Word and Image in Christian Animal Emblems


  • Neža Zajc




The article explores the animal emblems in the written tradition and artifacts of Early Christian art. The author provides a historical description of the abovementioned monuments created between the 9th and 11th centuries, a period that faced an important event, i. e. the East–West Schism (1054). It was at the same time that the Slavic writing system emerged along with the first liturgical language of the Slavs. The author outlines the history of Old Slavic liturgical literature but mainly focuses on the Byzantine and Roman manuscripts and works of art that played a significant role in the development of Christianity among Slavs. The author argues that the appearing animal depictions connected with the concept of divine creation and the overcoming of spiritual weakness had a significant non-coincidental character. The analysis is made with reference to iconographic images, book miniatures and ornamental animal motifs and to the context of a variety of Scripture books. The conclusions made are important as they provide additional information on both Christian iconography and the history of Slavic culture as a whole.


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How to Cite

Zajc, N. (2015). Word and Image in Christian Animal Emblems. Quaestio Rossica, (1), 177–191. https://doi.org/10.15826/qr.2015.1.085



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