Digenis Akritas saves a princess abandoned in the desert

Incised Plate. 12th century. Corinth Museum. No. 1685.



A more peaceful episode in the life of Digenis is shown on a plate from Corinth. Returning through the desert from some exploit, the hero came upon a princess who had been abandoned by her lover, one of her father’s prisoners with whom she had eloped. To cap his heartless behaviour the erstwhile prisoner had taken with him not only the gold which the couple had stolen from the father but also the horse. Again the scene is pin-pointed: the crown indicates the young lady’s rank, and the ‘low stool’ on which, according to the epic, Digenis and the princess sat together before taking their leave on the hero’s horse is clearly visible. In the field the rabbit, age-old symbol of love, serves also as a space-filler.

Source: Excavations in the Athenian Agora.
Picture Book No. 7. The Middle Ages in the Athenian Agora (3rd Printing, 1974)
Prepared by Alison Frantz
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Other Digenis Akritas plates:
Digenis Akritas fights the Dragon
Digenis Akritas slays the Dragon with five arrows
Digenis Akritas Fights a Beast, Byzantine Sgrafito Plate. 12th century