Εφραίμ ο Σύρος και Μάρκος ΕυγενικόςPart of : Δελτίον της Χριστιανικής Αρχαιολογικής Εταιρείας ; Vol.33, 1991, pages 279-282
Ephraim the Syrian and Mark Eugenikos
Certain questions arise from the study of the representation of the Dormition of St. Ephraim the Syrian (306-379), who is regarded as a model of ascetic life, in association with the ekphrasis of an icon with this samescene attributed to Mark Eugenikos, Metropolitan ofEphessos. It is not known when this ekphrasis was written, but it most probably dates to the first half of the15th century (M.E. died in 1445). This text lists threemain elements which should appear in the depiction:a) the dead holy man with mourners around himb) monks arriving at the gatheringc) monks involved in everyday tasks. The last two elements are not apparent in earlier depictions of the scene, while they are found —with the addition of other elements— in icons and wall-paintingsdated between 1500 and the 18th century. These elements, in isolation, appear in iconography already bythe 10th and 11th century in miniature illuminations etc.where one can trace the model of the later populousscene. The only element which is not completely verifiedis the idyllic landscape of the desert used as a frame forthe central scene and the piecemeal scenes which in thetext of Mark Eugenikos' ekphrasis should be regardedas simply rhetorical.