“Narthex of the Deaconesses in the Hagia Sophia”

This paper by Neil K. Moran explores the ceiling rings in the western end of the north aisle in the Hagia Sophia, revealing a rectangular space delineated by curtain rings, and proposing that the southeast corner of the church was assigned to forty deaconesses.  An analysis of the music sources in which the texts are fully written out suggests that the deaconesses took part in the procession of the Great Entrance as well as in rituals in front of the ambo. Read the article.