close to ‘her’ spring


Senior Member
Spanish - Spain
Hello! Here I am again, with a (very) difficult sentence, whose sense I can't in fact ascertain at all :confused:

It's a note on a wonderful book about Istanbul I am translating. I have therefore to indicate the piece of text to which the note is attached and the note itself.

TEXT: "Finally on the Feast of Dormition, 15 August ad 718, the Arab commander ordered the retreat. Constantinople’s protector, Mary the Mother of God, whose image had been paraded around the walls, was credited
with victory.14".

Problematic NOTE: 14. "St Mary’s Church of Blachernae, home to one of the city’s great Marian icons, in its nineteenth-century iteration can still be visited in the Ayvansaray district of Istanbul. Mary’s girdle, supposedly made of camel hair, was held secure here close to ‘her’ spring. The relic is now held on Mount Athos.".

What I don't understand is this "spring" related to St Mary. It may be that there is a sense to spring unknown to me, but the only known meaning that could fit in here is "origin", as a derivation of "fountain" or "source". Could it mean "lap"?

As far as I see, there's no connection whatsoever between that girdle and the protection of Mary as related in the main text: nobody says anything there about a camel hair girdle… So how Mary can be the "source" of a piece of fabric? If it's a metaphor the relic should have been "liquid" or somehow fluid, should'n it?

I really hope you can help me here, because otherwise I am almost certain to screw it up here. :eek:

I just add my translation of the note: "Todavía hoy puede visitarse, en el barrio de Ayvansaray de Estambul, la Iglesia de Santa María de las Blanquernas, reconstruida en el siglo XIX. En ella se conserva uno de los grandes iconos marianos de la ciudad. El ceñidor de la Virgen, que según se supone está hecho con pelo de camello, se preserva aquí a buen recaudo, junto a quien lo originara. La reliquia se encuentra actualmente en el Monte Athos. ".

With many thanks in advance,

CM :)
  • Wandering JJ

    Senior Member
    British English
    The sense of 'spring' is indeed known to you: it means source (of water, in this case.) The following may help:

    The Church of the Virgin of Blachernae was built on the site of a sacred spring, which was a place of pilgrimage near the shore of the Golden Horn (known as Ayvansaray today).


    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Wow! That's a good point indeed! It explains it all, perfectly! :idea:

    I really thank you for this information; I should have find it myself, but I really couldn't figure out what that "spring" was.

    All the best! :)


    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Estoy de acuerdo con Wandering JJ.
    Recuerdo haber leído estas líneas: resulta que estoy leyendo el libro que estás traduciendo (el cual no identifico aquí, por temor a perjudicar algo).
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