Pretoria Image: The Church of the Virgin Mary, Madaba Archaeological Park & Virgin Mary Church, Madaba, Jordan.

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Church Square
Image by ER’s Eyes in Ecuador in 4 days. Tips?
Inscription in the floor of the Church of the Virgin, from The Mosaics of Jordan, (1993).

This mosaic was found in 1887 and the inscriptions in it identified the edifice as the Church of the Virgin Mary. Built above a Roman monument, the church has a round nave with a mosaic which had two phases. Flower blossoms and unopened buds which run along the edge of the nave formed part of the earlier mosaic which can be dated to the late 6th to the early 7th century. The well-preserved later mosaic dates to the Umayyad period. It consists of a square frame decorated on the outer edge by a series of serrated points. In the center are a round medallion and an inscription enclosed in a guilloche. In turn, two interwoven squares, which form a star, surround the central design which lies inside another circle. The star is enclosed in a circular border made up of interlaced smaller circles. The inscription which is in the central medallion reads: “If you want to look at Mary, virginal Mother of God, and to Christ whom she generated, Universal King, only Son of the only God, purify [your] mind, flesh, and works! May you purify with [your] prayer the people of God.” A dedicatory inscription in front of the chancel screen says that the mosaic was made in the time of Bishop Theophane, “Thanks to the zeal and ardor of the people who love Christ in this city of Madaba.”

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About Alan

My ethos is espoused in the words of Nelson Mandela: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society. If need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

You will always find me standing on the side of the underdog OR HERE.