript is unusual for what has been omitted. It lacks any prefatory material explaining the Eusebian tables, and it lacks the actual canon tables themselves. There are no full-page evangelist portraits. The text is not adapted in any way for liturgical use (there are no marginal indications of the occasion at which certain gospel passages are to be read, no musical notation over the passages to be sung, etc.). It lacks any accompanying commentary of the kind sometimes found in the margins surrounding the gospel text. Emphasis would seem to be entirely on the literal illustration of the text.

42 One of Omont's statements, that there are 372 miniatures, has been confirmed by Christian Förstel. This figure includes the pylai at the beginning of each of the gospels. The other Greek “frieze” gospel book is today in the Biblioteca Laurenziana in Florence (Plut. VI.23). For a thorough description of this manuscript and earlier bibliography, see I vangeli dei popoli. La parola e l'immagine del Cristo nelle culture e nella storia (ed. Francesco D'Aiuto, Giovanni Morello, and Ambrogio M. Piazzoni; Vatican City: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 2000) no. 56. Its 294 miniatures, comprising a total of 750 scenes, have been published in full by Tania Velmans as Le Tétraévangile de la Laurentienne, Florence, Laur. VI. 23 (Paris: Klincksieck, 1971). The Florence manuscript is a slightly later, slightly smaller codex than the Parisinus; it was probably produced around the year 1100. It was copied in the 13th cent. in Armenia (Erevan, Matenadaran 7651) and may have entered the library of Lorenzo dei Medici by 1494. It illustrates the Lucan passages on fols. 136v and 137r (Velmans, Tétraévangile, figs. 231–32).

43 The Paris codex (or a near relative thereof) was copied twice in Georgia in the 12th cent. and in Bulgaria in the 14th cent.; the Bulgarian manuscript was then itself copied twice (once directly, once indirectly) in Romania in the 16th and early 17th cents. For the Georgian gospels, see the Gelati Gospels (Tbilisi, Institute of Manuscripts Q 908) (where only the Gospel of John copies Parisinus graecus 74) and the Second Džruči Gospels (H 1667), in The Treasures of Georgia (ed. Vaxtang Beridze; trans. Bruce Penman; London: Century, 1984) 122, 125–29, 134, 136, 138; Saminsky, Alexander, “Masterskaya Gruzinskoi i Grečeskoi knigi v Konstantinople XII—načala XIII veka,” Muzej 10 (1989) 184216, esp. 204–11Google Scholar. For the Bulgarian gospels, see the Gospels of Tsar Ivan Alexander (London, British Library Add. 39627, dated 1355/1356), in Bogdan Filov, Les miniatures de l’évangile du roi Jean Alexandre à Londres (Sofia: Durzhavna pechatnitsa, 1934); Ekaterina Dimitrova, The Gospels of Tsar Ivan Alexander (London: British Library, 1994). For the Romanian gospels, see the Gospels of Voievod Alexander II Mircea of Wallachia (Monastery of Sucevita 23) and of Voievod Jeremiah Movila of Moldavia (Bucharest, Muzeul de Istorie, Sucevita 24, dated 1607), in Sirarpie Der Nersessian, “Two Slavonic Parallels of the Greek Tetraevangelion: Paris 74,” Art Bulletin 9 (1927) 1–52; Popescu-Valcea, Gheorghe, Romanian Miniatures (Bucharest: Editura Meridiane, 1998) 3642Google Scholar. See also idem, Un manuscris al voievodului Alexandru al II-lea and Un manuscris al voievodului Ieremia Movila, both with French summaries, both Bucharest: Meridiane, 1984. Note also the Bulgarian Elisavetgrad Gospels (Moscow State Library, Muz. Sobr. 9500), in Dragnev, Emil, O capodoperă a miniaturii din Moldova medievală. Tetraevanghelul de la Elizavetgrad şi manuscrisele grupului Parisinus graecus 74 (Chisinau: Civitas, 2004)Google Scholar and a later Romanian version dependent on Sucevita 24, namely the Gospels of Anastasios Crimka, metropolitan of Moldavia (Lvov, Univ. I. AZ, dated 1615–1617), in Sirarpie Der Nersessian, “Une nouvelle réplique du Paris gr. 74 et les manuscrits d'Anastase Crimcovici,” in Études byzantines et arméniennes (Louvain: Imprimerie orientaliste, 1973) 265–78. The Romanian codex Sucevita 23 copies the Gospels of Ivan Alexander, which was in Romania at that time.

44 Hutter, “Theodoros,” passim, esp. 189. The colophon is on fol. 208r of the London manuscript (Hutter, “Theodoros,” fig. 5). For the Theodore Psalter, see Der Nersessian, Sirarpie, L'illustration des psautiers grecs du moyen âge, II: Londres, Add. 19. 352 (Paris: Klincksieck, 1970)Google Scholar and the electronic (CD) facsimile, Theodore Psalter (ed. Charles Barber; Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2000). On the Barberini Psalter, also attributed to the hand of Theodore, see Anderson, Jeffrey C., Canart, Paul, and Walter, Christopher, The Barberini Psalter: Codex Vaticanus Barberinianus Graecus 372 (Zurich: Belser, 1989)Google Scholar, esp. Paul Canart, “Analyse codicologique et paléographique,” 30–37. Theodore, the scribe and gilder, was not a painter himself but worked with a team of miniaturists (Hutter, “Theodoros,” esp. 194–201). On the scriptorium at the Stoudíou monastery, see also Nikephoros X. Eleopoulos, Ἡ βιβλιοθήκη καὶ τὸ βιβλιογραφικὸν ἐργαστήριον τῆς μονῆς τῶν Στουδιού (Athens, 1967); Salucci, Brunero, La scuola calligrafica del monastero bizantino di Studios (Messina: Casa Editrice G. D'Anna, 1973)Google Scholar.

45 See the introduction to NA28 (1–88); Kurt and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism (trans. Erroll F. Rhodes; 2nd ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1989) 48–71; as well as the work of the Institut für neutestamentliche Textgeschichte in Münster in Westphalia, Germany.

46 See, for example, Léon Vaganay and Christian Bernard Amphoux, Initiation à la critique textuelle du Nouveau Testament (Paris: Cerf, 1986) 135–84.

47 In the numbering of the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament that Gregory established (Caspar René Gregory, Textkritik des Neuen Testamentes [Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1909] 174), Parisinus graecus 74 is listed among the minuscule manuscripts of the Four Gospels as number 269.

48 On this form of the text of the New Testament, see Vaganay and Amphoux, Initiation à la critique, 162–84.

49 The miniature is inserted not below the end of the parable text, as we might expect, but below the first verse of the miracle text.

50 Illustrations of the parable in Byzantine art are extremely rare. In the Paris manuscript of the Sacra Parallela, we see Christ addressing the apostles, standing above a tree in leaf (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale gr. 923, fol. 319r): see Weitzmann, Kurt, The Miniatures of the Sacra Parallela, Parisinus graecus 923 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979) 177Google Scholar, fig. 461. The only other illustrations of the parable are those found in the various frieze gospels (see n. 40 above): see Florence Gospels, fol. 136v, in Velmans, Tétraévangile, fig. 231; London, British Library Add. 39627, fol. 179v, in Dimitrova, Ekaterina, The Gospels of Tsar Ivan Alexander (London: British Library, 1994)Google Scholar fig. 25. In general, miracle cycles were far more popular as subject matter in Byzantine painting than were parables.

51 The fig trees that form the centerpiece of the miniatures illustrating the parable of the barren fig tree in Matthew and Mark (fol. 42r, 88v; Omont, Évangiles, figs. 36, 78) look quite different from the fig tree in our miniature. For closer parallels, see the fig tree on fol. 170r and the anonymous trees on fols. 38r, 137v, 143r, and 158v (Omont, Évangiles, figs. 147; 32, 120, 125, and 136). For men working in the vineyard, see fol. 39v (Omont, Évangiles, pl. 33).

52 “Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matt 3:10; see similarly Luke 3:9).

53 The configuration of Christ's hand—the first two fingers and the little finger raised, the thumb and the fourth finger curved down—is the usual Byzantine artistic formula to indicate speech.

54 In the Paris Sacra Parallela, Christ is shown placing his hand on her head (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale gr. 923, fol. 212r); see Weitzmann, Sacra Parallela, 177, fig. 462. We see this again in a 13th-cent. Armenian gospel book in the Freer Gallery in Washington, DC; here, however, the bent woman is simply seated on the ground (Freer Gallery of Art 32.18, 447); see Der Nersessian, Sirarpie, Armenian Manuscripts in the Freer Gallery of Art (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1963)Google Scholar fig. 146. In another Armenian gospel in the Freer, the woman appears to be reclining on a mattress (Freer Gallery of Art 56.11, fol. 194r); see ibid., fig. 256. This manuscript is dated to 1263.

55 The paint has flaked, but the underdrawing suggests that all the figures wore hoods.

56 On the towers, see fols. 3v, where the tower signifies Jerusalem; 4v, where it signifies Egypt; 5r, where two towers signify Egypt and Nazareth respectively; 7v, where it represents a prison; 174r, where it represents the town of Sichar; etc. (in Omont, Évangiles, pls. 5, 7, 8, 10, 151, etc.).

57 The fresco in the Virgin chapel at Patmos (ca. 1200) is actually labeled ἡ προσκύνησις (the veneration): see A. K. Orlandos, Ἡ ἀρχιτεκτονικὴ καὶ αἱ βυζαντιναὶ τοιχογραφίαι τῆς μονῆς τοῦ θεολόγου Πάτμου (Athens: Akademia Athenon, 1970) 153, pl. 37. The woman's deformity is most evident in a 12th-cent. mosaic in Monreale, in Sicily; here the woman does not raise her head at all but gazes sideways toward the ground. Her left hand rests on a short cane, and her right is extended toward Christ (Ernst Kitzinger, I mosaici del periodo Normanno in Sicilia, fasc. 5. Il duomo di Monreale. I mosaici delle navate [Palermo: Accademia nazionale di scienze, lettere e arti di Palermo, 1996] figs. 206, 209). In the 9th-cent. Paris manuscript of the homilies of Gregory of Nazianzus, the woman shows no sign of deformity—she is a woman kneeling and looking up to Christ (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale gr. 510, fol. 310v): see Brubaker, Leslie, Vision and Meaning in Ninth-Century Byzantium: Image as Exegesis in the Homilies of Gregory of Nazianzus (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999) 270–72Google Scholar, fig. 31.

58 Kitzinger, Mosaici, figs. 206–10. Here the chief of the synagogue stands apart, responding to the healing event but turning his head toward the group of eleven men who stand behind him. In the miniature in the Florence Gospels, the episodes of the story (here expanded to three) are separated by little architectural elements: first we see Christ speaking to the bent woman in the presence of two witnesses; then we see the woman erect, acknowledging Christ in the presence of three witnesses; and, finally, we see Christ disputing with the hooded chief of the synagogue, in the presence of two bare-headed witnesses, presumably apostles (Velmans, Tétraévangile, fig. 232). The miniature is placed directly above the first words of the miracle text (Luke 13:10). In some cases, the dispute with the Jews is omitted entirely, and only the healing is shown.

59 Der Nersessian, Sirarpie, “Recherches sur les miniatures du Parisinus Graecus 74,” Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik 21 (1972) 109–17Google Scholar.

60 Tsuji, Shigebumi, “The Headpiece Miniatures and Genealogy Pictures in Paris. gr. 74,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 29 (1975) 165203CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

61 The miniatures placed at the end of the text of each gospel (fols. 61v, 101v, 213r) depict the evangelist speaking with a monastic figure labeled the κὺρ ἡγουμένος, that is, the “lord abbot.” The poems that come after each of these miniatures (fols. 62r, 102r, 213r–213v; the folio that contained the miniature and poem at the end of the Gospel of Luke is lost) dwell on the responsibility of the abbot to govern his flock wisely, stressing that his authority comes directly from God. For transcriptions of the poems and a study of the connections between the Paris gospel and its later incarnations, see Spatharakis, Ioannis, The Portrait in Byzantine Illuminated Manuscripts (Leiden: Brill, 1976) 6167Google Scholar. See also Hutter, “Theodoros,” 199–203; and Dirk Krausmüller, “Abbots and Monks at Studios: The Installation Scene of the Theodore Psalter as Evidence for Studite Power Politics,” Revue des études byzantines 64–65 (2006–2007) 255–82; both highlight the importance to the Studites in this period of the abbot's independence from episcopal and royal authority. On the striking Last Judgment miniatures in Parisinus graecus 74, which include the figure of a monk, presumably the abbot, already present in paradise, see Nancy Patterson Ševčenko, “Some Images of the Second Coming and the Fate of the Soul in Middle Byzantine Art,” in Apocalyptic Themes in Early Christianity (ed. Robert Daly, SJ; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009) 250–72, esp. 250–57, with earlier bibliography. The political overtones are more evident in the later copies of Parisinus graecus 74, where the figure of the abbot is replaced by the figure of the tsar (in the Bulgarian copy) or by local rulers (in the Romanian copies). For astute remarks on the relation of the Bulgarian gospels to the Paris gospels, see Bakalova, Elka, “Society and Art in the 14th Century,” Byzantino-bulgarica 8 (1986) 1772Google Scholar, esp. 37–47.