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#Exhibit of the Month

It is said that the icons, by the divine grace they have, choose their own places from where they can manifest their powers of blessing and consolation. It so happened that one icon of the Mother of God has remained on our lands from the end of the 18th century, when the battles of the Russo-Turkish war of 1787-1791 took place here. The circumstances of the appearance of this icon in Bessarabia are confirmed by several historical references, from which it follows that the Russian officer N.A. Albaduev, a participant in the military campaign, brought this icon here with him, and after his death his relatives – the colonel’s wife or his mother – gave this icon to the monastery, where he suddenly died when he came there on Christmas to receive communion. The icon of the Mother of God was initially placed in the old wooden church, where the officer’s grave was located, and then was placed in the new Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, built and consecrated in 1816.

Soon the icon became very popular, and its fame increased enormously thanks to the healings that occurred thanks to the intercession of the Mother of God; the names of the healed people, their place of residence and sufferings were described in periodicals. Archimandrite Seraphim, hegumen of the monastery in from 1805 to 1827, mentioned the special veneration of the icon of the Mother of God from the Hârbovăţ Monastery by Orthodox people who are always looking for help and intercession from this icon of the Empress of The World. Believers called it a wonder-making icon even before the Holy Synod issued Decree No. 526 of January 26, 1859, signed by Emperor Alexander II, proclaiming the icon of the Our Lady of Hârbovăţ as the Wonder-Making. Recognizing the miraculous properties of this icon, the Holy Synod also organized religious processions with the delivery of the icon to Chişinău on October 1 and its subsequent return to the monastery on April 23.

The icon of the Mother of God of Hârbovăţ is one of the earliest and most popular types of the Theotokos icons, that of Hodegetria. In this iconographic depiction, the Mother of God and the Child are presented in a frontal position, looking at the one who is praying. The Mother of God holds the Child on Her left hand, and with Her right hand points to Him, the Child blesses with His right hand, holding in His left hand a sacred scroll – a symbol of the Gospel. Regarding the images, it should be said that the icons of the Herbovets Mother of God differ from the traditional icons of the Hodegetria type in a special relationship between the characters, their mutual affection is expressed in poses, in the tilt of the heads, in the gentle expression of the Child’s face. We can say that in the iconography of the Mother of God of Hârbovăţ, features of two different types of Theotokos are harmoniously combined: the Mother of God Hodegetria, or Our Lady of the Way, and the Mother of God Eleusa, or the Virgin of Tenderness.

Exact copies of this icon are still kept in the summer church of the Noul Neamţ Monastery in the village of Chiţcani (Căuşeni), in the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Church in the village of Sîrcova (Rezina), in the All Saints Church in Chişinău (early 20th century), in the Transfiguration Cathedral in Bolgrad, in the Transfiguration Monastery in Tatarbunary, in the Saint Paraskeva Church in the village of Furatovka (Odessa Oblast), in the Saint Archangel Michael Monastery in Odessa, in the Ascension Monastery in Teplodar (Ukraine), in the Holy Trinity Monastery in the village of Mramor, near Topolovgrad (Bulgaria), in the Holy Great Martyr Theodore Tyron Cathedral in Chişinău, in the Saint Prince Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Ungheni, and other churches.

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Publications Journal „Tyragetia"   vol. VIII [XXIII], nr. 1

Early medieval bronze amulets representing horsemen from the Carpathian-Dniester region
ISSN 1857-0240
E-ISSN 2537-6330

Early medieval bronze amulets representing horsemen from the Carpathian-Dniester region

Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. VIII [XXIII], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică

Among the materials related to the early Middle Ages in the Carpathian-Dniester region, which have been discovered during archaeological excavations and reconnaissance, as well as among chance fi nds there are bronze amulets depicting a rider on a horse. The area of distribution of these bronze fi gures of riders includes extensive regions, starting from the North Caucasus and the middle reaches of the Don in the East to Central and South-Eastern Europe in the West. Most of the fi nds were discovered in the south of Russia, in Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary.

On the territory of the Prut-Dniester region (Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) it was found 24 bronze fi gures of riders (see fi g. 1) belonging to different typological models. They were found in the following settlements: Hansca (Ialoveni District) - 3 fi gures, Păhărniceni-Petruha - 2 objects, Lucășeuca and Furceni (Orhei District), Ocnița (Ocnița district), Briceni - 2 objects, Caracușenii Noi (Briceni District), Popeștii de Sus (Drochia District), Tătărăuca Veche - 2 objects, Balinți and Inundeni (Soroca District), Tarasova (Rezina District), Rezeni (Ialoveni District), Porumbrei and Schinoșica (Cimișlia District), Enichioi (Cantemir District), Dezghingea and Capaclia (Gagauzia) and Bolgrad (Odessa region) (see fi g. 1). Seven bronze fi gures, presented at «Violity» Auction & Antiques in Kiev, may also be originated from the Prut-Dniester region (see fi g. 6/1-6).

Analysis of bronze figures from this region allowed us to identify four types of objects. The fi rst type, or the Hansca I type, includes 7 amulets (see fi g. 2/1-2; 3/1-5, 7). All fi gures, but one, were found in the Prut-Dniester interfl uve. They depict a rider sitting on a small horse saddled, turning to the left. The rider is depicted in profi le. The position of his feet indicates the presence of stirrups. Rider is shod in boots (?) with an upturned toe; his legs touch the front and hind legs of the horse. In his right hand he holds the reins, and in the left hand, strongly bent at the elbow and pressed against his chest, he holds a short knife or dagger. The upper part of the fi gure (a horseman's head) has a through hole for hanging. In our opinion, the relative chronology of this type of bronze fi gures of horsemen (Hansca I type), which have no analogues in other regions, may cover a period of the 10th - 13th centuries, and absolute dating is the 10th - 11th centuries.

The second type (the Hansca II type) includes 15 riders' fi gures (see fi g. 4/1-2; 5/1-12). They depict a horse and rider. The rider's body is turned to the left; he is shown from the front. His both hands are holding a long, slightly curved saber. The rider is shod in short shoes, which does not touch the horse's legs, as in the fi gures of the first type. Amulets of this type have analogies in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and other countries. They belong to the 10th - 11th centuries and, quite possibly, to the beginning of the 12th century.

The last two types of bronze fi gures (the Hansca III and Bolgrad IV types) are unique in style. The fi gure relating to the Hansca III type (fi g. 6/7) shows a rider turned to the left; it is a schematic image. At the front of the horse there is a tamga in the form of a petal and at the back of the horse there is the same tamga in the form of a drop (?). The bronze fi gure found in Bolgrad (the Bolgrad IV type) (fi g. 6/8) depicts a rider turned to the right. In his left hand he holds the reins and in his right hand he holds perhaps hunting eagle. These bronze fi gures have no direct analogies. The authors attribute the appearance of these categories of objects in the regions east of the Carpathians to the penetration of various groups of the Alanian population in the 2nd half of the 1st millennium and the fi rst centuries of the 2nd millennium AD. Their presence north of the mouth of the Lower Danube is evidenced by written sources and place names.

List of illustrations:

Fig. 1. Map of the spread of bronze amulets representing horsemen in the East Carpathian region. Type I: 1 - Hansca; 2, 3 - Briceni; 4 - Lucășeuca; 5 - Păhărniceni-Petruha; 6 - Schinoșica; 7 - Enichioi. Type II: 8 - Hansca; 9 - Ocnița; 10 - Caracușenii Noi; 11, 12 - Tătărăuca Veche; 13 - Balinți; 14 - Inundeni; 15 - Popeștii de Sus; 16 - Tarasova; 17 - Furceni; 18 - Păhărniceni; 19 - Rezeni; 20 - Porumbrei; 21 - Dezghingea; 22 - Capaclia; 25 - Stăvărăști. Type III: 23 - Hansca. Type IV: 24 - Bolgrad.

Fig. 2. Bronze amulets representing horsemen of the Hansca I type: 1 - Hansca; 2 - Briceni.

Fig. 3. Bronze amulets representing horsemen of the Hansca I type: 1 - Hansca; 2 - Lucășeuca; 3 - Păhărniceni-Petruha; 4, 7 - Briceni; 5 - Enichioi; 6 - «Violity» Auction & Antiques, Kiev.

Fig. 4. Bronze amulets representing horsemen of the Hansca II type: 1 - Popeștii de Sus; 2 - Capaclia.

Fig. 5. Bronze amulets representing horsemen of the Hansca II type: 1 - Hansca; 2 - Caracușenii Noi; 3 - Capaclia; 4 - Popeștii de Sus; 5, 11 - Tătărăuca Veche; 6 - Dezghingea; 7 - Păhărniceni; 8 - Furceni; 9 - Ocnița; 10 - Inundeni; 12 - Balinți.

Fig. 6. Bronze amulets representing horsemen of the II type (1-6), III type (7) and IV type (8): 1-6 - «Violity» Auction & Antiques, Kiev; 7 - Hansca; 8 - Bolgrad.



 

 


Independent Moldova
Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic
Bessarabia and MASSR between the Two World Wars
Bessarabia and Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in the Period between the Two World Wars
Revival of National Movement
Time of Reforms and their Consequences
Abolition of Autonomy. Bessarabia – a New Tsarist Colony
Period of Relative Autonomy of Bessarabia within the Russian Empire
Phanariot Regime
Golden Age of the Romanian Culture
Struggle for Maintaining of Independence of Moldova
Formation of Independent Medieval State of Moldova
Era of the
Great Nomad Migrations
Early Middle Ages
Iron Age and Antiquity
Bronze Age
Aeneolithic Age
Neolithic Age
Palaeolithic Age

  
  
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#Exhibit of the Month

It is said that the icons, by the divine grace they have, choose their own places from where they can manifest their powers of blessing and consolation. It so happened that one icon of the Mother of God has remained on our lands from the end of the 18th century, when the battles of the Russo-Turkish war of 1787-1791 took place here. The circumstances of the appearance of this icon in Bessarabia are confirmed by several historical references, from which it follows that the Russian officer N.A. Albaduev, a participant in the military campaign, brought this icon here with him, and after his death his relatives – the colonel’s wife or his mother – gave this icon to the monastery, where he suddenly died when he came there on Christmas to receive communion. The icon of the Mother of God was initially placed in the old wooden church, where the officer’s grave was located, and then was placed in the new Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, built and consecrated in 1816..

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