Fresco of St. Bacchus, Church of Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, Nabk, Syria
portrayed as a Byzantine cavalryman, 1208-9AD


A larger image of a Fresco of St. Bacchus in the Church of Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, Nabk, Syria

Fresco
Church of Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, Nabk, Syria
Fresques à l'intérieur de l'église du monastère de Mar Mousa en Syrie. Photo by Bernard Gagnon

Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, or the monastery of St. Moses the Ethiopian (Abyssinian), is located approximately 18km east of Nabk in central Syria. The monastery is first mentioned in a manuscript in the British Library in 558/9 and appears to have had a scriptorium at this early date. It was a Lavra with the monks living in caves in the mountains and gathering in the central monastery to worship together. The chapel has the only complete fresco cycle still extant in the Levant and it appears that this was repainted at least three times between 1058 and 1208/09.

The monastery was abandoned in the 19th century, but refounded by Fr. Paolo Dall'Oglio, an Italian Jesuit, in 1982 and is now a dual house for male and female monastics. The spelling 'Deir' is used for monastery rather than the more usual English transliteration of 'Dayr' as this is how the modern Community spell the word.

St. Bacchus is located on the south arcade and is believed to have faced St. Sergius across the nave, but the equestrian saint opposite has been almost entirely destroyed. He faces east and rides towards the direction in which Christ will reappear at the time of the Last Judgement.
Architecture and Asceticism, St. Bacchus



See also Plates depicting the Byzantine hero, Digenis Akritas, 12th century
Illustrations of Byzantine Costume and Soldiers




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