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274
ICONOCLASTS


branded on the hands a painter of holy pictures, Lazarus by name, who declined to secularize his art; he also raised to the patriarchal throne John Hylilas, chief instigator of the reaction of 815. In 842 Theophilus died, leaving his wife Theodora regent; she was, like Irene, addicted to images, and chose as patriarch a monk, Methodius, whom the emperor Michael had imprisoned for laying before him Pope Paschal I.'s letter of protest. John Hylilas was deposed and flogged in turn. A fresh council was now held which re-enacted the decrees of 787, and on the 2oth of February 842 the new patriarch, the empress, clergy and court dignitaries assisted in the church of St Sophia at a solemn restoration of images which lasted until the advent of the Turks. The struggle had gone on for II6 years.

The iconoclastic movement is perhaps the most dramatic episode in Byzantine history, and the above outline of its external events must be completed by an appreciation of its deeper historical and religious significance and results. We can distinguish three parties among the combatants:- 1. The partisans of image worship. These were chiefly found in the Hellenic portions of the empire, where Greek -art had once held sway. The monks were the chief champions of images, because they were illuminators and artists. Their doctors taught that the same grace of the Holy Spirit which imbued the living saint attaches after death to his relics, name, image and picture. The latter are thus no mere representations, but as it were emanations from the archetype, vehicles of the supernatural personality represented, and possessed of an inherent sacramental value and power, such as the name of Jesus had for the earliest believers. Here Christian image worship borders on the beliefs which underlie -sympathetic magic (see IMAGE Wonsnrr).

2. The iconoclasts proper, who not only condemned image worship in the sense just explained but rejected all religious art whatever. Fleeting matter to their mind was not worthy to embody or reflect heavenly super sensuous energies denoted by the names of Christ and the saints. For the same reason they rejected relics and, as a rule, the worship of the cross. Statues of Christ, especially of him hanging on the cross, inspired the greatest horror and indignation; and this is why none of the graven images of Christ, common before-.the outbreak of the movement, survive. More than this-although ' the synod of 692 specially allowed the crucihx, yet Greek churches have discarded it ever since the 8th century. This idea that material representation involves a profanation of divine personages, while disallowing all religious art which goes beyond scroll-work, spirals, flourishes and geometrical designs, yet admits to the full of secular art; and accordingly the iconoclastic emperors replaced the holy pictures in churches with frescoes of hunting scenes, and covered their palaces with garden scenes Where men were plucking fruit and birds singing amid the foliage. Contemporary Mahommedans did the same, for it is an error to suppose that this religion was from the first hostile to profane art. At one time the mosques were covered with mosaics, analogous to those of Ravenna, depicting scenes from the life of Mahomet and the prophets. The Arabs only forbade plastic art in the oth century, nor were their essentially Semitic scruples ever shared by the Persians. The prejudice we are considering is closely connected with the Manichaean view of matter, which in strict consistency rejected the belief that God was really made flesh, or really died on the cross. The Manichaeans were therefore, by reason of their dualism, arch-enemies no less of Christian art than of relics and cross-worship; the Monophysites were equally so by reason of their belief that the divine nature in Christ entirely absorbed and sublated the human; they shaded off into the party of the aplzthartodoketes, who held that'his-human body was incorruptible and made of ethereal fire, and that his divine nature was impassible. Their belief made them, like the Manichaeans, hostile to material portraiture of Christ, especially of his sufferings on the cross. All these nearly allied schools of Christian thought could, moreover, address, as against the image worshippers', a very elective appeal to the Bible and to Christian antiquity. Now Egypt, Asia Minor, Armenia, western Syria and the Hauran were almost Wholly given up to these forms of opinion. Accordingly in all the remains of the Christian art of the Hauran one seeks in vain, for any delineation of human face or figure. The art of these countries is mainly geometrical, and allows only of monograms crowned with laurels, of peacocks, of animals gambolling amid foliage, of fruit and flowers, of crosses which are either svastilcas of Hindu and Mycenaeanitype, or so lost in enveloping' arabesques as to bevmerely decorative, Such was 'the only religious art permitted by the Christian sentiment of these countries, and also of the large, enclaves of semi-Manichaean belief formed in the Balkans by the transportation thither of Armenians and Paulicians. And it is important to remark that the protagonists of iconoclasm -in Byzantium came from these lands Where image cult offended the deepest religious instincts of the masses. Leo the Isaurian had all the scruples of a Paulician, even to the rejection of the cult of Virgin and saints; Constantine V. was openly such. Michael Balbus was reared in Phrygia among Montanists. The soldiers and captains of the Byzantine garrisons were equally Armenians and Syrians, inwhom the sight of acrucinir or image set up for worship inspired nothing but horror. ' . ~,

The issue of the struggle was not a fcornplete victory even in Byzantium 'for the partisans of image-worship. Theiconoclasts left an indelible impress on the Christianart of the Greek Church, ~in.so far as they put an end to the use of graven images; for the<Eastern icon is- ai flat picture, less easily regarded than would he a statue as a nidus within ~whichTa. spirit can lurk. Half the realm' of creative art, that of statuary, was thus suppressed at a, blow; and .the other half, painting, forfeited all the grace and freedom, all the. capacitywof new themes, forms and colours, all the development which we .see in the Latin Church, The Greeks have produced no Giotto', fno'Fra Angelico, no Raphael; Their artists have no choice of. subjects and no initiative. Colour, dress, attitude, grouping of figures -are all dictated by traditional rules, set out in regular rnanuals. God the Father may not be depicted, at all—a restriction intelligible when we remember that the image in theory is fraught with thervirtue of the archetype; but everywhere the utmost timidity is shown. »What else could an artist do but make a slavish and exact copy 'of'old pictures which worked miracles -and perhaps had the reputation as well of having fallen from heaven?

3. Between these extreme parties the Roman Churchtook the middle wayofcommon sense. The hair-splitting distinction of the Byzantine doctors between veneration due to images (vrpaaxinmats TL}»¢'l1'I"LK1i]), ' and- the adoration (irpoauzlvmns >U.T D€U1'LIC'f]) due to God alone, was dropped, and the utility of pictures for the illiterate emphasized. Their.use~ was declared to be this, that they taught the ignorant through the eye whatthey shouldadorelwith the mind; they are not themselves to be adored. Such' was Gregory the Great's teaching, and such also is the purport of the Caroline books, which embody the conclusions arrived at by the bishops of Germany, 'Gaul and Aquitaine, presided over by papal legates at the council of'Frankfort, in 794; and incidentally also .reveal the hatred and contempt of Charlemagne for the Byzantine empire as an institution, and for Irene, its ruler, as a person. The theologians whom Louis the Pious convened at Paris in 82 5, to answer the letter received from the iconoclast emperor' Michael Balbus, were as 'hostile to the orthodox Greeks as to theimage-worshippers, and did not scruple to censure Pope Adrian for, having approved of the empress Irene's attitude. The council of Trent decided afresh in the same sense. 7

Two incidental results of the iconoclastic movement must be noticed, the-one of less, the other of more importance. f The lesser one was the flight of Greek iconolatrous monks from Asia* Minor and the Levant to .Sicily and Calabria, where they established convents which for centuries were the westernzhomes of Greek learning, and inwhich were written not a few of-the

oldest Greek'MSS. found in our libraries. The greater event