- Collection: Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi
St. Sergius faces eastwards on the northern arcade of the nave, directly opposite St. Bacchus on the south side. He had been identified by an inscription but is very damaged in comparison with St. Bacchus.
The ancient monastic cemetery of Deir Mar Musa is located in the wadi west of the monastery. It was mentioned by Sir Richard Burton in the C19th and had been comprehensively looted by the latter part of the C20th.
The Annunciation was painted at the top of the triumphal arch with the Angel Gabriel north of the window, the Virgin Mary to the south and Christ Emmanuel in a mandorla above. Sadly most of this scene was stolen overnight in 1986 whilst volunteers were restoring the monastery.
Tags: 1207/08, An Nabk, Angel, Annunciation, Chris, Church, Deir Mar Musa, Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, Emmanuel, Fresco, Gabriel, Mar Musa al-Habashi, Monastery, Syria, Theft, Virgin Mary
This is the text of a lecture given on the occasion of a facsimile of the censer taken from Deir Mar Musa by Richard Burton in the C19th being returned to the Community at a reception at the British Council in Damascus on September 27th 2001. The images cannot be included as the copyright for those rests with the British Museum.
John is located on the eastern spandrel of the northern arcade of the nave and is the most damaged of the four evangelists. This picture was taken before the painting was cleaned and consolidated.
The evangelist Luke is on the western spandrel of the northern arcade of the nave and although partially damaged is still identifiable as St. Luke.
The evangelist Mark is on the western spandrel of the southern arcade of the nave and clearly identifiable by inscription. The damaged ring around the head of the figure was caused by an attempt to steal this portion of the fresco which appears to have been disturbed.
The evangelist Matthew and on the lower layer Elijah handing his cloak to Elisha as he ascends to heaven
This spandrel is at the east end on the south side of the nave and shows the evangelist Matthew writing his gospel. Behind him is the inscription that dates the third layer of fresco in the chapel to 1207/08. Underneath it is possible to see a scene painted post 1058 and pre 1095, which is the date of the second cycle. It shows Elijah handing his cloak to Elisha as he ascends to heaven and the two are identified by Greek inscriptions, which is the only language used on the first level, whereas Greek is only used for monograms on the later layers, which instead use Syriac, Arabic and Garshuni (Syriac characters to write Arabic words).
Tags: 1207/08, An Nabk, Arabic, Arabic Inscription, Deir Mar Musa, Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, Elijah, Elisha, Evangelist, Fresco, Garshuni, Gospel, Greek, Greek Inscription, Mar Musa al-Habashi, St. Matthew, Syria, Syriac
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 image shows the east end of the northern aisle of the chapel with the font in the foreground and the Baptism of Christ and Simeon Stylites behind.
Tags: 1095, An Nabk, Architecture, Baptism of Christ, Baptismal Font, Baptistery, Church, Deir Mar Musa, Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, Fresco, Mar Musa al-Habashi, Monastery, Simeon Stylites, Syria