Last night a reader referenced me to what appears to be a new blog by Bill Hamblin, a well-known LDS scholar and Associate Professor of History at BYU, and particularly about a post of his of a couple week ago. Dr. Hamblin talks about early Byzantine veils, and especially one that he has photographs of in an old church, the Agios Eleftherios, in Athens.
We have examined the iconostasis on this blog previously, an icon wall which stemmed from an earlier chancel screen or templon, a barrier or partition which separated the holy area where only the priests could go from the area of the laity.
This ancient Athens church retains its original chancel screen, including a curtain or veil. This veil is particularly interesting in that it includes the original gammadia marks, right-angled symbols like the Greek letter gamma (Γ), which we’ve also mentioned before. As Dr. Hamblin notes, these gammadia were often used to mark veils, altar cloths, and priestly robes in early Byzantine Christianity. Almost all of these veils have now been replaced by iconostases in modern churches.
Read the whole post at Bill Hamblin’s Things Unutterable. Thanks Reed!