Thursday, September 14, 2023
Day 1 marked the temporal limits of the Byzantine theological construction of peace and war. The lecture of Professor Pablo Argarate (University of Graz), "Love Whoever Hates You and Persecutes You". The Reception of the Mount Sermon in a Fourth-Century Anonymous Work" focused on the interpretation of Jesus Christ s Sermon on the Mount in an anonymous Syriac work from the end of the fourth century, „Liber Graduum”, written in the Mesopotamian space and related to the Messalian movement. The quest for perfection, the obedience to the commandments, unconditional and universal love, as well as the renunciation of the worldly things are precepts that govern the life of early Christian communities.
Professor Athanassios Semoglou ("Aristotle" University of Thessaloniki), the scientific director of the event, offered the lecture titled „À la recherche d'une iconographie belliqueuse dans l'art postbyzantin”, in which he illustrated a very rare theme for the Byzantine iconography and almost unique in the post-Byzantine one: the representation of the Vengeant Christ, with a sword in his hand, from the "Saint Nicholas" chapel at the Great Lavra in Mount Athos. This severe representation, carrying a deeply eschatological facet, and also a claim of liberation from the Ottoman yoke, was linked to some biblical quotations from the Old Testament, but also with other similar images from different places, such as the Decani monastery in Serbia or Sucevita in Romania.