to Sinai. MONASTERY OF SINAI. 10. Route. 497
Justinian and Theodora, although they do not in the least resemble
other portraits of the emperor and his wife. Under the scene of
the Transfiguration is an inscription ('Ev 6vd(jiaTi Harpo? %a\ TioO
xal 'Avtoo TtveujxaTOS yifovev to 7tav epvov touto &7tep oojxTjpias
tojv xapTcocpopTjsdvToov Itci Aofvivou toO oohdtoitoo TCpeafJuTEpoo otat
TiyoujAsvou) to the effect that the mosaic was executed under
Longinus, the Presbyter and Superior of the monastery, for the
salvation of the souls of those who had contributed towards the cost
of the work.
Among the sacred utensils in the choir are a finely executed
Ciborium, or stand for the communion chalice, and a short marble
sarcophagus said to contain the head and one hand of St. Catharine,
who is specially revered by the Greek orthodox church. Here, too,
is shown a valuable, but unpleasing reliquary, presented by Rus¬
sian Christians. The head of St. Catharine is represented on a
silver pillow, her face and hands being enamelled. Another similar
reliquary, bearing a figure of the saint in gilded silver, was pre¬
sented by the Empress Catharine of Russia.
The Chapel of the Burning Bush, at the back of the apse,
marking the spot where God is said to have appeared to Moses, is
probably the oldest part of the structure. Visitors must remove
their shoes before entering. The walls are covered with slabs of
porcelain. The spot where the bush is said to have stood is
indicated by a plate of chased silver; over it is placed a kind of
altar, within which are suspended three burning lamps. At the
back of this sanctuary is a small niche adorned with figures, in a
line with the apse, the semicircular wall of which encloses the
whole E. end of the building. A ray of the sun is said to enter
this sanctuary once only in the course of the year, gaining admission
through a cleft of the rock on the E. side of the valley. From a
cross erected there the hill has been named the Jebel es-Salib.
The Chapels surrounding the nave contain no objects of interest.
Each is dedicated to an evangelist, saint, or martyr (SS. Anna, the
holy martyrs of Sinai, James, Constantia and Helena, Demetrius
and Sergius). Adjoining the right aisle of the basilica are the
chapels of SS. Simon Stylites, Cosmas, and Damianus; adjoining
the left aisle are those of SS. Anna, Marina, and Antipas. The
chapel for the Latins, near the visitors' rooms, is now disused, as
the Roman Catholics no longer make pilgrimages to this monastery.
The Mosque, a building of simple construction, is badly preserv¬
ed. A stone arch neaT the mosque still bears several coats of arms
in the early mediaeval style, perhaps those of Crusaders.
The Library of the monastery, which is imperfectly arranged,
occupies the two lower floors in a building near the entrance to
the chuTch. The ground-floor contains the works of inferior value.
The upper floor, which is embellished with the inscription —
latpeTov 4"JX''i|! 0- e- 'Sanatorium of the soul'), contains many inter-
Baedekek's Egypt I. 32