Catherine, Monastery of Saint

   Famous fortified monastery built by Justinian I (q.v.) at the base of Mount Sinai to protect the monks who tended a church on the site of the Burning Bush. Catherine of Alexandria, martyred in 305, became the monastery's patron saint in the 10th or 11th century. The walls were meant to protect against Bedouin raids, and its isolation helped to protect its icons (q.v.) and manuscripts from destruction by Iconoclasts (q.v.). It remains a repository of priceless manuscripts and icons.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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