Vlad Bedros, The Devotion to the Five Companions in Moldavian Texts and Images, ca 1480 – ca 1530: Between Trebizond and Mount Athos

pp. 63-84
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St. Estratius of Sebasteia; The Five Companions; warrior saints; Moldavian art, 15th–16th c.; Slavonic hagiography; Late Byzantine iconography; Post-Byzantine iconography

Moldavian wall paintings from the end of the 15th c. and the first decades of the 16th c., my study investigates the implication of this devotional practice. It maps the local evidence for their metaphrastic Passio as textual counterpart for the preserved visual corpus. I discuss the Moldavian iconographic contexts against the backdrop of Late Byzantium and the Balkans, marked by an agency of Mount Athos. I propose that the cult of St. Eustratius and his companions circulates to Moldavia through the mediation of a monastic devotional network, and that in the local context it gained an unparalleled military accent. This could be speculatively attributed to a hybridization with the cult of St. Eugenios of Trebizond, possibly venerated by the second wife of Stephen the Great, Maria of Mangup, a princess of Trapezuntine lineage.

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