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Georgian Inscription

Three abbots and one hieromonk were recently visiting from Georgia. They were able to decipher a Georgian inscription on stone dated to the tenth century.

Here is the transcription line for line:

აჰა მთა
ღვთისა შემწყნარებელი მ
ონანულთაი ხარ          ცო
დვილი
ლოცვა ყა
ვთ

Here is the same text written with more natural word breaks:

აჰა, მთა ღვთისა შემწყნარებელი მონანულთა ხარ.
ცოდვილი…
ლოცვა ყავთ.

A translation: Behold the Mountain of God,
which receives those who repent.
— A sinner. Say a prayer.

7 comments to Georgian Inscription

  • Clare Estrada

    Exciting!

  • Richard Saloom

    That pretty much says it all.

  • Maria

    Repentance !!
    Interesting

  • Baron dominique

    Dear father Justin.
    A side question linked to Georgian pilgrims.
    The famous icon representing Saint Catherine with scenes of Her life is dated early thirteenh century.
    The Saint is said to resemble depictions of Georgian queen Tamar who lived in the very beginning of this same century.
    I read that many Georgian pilgrims lived and visited the monastery at that time.
    Could the icon have been painted by one of these pilgrims?
    Thank you for your time dear father.

    • Father Justin

      Sinai does have beautiful icons with Georgian inscriptions. But I have remembered an important essay by Doula Mouriki, who points out that the thirteenth century is a high point in the history of the icon collection at Sinai, during which we see icons painted in the most progressive trends in Byzantine art of that period. This could be explained if talented iconographers from Constantinople took refuge at Sinai after the capture of the city by the Crusaders in 1204. She includes the historiated icon of Saint Catherine among this group. The essay is, ‘A Pair of Early Thirteenth Century Moses Icons at Sinai with the Scenes of the Burning Bush and the Receiving of the Law’, published in Deltion in 1991-92.

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