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Palgrave Macmillan

Heavenly Sustenance in Patristic Texts and Byzantine Iconography

Nourished by the Word

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  • © 2018


  • Explores the manner in which Patristic authors refer to the religious needs of the human soul
  • Argues that hagiographic iconography along the Via Egnatia from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries should be understood both within a biological and a spiritual framework
  • Analyses aspects of the circulation of Bogomil ideas in the Balkans and the reaction in Byzantine iconography to their dissemination

Part of the book series: New Approaches to Byzantine History and Culture (NABHC)

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Table of contents (9 chapters)


About this book

This book examines ideas of spiritual nourishment as maintained chiefly by Patristic theologians –those who lived in Byzantium. It shows how a particular type of Byzantine frescoes and icons illustrated the views of Patristic thinkers on the connections between the heavenly and the earthly worlds. The author explores the occurrence, and geographical distribution, of this new type of iconography that manifested itself in representations concerned with the human body, and argues that these were a reaction to docetist ideas. The volume also investigates the diffusion of saints’ cults and demonstrates that this took place on a North-South axis as their veneration began in Byzantium and gradually reached the northern part of Europe, and eventually the entirety of Christendom. 

Authors and Affiliations

  • Faculty of History and Wolfson College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

    Elena Ene D-Vasilescu

About the author

Elena Ene D-Vasilescu is a Tutor and a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, UK. Her teaching and research focus on Patristics and Byzantine Studies. She is the editor of Devotion to St. Anne in Texts and Images (2018), and co-editor, with Mark Edwards, of Visions of God and Ideas on Deification in Patristics Thought (2016). She has also published other books and many articles; among the most recent of her articles there are “Generation (γενεά) in Gregory Nazianzen’s poem On the Son” (2017); “Early Christianity about the notion of time and the redemption of the world” (2017), and “Late Developments in Meta-Byzantine Icon-Painting” (2017).

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Heavenly Sustenance in Patristic Texts and Byzantine Iconography

  • Book Subtitle: Nourished by the Word

  • Authors: Elena Ene D-Vasilescu

  • Series Title: New Approaches to Byzantine History and Culture

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: History, History (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-98985-3Published: 01 November 2018

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-07553-8Published: 20 December 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-98986-0Published: 22 October 2018

  • Series ISSN: 2730-9363

  • Series E-ISSN: 2730-9371

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVIII, 196

  • Number of Illustrations: 12 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: History of Medieval Europe, History of Religion, Cultural History, Ancient History, Medieval Literature

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