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Icons of the ecumenical councils


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#1 Mina Mounir

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 09:40 PM

Peace,
I was writing a research about ecumenical councils , and I wanted to put icons for each council.
actually , I found some of them on the image.google.com search , but I didn't find an explanation for some symbols and persons on it.
for example I can know the Nicene Council by saint Spyridon and Arius drawn in it . and it is beautiful to see the Bible on a throne , in the middle of the fathers. but there are many other symbols in the icon and other councils' icons... is there any search or any site describes persons and symbols in the icons of the ecumenical councils ? ( I did not find in the site of "Icons Explained").
icons of Ephesus 431 and Chalcedon 451 draw a king enthroned in the middle instead of the Scripture . are they the kings (Theodosius and Marcian ) ? or Christ ? or the Church ?
Posted Image
Nicea
Posted Image
Chalcedon


thanks

Edited by Mina Mounir, 05 March 2008 - 10:44 PM.


#2 Olga

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:02 AM

A couple of comments on the icon of the First Ecumenical Council you have posted:

The king seated below and to the right of the "ark" holding the open Gospel is Emperor Constantine (St Constantine the Great), who convened the council. St Spyridon (with the distinctive basket-weave pointed hat) is looking at Arius (who does not have a halo, as he was denounced as a heretic by the council). In St Spyridon's left hand is a terracotta roof tile, which is producing a flame of fire, a miracle which illustrated the mystery of the Holy Trinity, how "three can be one". (St Spyridon took the tile in his hand and squeezed it. At that instant fire shot up from it, water dripped on the ground, and only dust remained in his hands. "There was only one brick," he said, "but it was composed of three elements. In the Holy Trinity there are three Persons, but only one God.")

Other icons of the First Council show the Fathers and Emperor Constantine standing behind a banner on which are the words of the Nicene Creed.

The icon for the Council of Chalcedon does not appear on your post - could you post it again?

#3 Mina Mounir

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 12:10 AM

thanks so much,
here's Chalcedon's icon :
Posted Image

#4 Olga

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 05:16 AM

The inscription at the top of the icon reads: The Holy Fourth Ecumenical Synod at Chalcedon (convened) by Marcianus the King in the year 451, under the 630 God-bearing Fathers, against Eutyches and Dioskorus of the Monophysites.

Emperor Marcianus is shown enthroned; above his head is a (barely legible) inscrption (The) King Marcianus. Three of the mitred bishops seated in the foreground have their names written in their haloes, though they are too indistinct to read. Some of the fathers present at this council include Anatolius, Archbishop of Constantinople; Maximus, Archbishop of Antioch; Juvenal, Archbishop of Jerusalem; Thalassius, Bishop of Cappadocia; and Bishops Paschasinus and Lucentius from Rome.

The two figures in the foreground with little black demons on their shoulders are Eutyches and Dioscorus, who were condemned at this council; Eutyches for his heretical stance on the nature(s) of Christ, and Dioscorus for his presiding over the non-canonical second council at Ephesus (which later became known as the "Robber Council"), and other serious infractions.

It is interesting to note that Dioscorus's clothing resembles bishop's vestments (on the death of St Cyril of Alexandria, Dioscorus succeeded him as Patriarch). A closer look shows that his omophorion (the strip of vestment draped over his shoulders and over his left arm) is plain, with no crosses on it, unlike those of the seated hierarchs. Likewise, Dioscorus's blue phelonion and stole (epitracheilion) are also devoid of the usual crosses and other motifs normally on these vestments. Eutyches, a priest and abbot, likewise, wears a plain stole.

This portrayal vividly illustrates the stripping of authority, the repudiation and the excommunication of Dioscorus and Eutyches, therefore, the little black demons could be regarded as an unnecessary embellishment. (But that's me being picky ...)

#5 Mina Mounir

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 12:31 AM

Dear Olga
thanks so much ,
I think I can understand now that icon better.

#6 Christopher Dombrowski

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 11:08 PM

Here's another icon of the First Council of Nicaea:

Posted Image

#7 Christopher Dombrowski

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 11:12 PM

And here's an icon of the First Council of Ephesus:

Posted Image

#8 Fabio Lins

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 04:10 PM

Very interesting! I hope people find icons for all the councils. :)

Another interesting fact is that they witness to the fact that the ecumenical councils were called by the Emperor. In none of them the pope is the central figure or have a even a relevant position.

#9 Christopher Dombrowski

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 05:16 AM

Very interesting! I hope people find icons for all the councils. :)

Another interesting fact is that they witness to the fact that the ecumenical councils were called by the Emperor. In none of them the pope is the central figure or have a even a relevant position.


If you think about it, caesaropapism is actually more perverted than Roman papism...

At least the latter involves the elevation of someone who is actually a clergyman.

#10 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 05:28 PM

A note of warning to all: Although a worthy topic in itself this Forum according to its guidelines cannot be a place for discussions/debates about Orthodoxy and the non-Chalcedonian eastern churches. In the past whenever this occurred great contention resulted mainly because such a Forum is not a place to resolve such issues. That is why we had to establish such a firm rule here.

In case there are questions please feel free to contact the moderators directly. In the meantime though I would ask that we avoid discussions that challenge 'from the outside' as it were.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#11 Deacon Jonathan

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 03:09 AM

I'm very familiar with the icon of the 7th Ecumenical Council, but have never seen these icons before - so thank you Mina and Christopher for posting! Does anyone know what the history is of these icons of the ecumenical coucils? When were the first ones produced?

#12 Carolyn C.

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 02:37 AM

I have a question about the icon of the "Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea" that is shown on the www.oca.org website under the Saints of the Day for June 5. This icon is the same icon that was on the front of my church bulletin today. It shows five men holding what I assume is the Nicene Creed in Greek. I know that the center figure is the emperor, St. Constantine, but what are the identities of the other four men in the icon? The man on the far left is wearing a distinctive helmet-like cap, and the man on the far right has a very long beard. Can anyone help me? Thank you.

#13 Paul Cowan

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 03:29 AM

Do you mean this one?

One of the major players at the council was St. Nicholas of Myra and Lycia.

#14 Paul Cowan

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 03:54 AM

I am reading down the link and it says who the major players are. I believe St. Spyridon is the one with the pointy hat. I think the below listing in addition to St. Constantine make up the 5 in the picture.

Also participating in the Council were several great luminaries of the Church: St Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia (December 6 and May 9), St Spyridon, Bishop of Tremithos (December 12), and others venerated by the Church as holy Fathers.

With Patriarch Alexander of Alexandria came his deacon, Athanasius (who later became Patriarch of Alexandria (May 2 and January 18). He is called "the Great," for he was a zealous champion for the purity of Orthodoxy.



#15 Kusanagi

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 08:23 AM

I read in one of the councils, most likely the first one, was that the Pope couldn't attend so he sent representatives to the council.

I am interested to know if there is a list of who attended the councils. Is there such a list?

#16 Carolyn C.

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 05:59 AM

My question is in reference to the icon of the First Ecumenical Council that was posted by Mina Mounir on 5 March 2008 and replied to by Olga on 6 March 2008.

    

  I know that the figure with a crown sitting on the right of the gospel book is St. Constantine the Great, and that the figure in the foreground with the woven hat is St. Spyridon crushing the roof tile and the figure in the brown attire in the foreground is Arius.  My question is about the identities of some of the other saints in the icon.  St. Nicholas of Myra was there, and Paul Cowan (5 June 2011 post) states that St. Athanasius was there as a deacon with St. Alexander of Alexandria. 

 

     Is St. Athanasius the deacon in the left foreground who is writing at a desk?  Does anyone know the identities of the three saints seated on the right of the gospel book next to St. Constantine the Great?  Does anyone know the identities of the four saints seated on the left of the gospel book?  Is the bishop on the left with the kind of double-decker miter St. Nicholas? 

 

     Thank you for your assistance.






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