Jesus and the Samaritan woman

Jesus and the Samaritan woman, 12th century C.E. Illuminated manuscript from the Jruchi Gospels II, National Center of Manuscripts, Tbilisi, Georgia.

The Jruchi manuscripts are from the 10th to the 15th centuries; a period when the Kingdom of Georgia had close ties to the Byzantine Empire.  The Second Jruchi's Gospels contain 359 miniatures of scenes of Christ's life. The Samaritan woman is a saint in the Byzantine tradition.

Technically, an illuminated manuscript refers only to manuscripts decorated with gold or silver but the term is often used for any decorated text. Most manuscripts were produced in monasteries for their own library or after receiving a commission from a wealthy patron. Larger monasteries often contained separate areas for the monks who specialized in the production of manuscripts called a scriptorium. Often one monk would copy out the text on paper or vellum and then hand off the sheet to another specialized monk who would decorate the page often with large initial letters of the first paragraph and decorated margins as well as framed illustrations. 


Jesus and the Samaritan woman

Relating to the Byzantine empire, which ruled the Eastern Mediterranean from the fifth century CE to 1453; its capital was Byzantium (modern Istanbul).

A broad, diverse group of nations ruled by the government of a single nation.

Textual documents, usually handwritten.

Buildings housing religious renunciates and usually including a space for prayer.

A person deemed holy by a religious tradition, especially in Roman Catholicism.

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