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Photo of Cave of the Seven Sleepers

Tile Chimney with the Seven Sleepers

Museum label: "Tilework Chimneypiece, Turkey, probably Istanbul, dated 1731. The names around the hood are those of the Seven Sleepers. Persecuted under the Roman emperor Decius, these Christian men took refuge in a cave. They fell asleep, waking centuries later under Christian rule. The Seven Sleepers are mentioned in the Aur'an as an example of God's protection of the righteous. Their names were therefore used to invoke that protection. Fritware with under-glaze decoration. Museum no. 703-1891." Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Photo © Holly Hayes.

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