Votive Plaques

A number of votive plaques were found outside Ma'aret en-Noman, in present day Syria. These thin sheets of silver, stamped with images and inscriptions, were probably produced near the shrine and sold at a relatively low cost to pilgrims. Several of these feature depictions of eyes, perhaps related to an affliction that the saint was asked to heal. The group also included figures of unidentified female saints shown standing, facing forward, with arms raised in the orans posture of prayer. This stance presents the saint as an intercessor between the faithful suppliant and God, bridging the divide between earthly need and divine power. It is possible that these plaques were offered at a smaller church, rather than a major shrine, and small holes in the plaques might indicate that they were nailed to a wall inside the church, or suspended from above.

Plaque with Pair of Eyes

Symbolizing the All-seeing Power of God 
ca. 600

Votive Plaque with Eyes
6th-7th century

Votive Plaque with a Female Saint
6th-7th century

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The Byzantine Legacy
Created by David Hendrix Copyright 2016