Dvin, also sometimes referred to as Duin, was the late antique/early medieval capital of Armenia and today is located in Ararat Province. It is a pivotal location for this research project as it was at the Third Council of Dvin (609-610) that there was a formal parting of the ways between the Armenian and Georgian Churches. This was the culmination of a series of post-Chalcedon debates on the nature(s) of Christ and ultimately ended with the Armenians remaining steadfast in their opposition to the Christological definition promulgated at Chalcedon, whilst the Georgians decided to join with Constantinople in upholding the Chalcedonian definition of orthodoxy. Today there is little sign of the former significance of the site and parts of the ruins have been overtaken by the modern village, however excavations are still ongoing in parts of the ancient site and a significant Islamic complex is currently being uncovered.
The west wall of the church is the most well preserved of all the frescoes in the cycle and shows the Last Judgement. The left hand side (blue background) shows the elect ranked from the bottom as: Syrian Orthodox monks and nuns (identifieable by their monastic hoods embroidered with 13 crosses) and St. Peter, the Church Fathers and other saints and biblical figures, the Three Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and the Virgin Mary cradling the souls of the saved and above both sides the Apostles on either side of the Hetoimasia (Instruments of the Passion) with a pair of angels flanking the small window at the very top.
On the right hand side are the damned: fornicators, sinners such as usurers and murderers, foreign priests (Jews and Zoroastrians?), Muslims and at the top those Christians who are in doctrinal error - in this case those upholding the Council of Chalcedon.
In the centre Adam and Eve sit above two angels holding the scales of judgement and a saint or a devil receive the soul according to which side the scales fall on.
Tags: 1207/08, Abraham, Adam, An Nabk, Angel, Apostles, Chalcedon, Church, Church Council, Deir Mar Musa, Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, Devil, Eve, Fresco, Hetoimasia, Isaac, Jacob, Jews, Last Judgement, Mar Musa al-Habashi, Monastery, Monk, Muslims, Nun, St. Peter, Syria, Syrian Orthodox, Virgin Mary, Zoroastrian
This building started life in the 2nd century AD as an important school of higher education known as a Museion. It was converted into a Christian Basilica in the 4th century AD and significantly modified and added to as part of the repurposing. This church was where the important Ecumenical Council of Ephesus was held in 431 AD. The church was further modified during the reign of Justinian.
The ancient city of Ephesus was famous in antiquity due to the presence of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - The Temple of Artemis - on the edge of the settlement. This influence continued in late antiquity, despite the gradual silting up of the harbour, due to St. Paul preaching at the site and the fact that in 431 a pivotal Church Council was held at the Church of the Virgin in the city. This influence continued at least into the C6th, when the Emperor Justinian set up a column on the road to the harbour.
Ephesus also has links with apocryphal Christian legends, including the story of the "Seven Sleepers" which is attached to the rock-cut cemetery north of the city and the fact that the virgin is believed to have retired to a modest home in the area.