Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Coptic Icons

As with my earlier post on Ethiopic icons, I'm having trouble finding information about the pictures. I mentioned in that post that I don't really know anything about Ethiopian icons, and I don't really know anything about Coptic icons either.

Except that I do know one very simple and basic thing which many people in the West don't seem to know, or seem constantly to forget when they talk about Christianity, even many highly-educated people in the West: the Catholic Church was not the entirety of Christendom before the Protestants split off from it. The Catholic Church itself split off from the Orthodox Church, officially in 1054, although signs of the split had appeared much earlier, and although there reasons, long after 1054, for people to hope that the split might be mended.

But even that bigger church which split into Catholicism and Orthodoxy was not the whole of Christendom: outside of that church, in the very first centuries AD, other churches arose: the Armenian Church, the Syriac Church, the Ethiopic or Ethiopian Church, and the Coptic Church in Egypt, which all developed independently from the Catholic-Orthodox Church, rather than beginning within it and splitting off later.

Here's an icon of -- sure looks like St George to me, although the web image is labeled St Victor the Martyr:

St Michael the Archangel:

The Flight into Egypt:

Madonna and Child:

Another Flight into Egypt, in the center of this triptych; unfortunately, I can't tell you who the guys to the left and right are.

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