The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(from the Greek pantokrator, “almighty ruler”; in Rus’, vsederzhitel’). Iconographic representation of Christ.

The term “Pantocrator” is usually applied to depictions of Christ within the central cupola or concha of a church. Surrounded by angels (on the drum or in the apse), he is bestowing a blessing with his right hand and holding the New Testament in his left hand. The representation of Christ as Pantocrator became the intellectual and compositional center of architectural and pictorial ensembles in Orthodox churches during the ninth to 11th centuries, when the domed cruciform church assumed its final form. The depiction of Christ as Pantocrator was adopted in icons and was reproduced in Italian mosaics of the 12th century.


Capizzi, C. Pantokrator. Rome, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Byzantine called this image Christ Pantocrator, Christ the Ruler of all that is.
But there is a difference: the Stations of the Cross always invited the believer to active, devotional contemplation; and the paintings of late medieval and Renaissance artists were read within a theological context that emphasized the humanity of Jesus (by showing a wounded body) while simultaneously de-emphasizing his role as Pantocrator, the divine ruler.
We were assured that she would drop her blue veil over the walls of purgatory and pull us into heaven while Jesus the Pantocrator, looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger, held a double-edged sword and was ready to dice us up like an imported salami.
Many of its colorful fourth-century mosaics are icons of Jesus as Son, Savior, Christ, and Pantocrator (the ruler of all the world).