Arch of Galerius and Rotunda
The Arch of Galerius or Kamara and the Rotunda are neighbouring early 4th-century AD monuments in the city of Thessaloniki, in the region of Central Macedonia in northern Greece. The 4th-century Roman Emperor Galerius commissioned these two structures as elements of an imperial precinct linked to his Thessaloniki palace. Archeologists have found substantial remains of the palace to the southwest; these three monumental structures were connected by a road that ran through the arch, which rose above the major east-west road of the city. At the crux of the major axes of the city, the Arch of Galerius emphasized the power of the emperor and linked the monumental structures with the fabric of 4th-century Thessaloniki; the arch was composed of a masonry core faced with marble sculptural panels celebrating a victory over the Sassanid Persians. About two-thirds the arch is preserved; the Rotunda was a massive circular structure with a masonry core that had an oculus like the Pantheon in Rome. It has gone through multiple periods of use and modification as a polytheist temple, a Christian basilica, a Muslim mosque, again a Christian church.
A minaret is preserved from its use as a mosque, ancient remains are exposed on its southern side. The Arch of Galerius stands on what is now the intersection of Dimitriou Gounari streets; the arch was built in 298 to 299 AD and dedicated in 303 AD to celebrate the victory of the tetrarch Galerius over the Sassanid Persians at the Battle of Satala and capture of their capital Ctesiphon in 298. The structure was an octopylon forming a triple arch, built of a rubble masonry core faced first with brick and with marble panels with sculptural relief; the central arched opening was 9.7 m wide and 12.5 m high, the secondary openings on other side were 4.8 m wide and 6.5 m high. The central arch spanned the portion of the Via Egnatia. A road connecting the Rotunda with the Palace complex passed through the arch along its long axis. Only the northwestern three of the eight pillars and parts of the masonry cores of the arches above survive: i.e. the entire eastern side and the southernmost one of the western pillars are lost.
Extensive consolidation with modern brick has been performed on the exposed masonry cores to protect the monument. The two pillars flanking the central arched passageway retain their sculpted marble slabs, which depict the wars of Galerius against the Persians in broadly panegyric terms. Understanding of the sculptural program of the arch is limited by the loss of the majority of the marble panels, but the remains give an impression of the whole. Four vertically stacked registers of sculpted decoration were carved on each pillar, each separated by elaborate moldings. A label for the Tigris River indicates that there were labels on other representations as the builders deemed necessary. Artistic license was taken in the representations, for instance, the Caesar Galerius is shown in personal combat with the Sassanid Shah Narses in one of the panels. On the arch a mounted Galerius attacks a mounted Narses with a lance as an eagle bearing a victory wreath in its talons approaches Galerius; the Caesar sits securely on his rearing horse.
Terrified Persians cower under the hooves of the Caesar's horse in the chaos of battle. The panel expresses the power of the Caesar Galerius; the relief of the imperial family conjoined in a sacrifice of thanksgiving owes its distant prototype to the Augustan reliefs on the Ara Pacis in Rome. Galerius' wife, Diocletian's daughter Valeria, is shown at his side, helping authenticate his connection to his predecessor. Here as elsewhere all the faces have been chiselled off, whether as damnatio memoriae or in cultural intolerance of images. In another panel, the tetrarchs are all arrayed in the toga as a Victoria holds a victory wreath out to the heads of the two Augusti. A third panel celebrates the unity of the tetrarchy, with a depiction of the tetrarchs standing together. Only Galerius is dressed in armor, he makes the offering upon the altar. What remains of the arch asserts the glory of the tetrarchy and the prominence of Galerius within that system; the arch celebrates the Roman Empire as part of Galerius’ victory over the Sassanid king.
Galerius is pictured on his horse at the right, while attacking a Sassanid guard. The Rotunda of Galerius is 125m northeast of the Arch of Galerius at 40°37'59.77"N, 22°57'9.77"E. It is known as the Greek Orthodox Church of Agios Georgios, is informally called the Church of the Rotunda; the cylindrical structure was built in 306 AD on the orders of the tetrarch Galerius, thought to have intended it to be his mausoleum. It was more intended as a temple; the Rotunda has a diameter of 24.5 m. Its walls are more than 6 m thick, why it has withstood Thessaloniki's earthquakes; the walls are interrupted with the west bay forming the entrance. A flat brick dome, 30 m high at the peak, crowns the cylindrical structure. In its original design, the dome of the Rotunda had an oculus. After Galerius's death in 311, he was buried at Gamzigrad near Serbia; the Rotunda stood em
Walls of Thessaloniki
The Walls of Thessaloniki are the city walls surrounding the city of Thessaloniki during the Middle Ages and until the late 19th century, when large parts of the walls, including the entire seaward section, were demolished as part of the Ottoman authorities' restructuring of Thessaloniki's urban fabric. The city was fortified from its establishment in the late 4th century BC, but the present walls date from the early Byzantine period, ca. 390, incorporate parts of an earlier, late 3rd-century wall. The walls consist of the typical late Roman mixed construction of ashlar masonry alternating with bands of brick; the northern part of the walls adjoins the acropolis of the city, which formed a separate fortified enceinte, within it lies another citadel, the Heptapyrgion, popularly known by the Ottoman translation of the name, Yedi Kule. Kourkoutidou-Nikolaidou, E.. Wandering in Byzantine Thessaloniki, Kapon Editions, pp. 15–26, ISBN 960-7254-47-3 Media related to Walls of Thessaloniki at Wikimedia Commons
Church of Hosios David
The Church of Hosios David is a late 5th-century church in Thessaloniki, Greece. In Byzantine times, it functioned as the katholikon of the Latomos Monastery, received a rich mosaic and fresco decoration, renewed in the 12th–14th centuries; the surviving examples are of high artistic quality. Under Ottoman rule, the building was converted into a mosque, until it was reconsecrated as a Greek Orthodox church in 1921, receiving its present name. In 1988, included among the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO; the original architecture of the Church of Hosios David was constructed in a cross pattern with squares as the main shape of the floor plan. This pattern would become more popular; the structure contained square bays in the corners. The bays all connected to the main cross room via hallways; the bays connected to the outside. Sometime during the middle Byzantine period the structure was damaged by earthquakes. Parts of the structure collapsed including the tribelon.
The middle Byzantine period saw the addition of marbling and a second round of fresco paintings. The marble decoration in the Church of Hosios David depicted crosses and leaves in swirling detailing; the mosaic of the Theophany is a detailed mosaic in the Church of Hosios David. It is in a naturalistic style depicting Christ holding a text saying in Greek, “Behold our God, in whom we hope and we rejoice in our salvation, that he may grand rest to this home.” The mosaic contains symbolism indicating. The mosaic representing the Theophany is in a naturalistic style; the mosaic is complex, with a detailed border, a lot of elements within the scene. The focus of the image is Christ as shown by his gaze, his position in the center and the halos surrounding Christ’s head and body. Byzantine murals were discovered under the plaster at the Church of Hosios David; these murals are what is left of extensive fresco paintings from the middle Byzantine period 1160-70. The east part of the south and north barrel-vaults contains depictions of the nativity, the presentation in the temple, our lady of the passion, Christ on the mount of olives, entry into Jerusalem and decorative panels meant to resemble marble slabs.
The south barrel has the rest of the presentation in the temple. This area depicts images of the baptism and transfiguration; the Church of Hosios David contains few borders between the different fresco scenes, an uncommon feature for this time period. Most of the frescos were created during the middle Byzantine period; the frescos: our lady of the passion, the entry into Jerusalem, Christ on the Mount of Olives are later, during the Palaeologan period c. 1300.. Many of the frescos today are damaged because of effects of time such as: earthquakes, water damage, the plaster applied to cover them in the Turkish era; the Church of Hosios David has a simple exterior and is more removed from the heart of Thessaloniki, closer to the mountains. This contributed to the theory that the Church of Hosios David was not converted to a mosque after the Turks conquered the area, as the Turks converted all the best churches, best locations first; the mosque was called Murad Mosque. When the Church of Hosios David was converted to a mosque the walls and by extension the art was covered with plaster.
In addition the Turkish period added a minaret at the south-west corner bay. Only the base remains today, together with the spiral staircase with in the remaining part of the minaret. Entwistle and Liz James, eds. New Lights on Old Glass: Recent Research on Byzantine Mosaics and Glass. London: British Museum, 2013. Kourkoutidou-Nikolaidou, E.. Wandering in Byzantine Thessaloniki, Kapon Editions, pp. 91–99, ISBN 960-7254-47-3 Nicol. 1964. Review of Early Byzantine Churches in Macedonia and Southern Serbia: A Study of the Origins and the Initial Development of East Christian Art; the Journal of Hellenic Studies 84. The Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies: 233–34. Pentcheva, Bissera V.. 2000. “Imagined Images: Visions of Salvation and Intercession in a Double-sided Icon from Poganovo”. Dumbarton Oaks Papers 54. Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University: 139–53. Rice, D. Talbot. 1961. Review of Greece-byzantine Mosaics; the Burlington Magazine 103. The Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd.: 367–67.
Spieser. 1998. “The Representation of Christ in the Apses of Early Christian Churches”. Gesta 37.: 63–73. Tsigaridas, Euth N. Latomou Monastery:. Thessaloniki: Institute for Balkan Studies, 1988
The Byzantine Empire referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic and military force in Europe. Both the terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm. Several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire's Greek East and Latin West diverged. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed.
Under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use in place of Latin. Thus, although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity; the borders of the empire evolved over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I, the empire reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the Roman western Mediterranean coast, including North Africa and Rome itself, which it held for two more centuries; the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 exhausted the empire's resources and contributed to major territorial losses during the Early Muslim conquests of the 7th century, when it lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arab caliphate. During the Macedonian dynasty, the empire expanded again and experienced the two-century long Macedonian Renaissance, which came to an end with the loss of much of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia. The empire recovered during the Komnenian restoration, by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. However, it was delivered a mortal blow during the Fourth Crusade, when Constantinople was sacked in 1204 and the territories that the empire governed were divided into competing Byzantine Greek and Latin realms. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small rival states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence, its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 ended the Byzantine Empire; the last of the imperial Byzantine successor states, the Empire of Trebizond, would be conquered by the Ottomans eight years in the 1461 Siege of Trebizond. The first use of the term "Byzantine" to label the years of the Roman Empire was in 1557, when the German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of historical sources.
The term comes from "Byzantium", the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantine's capital. This older name of the city would be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts; the publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, in 1680 of Du Cange's Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of "Byzantine" among French authors, such as Montesquieu. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world; the Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the "Roman Empire", the "Empire of the Romans", "Romania", the "Roman Republic", as "Rhōmais". The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and as late as the 19th century Greeks referred to Modern Greek as Romaiika "Romaic." After 1204 when the Byzantine Empire was confined to its purely Greek provinces the term'Hellenes' was used instead. While the Byzantine Empire had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history and preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, it became identified by its western and northern contemporaries with its predominant Greek element.
The occasional use of the term "Empire of the Greeks" in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Emperor as Imperator Graecorum were used to separate it from the prestige of the Roman Empire within the new kingdoms of the West. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more straightforwardly seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known as Rûm; the name millet-i Rûm, or "Roman nation," was used by the Ottomans through the 20th century to refer to the former subjects of the Byzantine Empire
Church of Saint Catherine, Thessaloniki
The Church of Saint Catherine is a late Byzantine church in the northwestern corner of the Ano Poli of Thessaloniki, Greece. The church dates to the Palaiologan period, but its exact dating and original dedication are unknown. From its interior decoration, dated to ca. 1315, it has been suggested. It was converted to a mosque by Yakup Pasha in the reign of the Ottoman sultan Bayezid II and named after him Yakup Pasha Mosque. In 1988, it was included among the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. History of Roman and Byzantine domes Kourkoutidou-Nikolaidou, E.. Wandering in Byzantine Thessaloniki, Kapon Editions, pp. 116–120, ISBN 960-7254-47-3
Church of the Acheiropoietos
The Church of the Acheiropoietos is a 5th-century Byzantine church in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. It is located at Agias Sofias street opposite Makedonomachon square; the Acheiropoietos has been dated from its mosaics to ca. 450–470, making it the earliest of the city's surviving churches. It was modified in the 7th and again in the 14th–15th centuries. Known as the Panagia Theotokos in Byzantine times, it is dedicated to Mary, its current name is first attested in 1320 after a miraculous acheiropoietos icon of Panagia Hodegetria, housed there. Byzantine sources indicate that the cult of the city's patron saint, Saint Demetrius, was practiced there; the building is a three-aisled basilica, 36.5 m long, with a wooden roof. Its eastern end is a semicircular vault, while on the western side a narthex, flanked by towers, traces of an exonarthex survive; the three aisles are separated by columns. At the eastern end of the northern side aisle, a middle Byzantine chapel dedicated to St. Irene is attached.
On the northwestern corner of the basilica, the stairway leading to the galleries survives. The current entrance is through a triple-arched opening that connects the narthex with the main nave, while on the southern side there is a monumental entranceway, which connected the church with the city's Byzantine-era thoroughfare. Another small adjoining building on the south side has been identified as the church's baptistery; the modern roof is lower than the original, where the section above the central nave was elevated to allow light in. The surviving parts of the church's rich original interior decoration include fine 5th-century Ionian capitals from a Constantinopolitan workshop, the green Thessalian marble columns of the tribelon, the original Proconnesian marble pavement of the central nave, fragments of 5th-century decorative mosaics. Fine but damaged early 13th-century frescoes depicting the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste adorn the southern side. Underneath the north aisle's current pavement, three kayers floor mosaics from an earlier Roman-era bath have been uncovered.
After Ottoman conquest of the city in 1430, the Acheiropoietos was the first church to be converted into a mosque, by Sultan Murad II himself. Throughout the Ottoman period, it remained the city's principal mosque under the name Eski Camii. An inscription by Murad survives on the eighth column from the east. Weitzmann, Kurt, ed. Age of spirituality: late antique and early Christian art, third to seventh century, no. 587, 1979, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, ISBN 9780870991790
Church of Saint Panteleimon (Thessaloniki)
The Church of Saint Panteleimon is a late Byzantine church in Thessaloniki, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church lies in the eastern part of the old city, near the Tomb of Galerius, at the junction of Iasonidou and Arrianou streets, its current dedication to Saint Panteleimon was given to the church after the end of Ottoman rule in 1912, its original dedication is therefore disputed. In Ottoman times, it was converted into a mosque in 1548 and became known as Ishakiye Camii, which in the prevailing scholarly interpretation points to an identification with the late Byzantine Monastery of the Virgin Peribleptos known as the Monastery of Kyr Isaac after its founder Jacob, the city's metropolitan bishop in 1295–1315 and became a monk with the monastic name of Isaac. A counter-argument however supports the theory that the present church is unrelated to the Peribleptos Monastery, that it was converted into a mosque ca. 1500, when the city's kadı, was Ishak Çelebi. However, the church's architecture and decoration, which date to the late 13th/early 14th centuries, appear to support the former view.
The church is of the tetrastyle cross-in-square type, with a narthex and a ambulatory, connected to two chapels. Few of the building's original wall paintings survive. Ottoman remains include the base of a marble fountain. History of Roman and Byzantine domes Kourkoutidou-Nikolaidou, E.. Wandering in Byzantine Thessaloniki, Kapon Editions, pp. 45–47, ISBN 960-7254-47-3 Ναός Αγίου Παντελεήμονα, Θεσσαλονίκη. ODYSSEUS Portal. Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Retrieved 30 July 2012. Media related to Church of Saint Panteleimon, Thessaloniki at Wikimedia Commons