An apology for all of you who have crashed into my, 'Sorry this page has disappeared pending…' notice. It's back - well sort of…This page has languished for too long as I've taken, what was, at first in circa 2000, some curious musings about some wallpaintings I'd seen, to giving a paper to the 21st International Congress of Byzantine Studies in London in 2006.

You can download a pdf of the longer version of the paper published in the scholarly journal Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies in 2006. This is stored in the University of Hertfordshire's digital Research Archive UHRA.

Just click on this link to go to the archive and get the paper

I'm working on a much more colourful version with many more details and illustrations which will appear soonish at this location.

The Ainoi (pronounced Ay-nee) is the visual depiction of the Last Psalms (148-150) from the Old Testament. It is a complicated wallpainting scheme, which, once you know what you're looking at, is simultaneously very simple, or rather, very literal. There are some 25 versions of the scheme in Mani - it is relatively common in the Orthodox world, but Mani versions often portray things differently to those in the rest of Greece and other countries, especially those versions painted in the mid-18th century. There were probably many more than 25 Ainoi schemes painted in Mani, but earthquakes, damp and whitewash have done away with them.

I first became aware of the scheme when I was analysing my photographs of the church of the Zoodokos Pigi (literally: The Life Giving Spring though it refers symbolically to the Virgin Mary or Panagia) at the castle of Zarnata in north-west Exo Mani.

This and linked pages will first delineate the scheme and how the artists depicted the last Psalms. Then each Mani example will get a brief mention and a set of photos of the particular version in that church. And then the particularly Maniat interpretation of the line from Psalm concerning the 'Judges of the Earth', will be analysed.


John Chapman Jan 08