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The Inscription on a Brick from Grodno (Ps 45: 6) in the Context of Byzantine-Russian Epigraphic Links

Andrey Yu. Vinogradov, Aleхey A. Gippius, Natallia A. Kiziukevich


The authors publish a unique inscription with the second half-verse of Psalm 45: 6 on а 12th century brick from the excavations of the “Mernaya izba” on the Castle hill of Hrodna (Grodno; Republic of Belarus). The tradition of writing Psalm 45: 6 in church buildings goes back to the Early Byzantine period and is associated with its “apotropaic” character, which should protect the building from earthquakes. From the middle Byzantine period Psalm 45: 6 is known to also appear on bricks.  A great role in this tradition was played by the “Diegesis about the Great church”, according to which Psalm 45: 6 was written by order of Justinian on the plinth bricks of Hagia Sophia. From Byzantium, this tradition came to Rus’, where we see Psalm 45: 6 written, on the one hand, in Greek on the mosaic above the apse of St. Sophia in Kiev, and on the other hand, in Slavonic on a plinth brick from a church in Hrodna dating from the second half of the 12th century.


DOI: 10.31168/2305-6754.2020.9.1.15


Epigraphy; Psalms; plinth; Hrodna; Rus’; Byzantium


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Copyright (c) 2020 Andrey Yu. Vinogradov, Aleхey A. Gippius, Natallia A. Kiziukevich

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