#1
Martin Andersen
October 10th, 2014 09:32 AM

"letters forming the word ΙΧΘΥΣ"
 
qoute: “Symbol of Christ in the centre of an ascending garland of rosettes encompassing the letters forming the word ΙΧΘΥΣ”





Is this a matter of picking some of the filling patterns to make them form the word? Of course lots of possibilities for any writing on a lot of rugs if filling patterns randomly equals distorted sequences of letters, words and abbreviations. But even then, can anyone help me finding the specific word “ΙΧΘΥΣ” in the rug? I simply can’t see it.

best Martin
(I hope this minor question will not distract Horst from answering Marla Mallett´s critique in the thread “Hypothetical Indeed” - which of course is the answering we are all waiting for)

#2
Martin Andersen
October 10th, 2014 04:41 PM

Anyway if anyone is able to somehow spell the greek letters ΙΧΘΥΣ somewhere in the rug, it is probably nothing but a strange projection as the liturgical language of the mountain Nestorians were ancient Syriac and not Greek




Asahel Grant, “The Nestorians, or the lost tribes” 1841

best Martin

#3
Patrick Weiler
October 10th, 2014 06:30 PM

Pig Latin?
 
Martin,

I also was unable to locate the letters, although there are a lot of X figures.
Maybe you need special glasses to see them.


The Catholic church mass was said in Latin until 1963. So going to church was more for entertainment value than anything else. Guys wearing long, black dresses and embroidered doo-dads speaking in unintelligible voices up on a stage and going through mystical gyrations, drinking wine and exhorting the audience.
Ah, the good old days.

Patrick Weiler

#4
Horst Nitz
October 11th, 2014 04:12 PM

Hi Martin,

interesting to see you working yourself into Asahel Grant - hopefully you are, and not just pasting a few lines.

The shared basis of all modern churches divided by schism or not, is a compilation of 1st century scriptures written in Greek language that is called the New Testament (NT) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Testament . Some of the classical Greek texts that are supposed to be constituent to western culture and civilisation could only be so because they were translated from Greek to Arabic by Nestorian monks, and later translated back.

It is of course absurd to think that this has anything to do with the rug here, and the little crosses in the centre of the rosettes are a proof that it is definitely a standard Herki rug, this I have from an expert :laughing_2:

All the rosettes in the garland spell the word ΙΧΘΥΣ.

Horst

#5
Martin Andersen
October 11th, 2014 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Horst Nitz (Post 18206)
All the rosettes in the garland spell the word ΙΧΘΥΣ.

????
please Horst or someone else, help me I simply can't see any spelling in the rosettes

Martin

#6
Horst Nitz
October 11th, 2014 09:19 PM

Hi

nice portrait, Patrick, you in your youth?

Martin, I'll make a drawing and post it tonight or tomorrow morning.

Lithurgy was in Syriac and was learned by heart. In the essay I write that the (ancestor of the) rug may have served as a woven catechism. Everything essential and specific to the Nestorians, i.e. christology, trinity, role of Mary etc. is woven into it and can be demonstrated to illiterate people in image language using symbols and space. Mary, in the Latin church, has sometimes become part of the trinity almost. Positioning her just outside of the white rhombus that represents the resurrected Christ in his glory and putting minor borders between, is a clear statement that she is mother, but not theotokos. A male figure with dangling penis instead is an absurd interpretation. This is not to say, it couldn't be the case in other rugs that have long lost their original religious connotation and organising force, like the commercial rugs in the 2006 thread on nude figures. Everything in the rug featuring in the salon except some/the filler motifs seems to have been carefully set in the early days of the religion and was reproduced ever since.

As you perhaps have read in the essay, I think that the garland of rosettes has a genealogical theme referring to the Jewish bible. If you really should be reading Grant, I would be very interested in your view on his observation that the Mountain Nestorians are descendants of the lost tribes of Israel.

Horst

#7
Horst Nitz
October 12th, 2014 01:12 PM

Hi Martin,

Here come your rosettes:





I am realizing you have taken up Wigram & Wigram. Its a good source, but in this case interpretation is needed. After all, they were clergy and had looked at the Nestorians from a different angle than I do.

I see no conflict with the ban of images according to the Ten Commandments / Deuteronomy 5 / Exodus 20 ff:


English Standard Bible Version:
“‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

New American Standard Bible:
You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.


Mary is symbolic in the rug, is not three-dimensional, no idol and not worshipped. There were indeed no pictures in the Mountain Nestorian churches. The Nestorians and their ethnically related brothers and sisters that were in communion with Rome (Chaldaens) were afraid of the Kurds and did not want to provoke them, at least this was the view of authors who visited them in the 2nd half of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th. Additionally, the money that went into American church mission projects probably prompted reports that represented the Nestorians as stout Protestants. Reading Grant you get the impression, that in the Kurdish Taurus and around Urmia, the Protestant missionaries fought a constant battle against Papaism.

If you read Daumer for instance, it becomes apparent, that the Nestorians knew images. But on the whole, their vivid and complex image language utilized space and symbols (says me).

Regards,

Horst

#8
Steve Price
October 12th, 2014 01:34 PM

Horst




This can't be serious.

Steve Price

#9
Martin Andersen
October 12th, 2014 01:47 PM

Hi Horst, those rosettes are certainly not mine, nor any weavers - they are yours and yours only.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Horst Nitz (Post 18211)
Mountain Nestorians are descendants of the lost tribes of Israel

My view on this? Grants account is a mid-19th missionary work, trying to awoke sympathy for the mountain Nestorians. His highly romanticized emphasis on a lost 10th tribe have no contemporary historical validity, it is a mid 19th.c romantic exalted missionary quest. Here a sample of Grants conclusions:



Grant can be read here: http://www.jelleverheij.info/Digital...tribes....html

- and anyway even if the mountain Nestorians were converts from Judaism its totally unrelated to your rug.

Horst for crying out loud, I fell bad about this but the next thing you will bring into the rug is probably the key to King Solomons mines,the Holy Grail and the mountain Nestorians as the secretly true Templar Knights.

The mountain Nestorians were simply a secluded poor and ascetic branch of Anatolian Syriac Christians with a tragic story of fighting with kurds and finally being victims of the Osmanic/Turkic persecution. They have since mid-19th c. been visited by western priest and missionaries with special theological interest in their Christian beliefs and customs, like Grant and the Wigrams. They report nothing that sustain your interpretation of the rug you have at hand - on the contrary (sorry I repeat myself, my underlinings)

Wigram W A, Wigram E T (1914) The Cradle of Mankind:

Close by the church is the cell in the cliff (a small natural cavern) that was the hermitage of Mar B’Ishu, the Rabban. And here a freakish water-drip has formed a stalactite which has a rude resemblance to the human figure; and which is accordingly reverenced as a statue of the saint formed by angel's hands.
Considered as a work of art, the statue does not do any great credit to its supernatural artists ; but it is a most exceptional thing to find an image of any sort, or of any origin, reverenced by any member of the Nestorian Church. No Evangelical has a greater dislike for anything that savours of "idolatry". Even pictures are rigorously forbidden in their churches; though curtains and the like are employed to as great an extent as their means allow. As an "ornament" only the plain cross (in wood or metal), with no figure upon it, is permitted ; and this, lying on a table at the entry of the sanctuary, is kissed by every worshipper as he enters the church. No other sacred symbol is ever introduced.


and here Asahel Grant (1841) The Nestorians; or the lost tribes:

The attentive old bishop took my hand and guided it to a plain stone cross which lay upon the altar, supposing I would manifest my veneration or devotional feelings after their own custom by pressing it to my lips. I must confess that there is something affecting in this simple outward expression as practised by the Nestorians, who mingle with it none of the image
worship, or the other corrupt observances of the Roman Catholic Church. May it not be that the abuse of such symbols by the votaries of the Roman see has carried us Protestants to the other extreme, when we utterly condemn the simple memento of the cross?


Martin

#10
Dinie Gootjes
October 12th, 2014 03:07 PM

Horst's use of the rosette does have a historical foundation: the wagon wheel was used to spell ichtus as an identification symbol among early Christians, like the symbol of the fish. This is a Christian graffiti from Ephesus:




Moving this symbol to a rosette and so reading it into his kelim however, is a bridge too far IMHO. The foundation crumbles under the load.

Dinie

#11
Martin Andersen
October 12th, 2014 03:55 PM

Hi Dinie

If the Syriac speaking and writing Mountain Nestorians for any reason should have felt like weaving the Greek letters ΙΧΘΥΣ in their rugs nothing would have prevented them from doing it plain forward.

And if a simple 8-petal rosette like on Horst's rug in itself is proof of early Nestorian Christian origin, then there sure is plenty of proof of Nestorian origin all over the rugs :)

best Martin

#12
Rich Larkin
October 12th, 2014 04:10 PM

Hi Horst,

I am trying to understand your graphic illustration of how the rosettes can be read to represent "ΙΧΘΥΣ." It seems they could also represent any other five letter word one might conceive. Is not your interpretation the ultimate triumph of the preconceived idea?

Rich

#13
Filiberto Boncompagni
October 12th, 2014 04:18 PM

Hi Rich,
Quote:

I am trying to understand your graphic illustration of how the rosettes can be read to represent "ΙΧΘΥΣ.
That's easy: from left to right, starting from the top.

Filiberto

#14
Martin Andersen
October 12th, 2014 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rich Larkin (Post 18221)
any other five letter word one might conceive.

Hi Rich
don't forget that there are 16 or 32 rosettes in total on rug, potential for rather long text.
best Martin

#15
Rich Larkin
October 12th, 2014 04:59 PM

Hi Martin,

Quote:

Don't forget that there are 16 or 32 rosettes in total on rug, potential for rather long text.
I'm sure it is the same text repeated several times. In keeping with the Nativity Scene.

Rich

#16
Pierre Galafassi
October 12th, 2014 06:00 PM

Awfully interesting indeed!

The bunch of exalted Turkotekers who, some months ago, saw kufic-derived motifs in 14th-16th century rug borders, (extant or illustrated in Timurid miniatures), should evidently have avoided smoking too strong stuff.

Identifying Greek letters carrying a Nestorian message in the rosettes of a recent bazaar Herki rug instead is Unassailable Rug Science. (Does it translate in "Eine Schnapsidee" in German ?)


#17
Dinie Gootjes
October 12th, 2014 06:03 PM

Hi Martin, Rich, Steve and whoever,

To make things quite clear: I do not buy into Horst's theory from this Salon at all.

But, the reading Horst gives of his rosettes, is legitimate as a reading of a wagon wheel shape in the early church. There the one symbol was intended to be read as containing the Greek letters Horst points out, I CH TH U S in transliteration, standing for the Greek words Iesous (Iota), Christos (Chi), Theou (Theta), Uios (Upsilon), and Sotor (Sigma), meaning, "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour". So, to answer Rich's question whether you could not read whatever word you wanted into it: yes, you could, quite a few Greek letters can be fitted onto the divided circle. But, it was a symbol, and as such had a fixed reading and meaning. And as a symbol, it might even have travelled to the Nestorians, who would not write the Greek, but might know the symbol. The main point here is not whether they knew and used it, but whether they changed the wagon wheel into a rosette, and then used it in their supposed weavings. My thoughts about that I have made clear in the first line.
So, IF you think, like Horst, that the rosettes can function as the wagon wheel symbol (and I do not), the number of rosettes is immaterial, as each contains the whole word.

The only thing I was trying to point out was that the letter shapes Horst indicated are not his invention, they have been imposed on the divided circle as he indicates. The transposition of the whole symbol to the rosettes of a kelim is his invention, and his alone. As Freud said: "Sometimes a rosette is just a rosette".

Off to celebrate the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

Dinie

#18
Filiberto Boncompagni
October 12th, 2014 06:28 PM

Thank you Dinie,
What she says is illustrated here:
http://www.daviddilling.com/christiansymbol1.htm


Filiberto

#19
Martin Andersen
October 12th, 2014 06:54 PM

Okay thanks Dinie, mystery solved :)

Horst could in his essay have written: “I see the 8-petal rosettes as Christian symbols derived from the ΙΧΘΥΣ wheel” - and saved us some time, making it immediately clear that he makes an absurdly specific Christian interpretation of a floral motif which appear all over the rugs - kind of like Gantzhorns crosses, and if possible even taking it further claiming in another thread that a rhombus in the rugs is exclusive to Christ:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Horst Nitz (Post 18216)
the rhombus in rugs is what the mandorla is in western two-dimensional Christian arts representations, but is exclusive to Christ.



best Martin

#20
Martin Andersen
October 12th, 2014 07:25 PM

next mystery of the rosettes is probably then this

Quote:

Originally Posted by Horst Nitz (Post 18211)
I think that the garland of rosettes has a genealogical theme referring to the Jewish bible.

related to the 10 lost tribes of Israel? and Horst please, you don't have to answer, I can fully imagine the dizzyingly bumpiness of your mystic/theological explanations :) and you have more urgent threads to answer in

best Martin

#21
Horst Nitz
October 13th, 2014 03:32 PM

Hi all,


thank you Dinie for your quick response.

To anybody who takes the perspective that the rug is a standard Herki design and a derivate of a mid 19th c Persian workshop carpet, or an imitation of a mysterious tribal göl, it might appear that I am talking moonshine. But looking at it from an early Christian era perspective, this at least is my opinion, it is not. The symbol of the resurrected Christ amidst an ascending garland of rosettes that all carry a cross in the centre, the top rosette with a Patriarchal cross, the medallion in the shape of the vesica piscis and the fishes in the centre, all act together and give a cue to interpret the rosettes as I did. In other words, the rosettes seem to represent ecclesia; in combination with the central medallion it would seem appropriate to think of Epiphany and Eucharist. The garland is directionally oriented. The patriarch is in spiritual lineage with Christ, the lower rosettes may represent Jesus’ lineage. At this stage we are entering chapters of the Jewish Bible. Have I explained sufficiently, why I have an interest in opinions on Grant’s exclamation that the Mountain Nestorians are descendants of the lost tribes of Israel? According to the Nestorians themselves, according to Grant and other authors, they conversed with Jews in a common language; themselves they claimed to be descendants of the Israelites; followed practices that were apparently old-testamentary according to missionaries and other churchmen who had visited them.

Besides this, I think the rosette, as a motif, is older than Christianity; but it was newly interpreted in the early Christian era and became widely known in the period before the great schisms.

Martin, if you quote me, please do so correctly. Not I said the Mountain Nestorians were descendants of the lost tribes, it was Grant who did.

It is all rather novel as an approach to rugs and I might be mistaken in this or that, on the whole and for the time being I think I am not.
Martin

Regards,

Horst

#22
Martin Andersen
October 13th, 2014 09:08 PM

Hi Horst, I am sorry for my harsh tone in this discussion, I wish I could behave better but your essay both in its content and its pretentious scholarly tone to me is highly provocative. Your essay is due to its language certainly not an easy read, people with little patience or no prerequisites to read it critically might end up thinking your (in my opinion wild) speculations are well founded facts - which they surely are not. ΙΧΘΥΣ in the rosettes actually an example of this: presented in the essay as a "by the way" fact but in reality a very very very speculative interpretation.

The 10 lost tribes of Israel: don’t waste yours or others time building speculations on it. Its a classical western romantic quest, on par with the Holy Grail. Lots and lots of Christian, Jewish and Islamic sects have claimed or been assigned identity as the lost tribes - and its all storytelling/establishing cultural identity (quite logical when the sects take the bible for the only factual account of history). Here a rational book on the subject http://www.amazon.com/The-Lost-Tribe.../dp/1842126652

Regarding the “standard Herki design” of your rug I think you owe us all to take that discussion with Marla Mallet who certainly is an expert here on the subject of Anatolian flatweaves, I see you in the thread “hypothetical indeed” have promised to do it soon.

best Martin

(and sorry for the too short quote regarding Grant and the tribes which could be misunderstood )

#23
Horst Nitz
October 17th, 2014 05:02 PM

Hi all,

here once more the Ephesus circular Ichthys that Dinie had send already, with a little more context this time (Image from Wikipedia):




And for those who might think Ephesus being outside the sphere of Nestorian interest, here the same symbol in union with a cross from the monastery of Raban Hormizd in Northern Iraq (Image from England C (2002):





Regards,

Horst

#24
Martin Andersen
October 18th, 2014 07:48 AM

A circle divided into sections is of course an almost universal geometric pattern, known from lots and lots of cultures, and pre-dates Christianity by millenniums - here for example “Nestorian” crosses from 3500 bc Loughcrew Ireland:




Simple little flowers in the symmetric grid of warp and weft of the rugs very very very easily ends up in this geometry - giving them the specific reading “ΙΧΘΥΣ” is of course totally overkill.



And the logic behind Horst’s interpretation goes like this:
“I interpretate what I see as Christian symbols because it is a on a Mountain Nestorian rug” - and when asked why he think it is a Mountain Nestorian rug the answer is - “Because I see Christian symbols on it”

Martin
(a side note but come to think of it: one could actually say that the shifting colors of the flowers petals is a deliberate attempt from the weaver within this limited amount of knots to avoid the symmetry of a cross, the poor weaver desperately trying to avoid Christian interpretations of her flowers:))

#25
Rich Larkin
October 18th, 2014 04:36 PM

Hi Horst,

Martin made this comment:

Quote:

And the logic behind Horst’s interpretation goes like this:
“I interpretate what I see as Christian symbols because it is a on a Mountain Nestorian rug” - and when asked why he think it is a Mountain Nestorian rug the answer is - “Because I see Christian symbols on it”
And this seems to summarize the problem with your argument. You have several points to prove in order to give your thesis traction, and you are citing one to prove another in a circular process. But virtually no factual evidence. In the absence of it, your assertions seem highly improbable based on what is actually before us. You need to respond to the clamor for facts with facts, not with evasion and obfuscation.

I don't mean to "pile on," but that's how matters lie.

Rich

#26
Marla Mallett
October 18th, 2014 06:49 PM

Here is a Herki brocade/soumak saddlebag with bands definitely related to the 8-petal "rosettes" with alternating colors. A horizontal, linear version of the "garland of rosettes." Standard Herki Kurd fare.



#27
Horst Nitz
October 18th, 2014 10:41 PM

Hi,

Marla, yes I see the relation, its a good example. Besides quality, the difference is in the small rhombi with incised crosses. In the Herki panel the rosettes have deteriorated to a mere ornament.

Martin, under a methodological perspective your last post is the pits. You associate objects that share no context whatsoever. Why not Mars craters?

Horst

#28
Rich Larkin
October 18th, 2014 10:53 PM

Hi Horst,

Your comment:

Quote:

Martin, under a methodological perspective your last post is the pits. You associate objects that share no context whatsoever. Why not Mars craters?
I think you've missed his point. His post is essentially absurd in the context we are discussing. On the other hand, you have invented a context for yours.

Rich

#29
Filiberto Boncompagni
October 19th, 2014 07:36 AM

Horst,

I think Martin's post resumes the situation perfectly.
Since you don’t know what else to answer, you then dismiss it like garbage.
Filiberto