«To Mons Sanctus του Cristoforo Buondelmonti και τα Βυζαντινά Άγια Όρη», στο: Το αρμολόι. Χαριστήριο στον καθηγητή Αργύρη Π.Π. Πετρονώτη. σ. 77-98.
Drakoulis Dimitris, The Mons Sanctus of Cristoforo Buondelmonti and the Byzantine Holy Mountains
The first part of the paper aims to study the text and the cartographic representation of Mt. Athos, as is reflected in the Liber insularum Archipelagi of Cristoforo Buondelmonti (1386-ca. 1430). The paper uses as a case study the Ms 71 of the Gennadius Library in Athens and specifically f. 38v-38r. These include a text of about 450 words in mediocre Latin, describing the Mons Sanctus, and a color representation, that introduced the notion and image of the Holy Mountain in the 15th-century West. There has been an attempt to make a systematic record and classification of the distinctive features found in the representation, such as the geographical configurations, the natural and cultural monuments and landmarks, the routes of travel and nodes, etc. The information derived from the representation has been completed by the addition of the information included in the accompanying Latin text, which has been transcribed from the Ms and translated into Greek. The textual and visual evidence has been analyzed in relation to the intellectual and cultural context of the scribe. It will be argued that the combinatory analysis of visual information with textual information complements the cognitive process and enriches the field of Historical Geography – Cartography. The Mons Sanctus of Cristoforo Buondelmonti belongs to the conceptual category of Byzantine Holy Mountains. The second part of the paper deals with the notion of Byzantine Holy Mountains i.e., a number of mountains with their environs in the Balkans, Anatolia, and the Levant which attracted a substantial numbers of monks and acquired reputations as "holy mountains". They are characterized by relative isolation and rugged terrain, and appealed to the desire of many monks to reside in a remote area of wilderness. It has been attempted to map and study the geographical distribution of the Holy Mountains in the Byzantine period in relation to the date of their foundation, prosperity and decay. It will be argued that the notion of Holy Mountain is an umbrella term covering a multitude of Byzantine holy places.