Roman Forum (Thessaloniki)
The Roman Forum of Thessaloniki is the ancient Roman-era forum of the city, located at the upper side of Aristotelous Square. It is a large two-terraced forum featuring two-storey stoas, dug up by accident in the 1960s; the forum complex boasts two Roman baths, one of, excavated while the other is buried underneath the city, a small theater, used for gladiatorial games. Although the initial complex was not built in Roman times, it was refurbished in the 2nd century, it is believed that the theater continued to be used until at least the 6th century. In the area of the forum, in the 60s it was planned to be built the central City's Court, but after the discovery the project was stopped; this intension still survives in the name of the nearby "Dikastirion Square"
Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles referred to as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament. Acts and the Gospel of Luke make up a two-part work, Luke–Acts, by the same anonymous author dated to around 80–90 AD; the first part, the Gospel of Luke, tells how God fulfilled his plan for the world's salvation through the life and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the promised Messiah. Acts continues the story of Christianity in the 1st century, beginning with Jesus's ascension to Heaven; the early chapters, set in Jerusalem, describe the Day of Pentecost and the growth of the church in Jerusalem. The Jews are receptive to the Christian message, but soon they turn against the followers of Jesus. Rejected by the Jews, under the guidance of the Apostle Peter the message is taken to the Gentiles; the chapters tell of Paul's conversion, his mission in Asia Minor and the Aegean, his imprisonment in Rome, where, as the book ends, he awaits trial. Luke–Acts is an attempt to answer a theological problem, namely how the Messiah of the Jews came to have an overwhelmingly non-Jewish church.
Luke–Acts can be seen as a defense of the Jesus movement addressed to the Jews: the bulk of the speeches and sermons in Acts are addressed to Jewish audiences, with the Romans serving as external arbiters on disputes concerning Jewish customs and law. On the one hand, Luke portrays the Christians as a sect of the Jews, therefore entitled to legal protection as a recognised religion; the title "Acts of the Apostles" was first used by Irenaeus in the late 2nd century. It is not known whether this was one invented by Irenaeus; the Gospel of Luke and Acts make up a two-volume work. Together they account for 27.5% of the New Testament, the largest contribution attributed to a single author, providing the framework for both the Church's liturgical calendar and the historical outline into which generations have fitted their idea of the story of Jesus and the early church. The author is not named in either volume. According to Church tradition dating from the 2nd century, he was the "Luke" named as a companion of the apostle Paul in three of the letters attributed to Paul himself.
The author "does not share Paul's own view of himself as an apostle. He was educated, a man of means urban, someone who respected manual work, although not a worker himself. While no proposed date for the composition of Acts is universally accepted, the most common scholarly position is to date Luke–Acts to 80-90 AD, on the grounds that it uses Mark as a source, looks back on the destruction of Jerusalem, does not show any awareness of the letters of Paul; the earliest possible date for the composition of Acts is set by the events with which it ends, Paul's imprisonment in Rome c. 63 AD, but such an early dating is a minority position. The last possible date would be set by its first definite citation by another author, but there is no unanimity on this. A minority of scholars in the latter camp, conclude that Acts dates to the 2nd century, believing that it shows awareness of the letters of Paul, the works of Josephus, or the writings of Marcion. There are two major textual variants of the Western text-type and the Alexandrian.
The oldest complete Alexandrian manuscripts date from the 4th century and the oldest Western ones from the 6th, with fragments and citations going back to the 3rd. Western texts of Acts are 6.2–8.4% longer than Alexandrian texts, the additions tending to enhance the Jewish rejection of the Messiah and the role of the Holy Spirit, in ways that are stylistically different from the rest of Acts. The majority of scholars prefer the Alexandrian text-type over the Western as the more authentic, but this same argument would favour the Western over the Alexandrian for the Gospel of Luke, as in that case the Western version is the shorter; the title "Acts of the Apostles" would seem to identify it with the genre telling of the deeds and achievements of great men, but it was not the title given by the author. The anonymous author aligned Luke–Acts to the "narratives" (διήγησ
Byzantine Iconoclasm refers to two periods in the history of the Byzantine Empire when the use of religious images or icons was opposed by religious and imperial authorities within the Eastern Church and the temporal imperial hierarchy. The "First Iconoclasm", as it is sometimes called, existed between about 726 and 787; the "Second Iconoclasm" was between 814 and 842. According to the traditional view, Byzantine Iconoclasm was started by a ban on religious images by Emperor Leo III and continued under his successors, it was accompanied by widespread destruction of images and persecution of supporters of the veneration of images. The Western church remained in support of the use of images throughout the period, the whole episode widened the growing divergence between the Eastern and Western traditions in what was still a unified church, as well as facilitating the reduction or removal of Byzantine political control over parts of Italy. Iconoclasm, Greek for "breaker of icons", is the deliberate destruction within a culture of the culture's own religious icons and other symbols or monuments for religious or political motives.
People who engage in or support iconoclasm are called iconoclasts, a term that has come to be applied figuratively to any person who breaks or disdains established dogmata or conventions. Conversely, people who revere or venerate religious images are derisively called "iconolaters", they are known as "iconodules", or "iconophiles". These terms were, not a part of the Byzantine debate over images, they have been brought into common usage by modern historians and their application to Byzantium increased in the late twentieth century. The Byzantine term for the debate over religious imagery, "iconomachy" means "struggle over images" or "image struggle". Iconoclasm has been motivated theologically by an Old Covenant interpretation of the Ten Commandments, which forbade the making and worshipping of "graven images"; the two periods of iconoclasm in the Byzantine Empire during the 8th and 9th centuries made use of this theological theme in discussions over the propriety of images of holy figures, including Christ, the Virgin and saints.
It was a debate triggered by changes in Orthodox worship, which were themselves generated by the major social and political upheavals of the seventh century for the Byzantine Empire. Traditional explanations for Byzantine iconoclasm have sometimes focused on the importance of Islamic prohibitions against images influencing Byzantine thought. According to Arnold J. Toynbee, for example, it was the prestige of Islamic military successes in the 7th and 8th centuries that motivated Byzantine Christians to adopt the Islamic position of rejecting and destroying devotional and liturgical images; the role of women and monks in supporting the veneration of images has been asserted. Social and class-based arguments have been put forward, such as that iconoclasm created political and economic divisions in Byzantine society. On the other hand, the wealthier Greeks of Constantinople and the peoples of the Balkan and Italian provinces opposed Iconoclasm. Re-evaluation of the written and material evidence relating to the period of Byzantine Iconoclasm by scholars including John Haldon and Leslie Brubaker has challenged many of the basic assumptions and factual assertions of the traditional account.
Christian worship by the sixth century had developed a clear belief in the intercession of saints. This belief was influenced by a concept of hierarchy of sanctity, with the Trinity at its pinnacle, followed by the Virgin Mary, referred to in Greek as the Theotokos or Meter Theou, the saints, living holy men and spiritual elders, followed by the rest of humanity. Thus, in order to obtain blessings or divine favour, early Christians, like Christians today, would pray or ask an intermediary, such as the saints or the Theotokos, or living fellow Christians believed to be holy, to intercede on their behalf with Christ. A strong sacramentality and belief in the importance of physical presence joined the belief in intercession of saints with the use of relics and holy images in early Christian practices. Believers would, make pilgrimages to places sanctified by the physical presence of Christ or prominent saints and martyrs, such as the site of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Relics, or holy objects which were a part of the remains, or had come into contact with, the Virgin or a saint, were widely utilized in Christian practices at this time.
Relics, a embedded part of veneration by this period, provided physical presence of the divine but were not infinitely reproducible, still required believers to undertake pilgrimage or have contact with somebody who had. The use and abuse of images had increased during this period, had generated a growing opposition among many in the church, although the progress and extent of these views is now unclear. Images in the form of mosaics and paintings were used in churches and other places such as over city gates, had since the reign of Justinian I been taking on a spiritual significance of their own, regarded at least in the popular mind as capable of possessing capacitie
A cathedral is a Catholic church that contains the cathedra of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, conference, or episcopate. The equivalent word in German for such a church is Dom. Churches with the function of "cathedral" are specific to those Christian denominations with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Catholic, Anglican and some Lutheran and Methodist churches. Church buildings embodying the functions of a cathedral first appeared in Italy, Gaul and North Africa in the 4th century, but cathedrals did not become universal within the Western Catholic Church until the 12th century, by which time they had developed architectural forms, institutional structures and legal identities distinct from parish churches, monastic churches and episcopal residences. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the English word "cathedral" translates as katholikon, meaning "assembly", but this title is applied to monastic and other major churches without episcopal responsibilities; when the church at which an archbishop or "metropolitan" presides is intended, the term kathedrikós naós is used.
Following the Protestant Reformation, the Christian church in several parts of Western Europe, such as Scotland, the Netherlands, certain Swiss Cantons and parts of Germany, adopted a Presbyterian polity that did away with bishops altogether. Where ancient cathedral buildings in these lands are still in use for congregational worship, they retain the title and dignity of "cathedral", maintaining and developing distinct cathedral functions, but void of hierarchical supremacy. From the 16th century onwards, but since the 19th century, churches originating in Western Europe have undertaken vigorous programmes of missionary activity, leading to the founding of large numbers of new dioceses with associated cathedral establishments of varying forms in Asia, Australasia and the Americas. In addition, both the Catholic Church and Orthodox churches have formed new dioceses within Protestant lands for converts and migrant co-religionists, it is not uncommon to find Christians in a single city being served by three or more cathedrals of differing denominations.
In the Catholic or Roman Catholic tradition, the term "cathedral" applies only to a church that houses the seat of the bishop of a diocese. The abbey church of a territorial abbacy does not acquire the title. In any other jurisdiction canonically equivalent to a diocese but not canonically erected as such, the church that serves this function is called the "principal church" of the respective entity—though some have coopted the term "cathedral" anyway; the Catholic Church uses the following terms. A pro-cathedral is a parish or other church used temporarily as a cathedral while the cathedral of a diocese is under construction, renovation, or repair; this designation applies. A co-cathedral is a second cathedral in a diocese; this situation can arise in various ways such as a merger of two former dioceses, preparation to split a diocese, or perceived need to perform cathedral functions in a second location due to the expanse of the diocesan territory. A proto-cathedral is the former cathedral of a transferred.
The cathedral church of a metropolitan bishop is called a metropolitan cathedral. The term "cathedral" carries no implication as to the size or ornateness of the building. Most cathedrals are impressive edifices. Thus, the term "cathedral" is applied colloquially to any large and impressive church, regardless of whether it functions as a cathedral, such as the Crystal Cathedral in California or the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø, Norway. Although the builders of Crystal Cathedral never intended the building to be a true cathedral, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange purchased the building and the surrounding campus in February 2012 for use as a new cathedral church; the building is now under renovation and restoration for solemn dedication under the title "Christ Cathedral" in 2019. The word "cathedral" is derived from the French cathédrale, from the Latin cathedra, from the Greek καθέδρα kathédra, "seat, bench", from κατά kata "down" and ἕδρα hedra "seat, chair." The word refers to the presence and prominence of the bishop's or archbishop's chair or throne, raised above both clergy and laity, located facing the congregation from behind the High Altar.
In the ancient world, the chair, on a raised dais, was the distinctive mark of a teacher or rhetor and thus symbolises the bishop's role as teacher. A raised throne within a basilican hall was definitive for a Late Antique presiding magistrate; the episcopal throne embodies the principle that only a bishop makes a cathedral, this still applies in those churches that no longer have bishops, but retain cathedral dignity and functions in ancient churches over which bishops presided. But the throne can embody the principle that a cathedral makes a bishop.
In Christian theology and ecclesiology, the apostles the Twelve Apostles, were the primary disciples of Jesus. During the life and ministry of Jesus in the 1st century AD, the apostles were his closest followers and became the primary teachers of the gospel message of Jesus. In modern usage, missionaries under Pentecostal movements refer to themselves as apostles, a practice which stems from the Latin equivalent of apostle, i.e. missio, the source of the English word missionary. For example, Saint Patrick was the "Apostle of Ireland", Saint Boniface was the "Apostle to the Germans", Saint José de Anchieta was the "Apostle of Brazil" and Saint Peter of Betancur was the "Apostle of Guatemala". While Christian tradition refers to the apostles as being twelve in number, different gospel writers give different names for the same individual, apostles mentioned in one gospel are not mentioned in others; the commissioning of the Twelve Apostles during the ministry of Jesus is recorded in the Synoptic Gospels.
After his resurrection, Jesus sent eleven of them by the Great Commission to spread his teachings to all nations. This event is called the Dispersion of the Apostles. There is an Eastern Christian tradition derived from the Gospel of Luke of there having been as many as 70 apostles during the time of Jesus' ministry. In early Christianity, Paul, is referred to as an apostle, because he was directly taught and commissioned by a vision of Christ during his journey to Damascus; the period of early Christianity during the lifetimes of the apostles is called the Apostolic Age. During the 1st century AD, the apostles established churches throughout the territories of the Roman Empire and, according to tradition, through the Middle East and India; the word "apostle" comes from the Greek word ἀπόστολος, formed from the prefix ἀπό- and root στέλλω and meaning "messenger, envoy". It has, however, a stronger sense than the word messenger, is closer to a "delegate"; the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament argues that its Christian use translated a Jewish position known in Hebrew as the sheliach.
This ecclesiastical meaning of the word was translated into Latin as missio, the source of the English "missionary". In the New Testament, the majority of the apostles have Hebrew names, although some have Greek names. Many Jews at the time had Greek names as well as Hebrew names. Mark 6:7–13 states that Jesus sent out these twelve in pairs to towns in Galilee; the text states that their initial instructions were to drive out demons. They are instructed to "take nothing for their journey, except a staff only: no bread, no wallet, no money in their purse, but to wear sandals, not put on two tunics", that if any town rejects them they ought to shake the dust off their feet as they leave, a gesture which some scholars think was meant as a contemptuous threat, their carrying of just a staff is sometimes given as the reason for the use by Christian bishops of a staff of office in those denominations that believe they maintain an apostolic succession. In the Gospel narratives the twelve apostles are described as having been commissioned to preach the Gospel to "all the nations", regardless of whether Jew or Gentile.
Paul emphasized the important role of the apostles in the church of God when he said that the household of God is "built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone". Although not one of the apostles commissioned during the life of Jesus, Paul, a Jew named Saul of Tarsus, claimed a special commission from the risen Jesus and is considered "the apostle of the Gentiles", for his missions to spread the gospel message after his conversion. In his writings, the epistles to Christian churches throughout the Levant, Paul did not restrict the term "apostle" to the Twelve, refers to his mentor Barnabas as an apostle; the restricted usage appears in the Revelation to John. By the 2nd century AD, association with the apostles was esteemed as an evidence of authority. Churches which are believed to have been founded by one of the apostles are known. Paul's epistles were accepted as scripture, two of the four canonical gospels were associated with apostles, as were other New Testament works.
Various Christian texts, such as the Didache and the Apostolic Constitutions, were attributed to the apostles. Bishops traced their lines of succession back to individual apostles, who were said to have dispersed from Jerusalem and established churches across great territories. Christian bishops have traditionally claimed authority deriving, by apostolic succession, from the Twelve. Early Church Fathers who came to be associated with apostles, such as Pope Clement I with St. Peter, are referred to as the Apostolic Fathers; the Apostles' Creed, popular in the West, was said to have been composed by the apostles themselves. The three Synoptic Gospels record the circumstances in which some of the disciples were recruited, Matthew only describing the recruitment of Simon, Andrew and John. All three Synoptic Gospels state that these four were recruited soon after Jesus returned from being tempted by the devil. Despite Jesus only requesting that they join him, they are all described as consenting, abandoning their nets to do so.
Traditionally the immediacy of their consent was viewed
Mary, mother of Jesus
Mary was a 1st-century BC Galilean Jewish woman of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus, according to the New Testament and the Quran. The gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament and the Quran describe Mary as a virgin; the miraculous conception took place when she was betrothed to Joseph. She accompanied Joseph to Bethlehem; the Gospel of Luke begins its account of Mary's life with the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced her divine selection to be the mother of Jesus. According to canonical gospel accounts, Mary was present at the crucifixion and is depicted as a member of the early Christian community in Jerusalem. According to Catholic and Orthodox teachings, at the end of her earthly life her body was raised directly into Heaven. Mary has been venerated since early Christianity, is considered by millions to be the most meritorious saint of the religion, she is claimed to have miraculously appeared to believers many times over the centuries. The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches believe that Mary, as mother of Jesus, is the Mother of God.
There is significant diversity in the Marian beliefs and devotional practices of major Christian traditions. The Catholic Church holds distinctive Marian dogmas, namely her status as the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virginity, her Assumption into heaven. Many Protestants minimize Mary's role within Christianity, basing their argument on the relative brevity of biblical references. Mary has a revered position in Islam, where one of the longer chapters of the Quran is devoted to her. Mary's name in the original manuscripts of the New Testament was based on her original Aramaic name מרים, translit. Maryam or Mariam; the English name Mary comes from the Greek Μαρία, a shortened form of Μαριάμ. Both Μαρία and Μαριάμ appear in the New Testament. In Christianity, Mary is referred to as the Virgin Mary, in accordance with the belief that she conceived Jesus miraculously through the Holy Spirit without her husband's involvement. Among her many other names and titles are the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Mary, the Mother of God, the Theotokos, Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, although the title "Queen of Heaven" was a name for a pagan goddess being worshipped during the prophet Jeremiah's lifetime.
Titles in use vary among Anglicans, Catholics, Protestants and other Christians. The three main titles for Mary used by the Orthodox are Theotokos, Aeiparthenos as confirmed in the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, Panagia. Catholics use a wide variety of titles for Mary, these titles have in turn given rise to many artistic depictions. For example, the title Our Lady of Sorrows has inspired such masterpieces as Michelangelo's Pietà; the title Theotokos was recognized at the Council of Ephesus in 431. The direct equivalents of title in Latin are Deipara and Dei Genetrix, although the phrase is more loosely translated into Latin as Mater Dei, with similar patterns for other languages used in the Latin Church. However, this same phrase in Greek, in the abbreviated form ΜΡ ΘΥ, is an indication attached to her image in Byzantine icons; the Council stated that the Church Fathers "did not hesitate to speak of the holy Virgin as the Mother of God". Some Marian titles have a direct scriptural basis.
For instance, the title "Queen Mother" has been given to Mary since she was the mother of Jesus, sometimes referred to as the "King of Kings" due to his ancestral descent from King David. Other titles have arisen from special appeals, or occasions for calling on Mary. To give a few examples, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Our Lady of Navigators, Our Lady Undoer of Knots fit this description. In Islam, she is known as mother of Isa, she is referred to by the honorific title sayyidatuna, meaning "our lady". A related term of endearment is Siddiqah, meaning "she who confirms the truth" and "she who believes sincerely completely". Another title for Mary is Qānitah, which signifies both constant submission to God and absorption in prayer and invocation in Islam, she is called "Tahira", meaning "one, purified" and representing her status as one of two humans in creation to not be touched by Satan at any point. The Gospel of Luke mentions Mary the most identifying her by name twelve times, all of these in the infancy narrative.
The Gospel of Matthew mentions her by name six times, five of these in the infancy narrative and only once outside the infancy narrative. The Gospel of Mark names her once and mentions her as Jesus' mother without naming her in 3:31 and 3:32; the Gospel of John never mentions her by name. Described as Jesus' mother, she makes two appearances, she is first seen at the wedding at Cana. The second reference, listed only in this gospel, has her standing near the cross of Jesus together with Mary Magdalene, Mary of Clopas (or Cleophas
Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917
The Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 destroyed two thirds of the city of Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece, leaving more than 70,000 homeless. The fire destroyed 9,500 houses within an extent of 1 square kilometer. Half the Jewish population emigrated from the city. Rather than rebuilding, the government commissioned the French architect Ernest Hébrard to design a new urban plan for the burned areas Thessaloniki and for the future expansion of the city, his designs are still evident in the city, most notably Aristotelous Square, although some of his most grandiose plans were never completed due to a lack of funds. Thessaloniki was one of the largest and most modern cities in Europe by Balkan standards at the time of the fire. By European standards, the city's planning was chaotic and the unhygienic conditions that prevailed in the poorer areas were described as "unacceptable" by the government in Athens; the city's harbour was one of the most important centres of trade in the region.
In 1912 the city, along with the biggest part of Macedonia and Epirus, was incorporated in Greece after 500 years of Ottoman rule. The population of the city was maintained: the larger part of the population were Sephardi Jews, followed by Greeks, Bulgarians and others; as soon as World War I began in 1914, Greece maintained neutrality. With authorization by the Venizelos' government, Entente Forces had landed troops in Thessaloniki in 1915, in order to support their Serb allies in the Macedonian Front. In August 1916, Venizelist officers launched an uprising that resulted in the establishment of the Provisional Government of National Defence in the city dividing Greece into two sovereign states, one represented by Eleftherios Venizelos, the other by King Constantine. After King Constantine abdicated in June 1917, Greece was reunified again and entered the war with the Allies side. Thessaloniki soon became a transit center for Allied troops and supplies, the city filled with thousands of French and British soldiers, numbering up to 100,000.
The population of the city at the time is dubious, with some sources claiming around 150,000 and others 278,000. French navy official Dufour de la Thuillerie writes in his report that "I saw Thessaloniki, a city of more than 150,000 people, burn". According to the findings of the investigation by the Court of Thessaloniki, the fire began on Saturday 5 /18 August 1917 at 15:00, by accident at a small house of refugees at Olympiados 3, in the Mevlane district between the center and the Upper City when a spark from the kitchen fire fell in a pile of straw and ignited it. Due to lack of water and indifference, the initial fire was not put out. An intense wind carried the fire to the neighboring houses, it continued throughout central Thessaloniki; the fire followed two directions, to the Residency via the road of Agiou Dimitriou, to the market via the Leontos Sofou road. The Residency was saved by its employees; the wind continued to spread the fire towards the center of the city. In the early morning of the next day, the wind changed direction and the two fronts of the fire destroyed all the commercial center.
At 12:00, the fire passed around the grounds of the church of Haghia Sophia without burning it, continued eastward up to the road of Ethnikis Amynis, where it stopped. On the evening of that day the fire died out. There was not enough water for firefighting because the Allied forces controlled water reserves, which were reduced due to the drought of that summer and the high water consumption of the growing population. More the city government did not have an organized fire brigade; the private firefighters were found to be equipped with old or no equipment. In the afternoon of the first day of the fire, a French detachment exploded three houses next to the Diikitirio to create a buffer zone or area of safety. However, the French detachment did not continue and ended up withdrawing, leaving the fire to continue on its destructive course; the next morning, two British fire teams stopped the fire near the White Tower. French soldiers saved the customs building; the Allied forces rejected the idea of interrupting the water supply of their camps and hospitals to use for firefighting.
General Maurice Sarrail visited the region of Diikitiriou for a few hours during the afternoon of the first day but he did not return. Several reports noted that French soldiers looted stores and businesses and prevented householders from rescuing their goods; the next day, General Sarrail ordered the execution of two French soldiers who were arrested for selling stolen jewels. The British soldiers assisted in the firefight as long as they could, using military lorries to transport fire victims and their goods to refugee settlements; the fire destroyed 32 % of about 1 square kilometer. The burned region was between the roads of Aghiou Dimitriou, Leontos Sofou, Ethnikis Amynis, Alexandrou Svolou, Egnatia; this region is reported in official documents as "burned zone" and in the popular narrations as "the burned". The extent of material damage within Thessaloniki was calculated to be worth 8,000,000 golden pounds. Included among buil