ICONS AND THEIR INTERPRETATION : DON’T LOOK FOR SPACE ALIENS IN CRUCIFIXION ICONS
Posted on January 15, 2016
It is almost too ridiculous to mention, but some Internet sites actually use this image, from the Serbian Vysoki Decani Monastery, as “proof” of early visitations by aliens from space. ... Anyone who knows the basics of Eastern Orthodox iconography, however, should recognize that those two images are just stylized representations of the sun (at left) and the moon (at right). ... At left is the sun, which is commonly personified by placing a face within it, or sometimes, as here, the body as well. You can see that aside from the rays emanating at left, the image of the sun has a round shape. ... Here is the moon, with another little figure within to personify it. It has the shape of the crescent moon. Two stars are added to show the connection with night.
The writer, looking back from the 20:th and 21:st Centuries, could be chosing the word "personify".
The iconographer could have been thinking of Angelic movers. We have other indications too, like the three young men in the oven speaking TO sun and moon and a few more, like, in this case of sun and moon, Joshua had done in chapter 10 and verse 12 of his book. We have - West of 1053 - St Francis of Assisi calling them "our brother, Mister Sun" and "our sister Moon". If it was just personification as rhetorical figure, it was at least a very pervasive one, those centuries.
But I'll remind you of an earlier post*, where I not only linked to but also quoted and translated a passage from Riccioli, in which he expressed that the position of heavenly bodies having in actual fact, not just in rhetoric figure of speech, movers of angelic nature was very common among learned men too. Here we have an indication from piety, as the poetry of St Francis and the icon of these Serbs are expressions of.
Hans Georg Lundahl
Maternity of the Blessed Virgin
* New blog on the kid : What Opinion did Riccioli call the Fourth and Most Common One?