Letter ( 824 a.d.) Michael II & Theophilos To Louis the Pious

This too we make known to you’re Grace, beloved by Christ, that many men, both clergy and lay, estranged from apostolic tradition and heedless of paternal limits, have become inventors of evil things. First they cast out the hallowed and life-giving crosses from the holy temples, and set up images in their place, with lamps about them, honoring them with incense, and according them the same reverence as the hallowed and life-giving wood [ of the cross] on which Christ, our true God, deigned to be crucified for our salvation. They sang Psalms and paid homage, and appealed to these same images for help. Moreover, many wrapped these images with linen cloths, and made them sponsors of their children at the baptismal font……  Certain priests and clerics scraped paint from the images and mixed it with the offerings and wine [ of the Eucharist]…. Others placed the Lord in the hands of images, from which those wishing to communicate were obliged to receive it…….  Consequently the orthodox emperors and most learned priests determined to unite in a local council to make inquiry into these things.

” Directed Absence” (Sign/ Referent/ Index)


C. Barber, Figure and likeness: On the Limits of Representation in Byzantine Iconoclasm

Figure and Likeness presents a thought-provoking new account of Byzantine iconoclasm–the fundamental crisis in Christian visual representation during the eighth and ninth centuries that defined the terms of Christianity’s relationship to the painted image. Charles Barber rejects the conventional means of analyzing this crisis, which seeks its origin in political and other social factors. Instead, he argues, iconoclasm is primarily a matter of theology and aesthetic theory.


Working between the theological texts and the visual materials, Barber demonstrates that in challenging the validity of iconic representation, iconoclasts were asking: How can an image depict an incomprehensible God? In response, iconophile theologians gradually developed a notion of representation that distinguished the work of art from the subject it depicted. As such, Barber concludes, they were forced to move the language describing the icon beyond that of theology. This pivotal step allowed these theologians, of whom Patriarch Nikephoros and Theodore of Stoudios were the most important, to define and defend a specifically Christian art.


In highlighting this outcome and also in offering a full and clearly rendered account of iconoclastic notions of Christian representation, Barber reveals that the notion of art was indeed central to the unfolding of iconoclasm. The implications of this study reach well beyond the dispute it considers. Barber fundamentally revises not only our understanding of Byzantine art in the years succeeding the iconoclastic dispute, but also of Christian painting in the centuries to come.


Trying to determine where to blow my Christmas book buying budget. At first sight this text looks significant.


Doxa ( Now We Have Established That Whitey’s On The Moon)

City Limits

He who obtains these things should not expect to complete all the narrative of the august mysteries with things said herein. But, he must imagine that to obtain any kind of such things is as if wanting to see the extraordinary and unseeable beauty of a city. In which case, one obtains a guide by which one is led by the hand  , so that as if looking through a window one may be able to look down upon the radiance and splendor of the rays being sent out from that place below, [ but] not the nature of the good things stored there below.

Nicholas and Theodore of Andida, Protheoria

It’s a description intended to  aid the Clergy to understand the divine mystery.

As a tourist acquiring a tour guide and being led by the hand through a city.

This act in turn is like looking through the window of a tower, on to the wonder of the city below.


S.T.I.B, 224


Van In Reflection (Being A Secret Commonwealth of Fairies, Fauns And Other Subterranean Creatures )



I watched First Man last night with Robert Kirk (the 17th century writer of the secret commonwealth) and the first line of John Skeliotes

  Sensation is analogous to a gate, which receives those coming in from outside.

And irritation that I could not find the reference that related Aisthesis to ‘stage effects.’

On the back of my mind.

It alters you’re perspective on things.

I find.


A.sense-perception, sensation, Philol.13, Archyt.1, Arist.APo. 99b35; τοῦ σώματος αἴ. Hp.VM9; πρὸς αἴσθησιν perceptibly, Ptol. Alm.1.10, etc.: in pl., the senses, Democr.9, al.; δι᾽ ἑπτὰ σχημάτων αἱ αἰ. Hp.Vict.1.23, cf. Pl.Tht.156b, etc.: in sg. of the several senses, τοῦ ὁρᾶν αἴ. Id.R.507e; ἀπ᾽ ὄψεως τινος ἄλλῃς αἰ. Id.Phlb.39b; organ or seat of sensation, X.Mem.1.4.6; “πάσα, τὰς αἰ. ἐν τῇ κεφαλῇ εἶναιArist.Fr.95, cf. Pr.958b16; αἴ. πημάτων perception, sense of . . , E.El.290; esp. of pain, Vett. Val. 113.10. al.; also of the mind, perception, knowledge of a thing, “ἐν αἰ. γενέσθαι τινόςPlu.Luc.11, etc.; αἴ. ἔχειν τινός, = αἰσθάνεσθαί τινος, have a perception of a thing, Pl.Ap. 40c; “περὶ ὑμῶνTht.192b; “πᾶσαν αἴσθησιν αἰσθάνεσθαιPhdr.240d; “λαμβάνεινIsoc.1.47; “ἐν αἰ. εἶναιPlot.4.7.15:—also of things, αἴσθησιν ἔχειν give a perception, i.e. become perceptible, serving as Pass. to αἰσθάνομαι, Th.2.61; more freq. “αἴσθησιν παρέχεινId.3.22, X.An.4.6.13, etc.; “αἴ. ποιῆσαί τινιAntipho 5.44, cf. D.10.7; αἴ. παρέχειν τινός furnish the means of observing, Th.2.50; “αἴ. ἐγένετο περί τινοςD.48.16.
II. in object. sense, impressions of sense, Arist.Metaph.980a22; stage-effects, Po. 1454b16; αἰσθήσεις θεῶν visible appearances of the gods, Pl.Phd.111b.
2. display of feeling, Arist.Rh.1386a32 (v.l.).
3. in hunting, scent, X.Cyn.3.5 (pl.).—Confined to Prose in early writers, exc. E. l.c., Antiph.196.5.
Henry George Liddell. Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon. revised and augmented throughout by. Sir Henry Stuart Jones. with the assistance of. Roderick McKenzie. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1940.

Brief City

The rules are simple, for there are none. Every case is unique, every situation different. Precedent is an unreliable guide, judgment more important than justice, quality than period. Respect for architectural neighbors means more than the meaningless pleasantry. There are occasions for the quick return, the wise-crack, the spirited exchange between individuals…..


Sir Hugh Casson, ‘Old sites and new buildings: the architect’s point of view’

Note (respect)

An architects point of view but it reflects my discomfort with idea of a ‘reader as spectator’

I think of the audience in a medieval mystery play, the pompous Bishop officiating yet another ritual as a matter of routine, a terminally ill child, eyes ablaze with laughter,  the choir boys who stole a bottle of wine, being berated by their mothers while vomiting on the wall of the cathedral.

It brings things to life and to understanding what you are doing as you are seeing what it is drawn from.


Aisthesis/ Phantasia/ Doxa/ dianoia/ Nous

Randomly open a book, minutes later.

Sensation is analogous to a gate, which receives those coming  in from outside. The imagination is like a pause after the entrance until one is announced to belief, like a door-keeper necessarily holds them. And then the intellect is like a servant, which puts together musical intervals, passing from the lowest pitch to the higher pitch, and from the higher one to next toward the highest, producing the things sought. And the miind is like the head of a house, who makes arrangements and administers each thing in a suitable way.

John Skeliotes


S.T.I.B, 137

Note (That Things Are As They Seem)

Again throw something different in it alters things.

“species of vision”

The other curious aspect of Scottish second sight is its association with ethnicity. Its presented as the exclusive property of a particular group of people.

Hereditary quality in its association with particular cultural roles i.e. the seer.

But in this climate, a mop up operation following military failure, it’s a property found dispersed throughout the population, not simply among the usual suspects with clearly defined cultural role as a visionary.

The conclusion is not however that this suggests a universal basis for this property of mind.

Memisis (imitation) is deployed as a part answer to this conclusion.

What do local spirits look like? What clothing do they wear? What manners and Customs do they adopt?