852 – book: Mount Athos by John Julius Norwich and Reresby Sitwell

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MOUNT ATHOS BY JOHN JULIUS NORWICH AND RERESBY SITWELL. WITH PHOTOGRAPHS BY THE AUTHORS AND A. COSTA. New York: Harper & Row, 1966. First Edition. From the Dust Jacket: “Mount Athos is a land of monks and hermits where no woman, child or eunuch is admitted. Twenty ‘Ruling Monasteries’ provide the unique form of local government over this remote peninsula in northern Greece which culminates in the 7000 foot marble peak — the Holy Mountain of the Orthodox faith. The authors of this book came to study the churches, libraries and treasures and to record in photographs as much as the monks would permit. Apart from staying at the great monasteries — seventeen of which are Greek, one Russian, one Serbian and one Bulgarian — they also visited some of the dependent communities. Those vary in size from small villages to the precarious cliff dwellings of the true anchorites who still seek after the ‘Uncreated Light of Mount Tabor’ and follow the austerities prescribed a thousand years ago by St. Athanasius the Athonite. In a paradise of mountain and forest, Athos constitutes a survival from the Byzantine age, but recruits are few, and the noise and tensions of the modern world are closing in. This book attempts to portray some aspects of a strange, picturesque but doomed way of life…” Plates include: Letter from the Oecumenical Patriarchate with the accompanying envelope; The monastery of Esphigmenou; The ruined Tower of Milutin, on the way to Chilandar; The Shrine of the Virgin with wild madonna lilies near Chilandar; The great tower of the Serbian monastery of Chilandar; The approach to Chilandar; The monks of Esphigmenou; A monk of Esphigmenou wearing the ‘great habit’ appropriate to his rank; the Abbot of Esphigmenou in procession on the Feast Day; A monk fishing; and many more. hv

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