because the hour at which the original events tookplace (third, sixth and ninth) is specified in the Bible, and the corresponding monastic hour became a sort of memorial of the biblical event. It thus allowed the celebration of the three events on a daily basis and not just yearly.
The Psalter, a basic component ofboth cathedral and monastic rites, is one of the most frequently illustrated liturgical texts of all. Some Psalter manuscripts received significant visual commentary in the margins of their pages, commentary which tends to stress the typological and theological meanings of the passage more than its liturgical use.61 The Old Testament canticles were consistently included in Psalter manuscripts; they once formed an essential part of orthros and were often the primary focus of decoration. A consistent iconography was developed for each of the nine biblical canticles: either the event that prompted the canticle was pictured (e.g. the Three Hebrews, the Crossing of the Red Sea, Moses receiving the Law, Jonah and the whale, etc.), or the individual involved (most of them prophets) was shown addressing a song of praise to God, arms upraised.62 Unlike the others, the image accompanying the final canticle, the Magnificat - the only canticle drawn from the New Testament (Luke 1:46-54) - continued to develop in late Byzantine art, so that the image of the Virgin praising God after the Visitation begins to resemble icons of herself bearing Christ in her arms. This led in turn to a refashioning of the image of the Magnificat, such as we find in a Psalter in Jerusalem (Greek Patriarchate Taphou 55), where a patron approaches the standing Virgin and child: the Virgin has become a figure to whom prayers are addressed, not a figure addressing God herself.63
The liturgical manuscripts based on the yearly cycle - the menaion for the fixed feasts, the triodion for Lent and the pentekostarion for the period from Easter Sunday through Pentecost - developed late as individual books (twelfth, tenth and fourteenth century respectively), but together they recorded the hymns and prayers and readings for every day of the year. Some collections of specific types of hymns (the octoechos with hymns for each day of the week in
61 K. Corrigan, Visual polemics in ninth century Byzantine psalters (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992); S. Der Nersessian, L'illustration des psautiers grecs duMoyenAge, 11, Londres, Add. 19.352 [Bibliothèque des cahiers archéologiques 5] (Paris: Editions Klinck-sieck, 1970); A. Cutler, 'Liturgical strata in the marginal psalters', DOP 34-5 (1980-81), 17-30.
62 A. Cutler, The aristocratic psalters in Byzantium [Bibliothèque des cahiers archéologiques 13] (Paris: Picard, 1984); Weitzmann, Liturgical psalters.
63 N. P. Sevcenko, 'The Mother of God in illuminated manuscripts', in Mother of God, ed. M. Vassilaki, 155-65, esp. 158; Vokotopoulos, Illuminated manuscripts, no. 16. (fol. 26or). The figure of the Virgin is framed like an icon, even with a ring at the top for its suspension.
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