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Chalice from the Beth Misona Treasure, c. 500-700 (silver)

Chalice from the Beth Misona Treasure, c. 500-700 (silver)

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Chalice from the Beth Misona Treasure, c. 500-700 (silver)

491374 Chalice from the Beth Misona Treasure, c.500-700 (silver) by Byzantine School; h:17.00 w:14.70 Wt: 331.15 grams cm; Cleveland Museum of Art, OH, USA; ( These four liturgical silver vessels--a paten and three chalices (1950.378-381)--form what is now called the Beth Misona Treasure, named for the village in northern Syria for which the objects were made. While nothing is known about the exact location and circumstances of the treasures discovery, the people of the village of Beth Misona were, like other Christian communities in Syria and Palestine, probably forced to bury their church silver to hide it from the Persians or Arabs, who conquered their lands in the first half of the 7th century. The paten, which held pieces of Eucharistic bread used during Mass, is decorated with an engraved Latin cross surrounded by a dedicatory inscription that names the patens donor--Domnos--and its original location--the church of Saint Sergios in Beth Misona. The chalices, which contained the Eucharistic wine used during Mass, feature broad cups decorated with portrait busts of Saints Peter and Paul, Christ, and the Virgin. One chalice bears a dedicatory inscription naming its donor--Kyriakos, Domnoss son--and the priest of the church that received the pious gift--Zeno.
); Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund; out of copyright

Media ID 22671544

© Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund / Bridgeman Images

Byzantine Period Byzantium C06th C07th Chalice Constantinople Silver Syrian


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This print showcases the exquisite Chalice from the Beth Misona Treasure, a remarkable piece of Byzantine silverwork dating back to 500-700 AD. Housed in the prestigious Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio, USA, this chalice is part of a collection that includes three other liturgical vessels. The origins of these treasures remain shrouded in mystery, as their discovery was not documented. However, it is believed that the Christian community residing in Beth Misona village concealed their church silver to protect it from Persian or Arab conquerors during the tumultuous first half of the 7th century. The paten featured here served as a vessel for Eucharistic bread used during Mass. Its surface boasts an engraved Latin cross surrounded by a dedicatory inscription honoring its donor named Domnos and its original location at Saint Sergios Church in Beth Misona. The chalices displayed alongside bear broad cups adorned with portrait busts depicting revered figures such as Saints Peter and Paul, Christ himself, and the Virgin Mary. One particular chalice bears another dedicatory inscription identifying Kyriakos as its donor and Zeno as the priest who received this pious gift on behalf of his church. This stunning photograph allows viewers to appreciate both the intricate craftsmanship and historical significance embodied within this ancient treasure. It serves as a testament to human resilience and devotion even amidst times of strife and upheaval.

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