Mysia was a region in the northwest of ancient Asia Minor. It was located on the south coast of the Sea of Marmara, it was bounded by Bithynia on the east, Phrygia on the southeast, Lydia on the south, Aeolis on the southwest, Troad on the west and by the Propontis on the north. In ancient times it was inhabited by the Mysians, Aeolian Greeks and other groups; the precise limits of Mysia are difficult to assign. The Phrygian frontier was fluctuating, while in the northwest the Troad was only sometimes included in Mysia; the northern portion was known as "Lesser Phrygia" or, while the southern was called "Greater Phrygia" or "Pergamene Phrygia". Mysia was in times known as Hellespontine Phrygia or "Acquired Phrygia", so named by the Attalids when they annexed the region to the Kingdom of Pergamon. Under Augustus, Mysia occupied the whole of the northwest corner of Asia Minor, between the Hellespont and the Propontis to the north and Phrygia to the east, Lydia to the south, the Aegean Sea to the west.
The chief physical features of Mysia are the two mountains—Mount Olympus at in the north and Mount Temnus in the south, which for some distance separates Mysia from Lydia and is afterwards prolonged through Mysia to the neighbourhood of the Gulf of Adramyttium. The major rivers in the northern part of the province are the Macestus and its tributary the Rhyndacus, both of which rise in Phrygia and, after diverging through Mysia, unite their waters below the lake of Apolloniatis about 15 miles from the Propontis; the Caïcus in the south rises in Temnus, from thence flows westward to the Aegean Sea, passing within a few miles of Pergamon. In the northern portion of the province are two considerable lakes, Artynia or Apolloniatis and Aphnitis, which discharge their waters into the Macestus from the east and west respectively; the most important cities were Pergamon in the valley of the Caïcus, Cyzicus on the Propontis. The whole sea-coast was studded with Greek towns, several of which were places of considerable importance.
Further south, on the Eleatic Gulf, were Elaea and Cyme. A minor episode in the Trojan War cycle in Greek mythology has the Greek fleet land at Mysia, mistaking it for Troy. Achilles wounds their king, after he slays a Greek; this coastal region ruled by Telephus is alternatively named "Teuthrania" in Greek mythology, as it was ruled by King Teuthras. In the Iliad, Homer represents the Mysians as allies of Troy, with the Mysian forces led by Ennomus and Chromius, sons of Arsinous. Homeric Mysia appears to have been much smaller in extent than historical Mysia, did not extend north to the Hellespont or the Propontis. Homer does not mention any cities or landmarks in Mysia, it is not clear where Homeric Mysia was situated, although it was located somewhere between the Troad and Lydia/Maeonia. A number of Mysian inscriptions have survived in a dialect of the Phrygian language, written using a variant of the Phrygian alphabet. There are a small number of references to a Lutescan language indigenous to Mysia in Aeolic Greek sources.
Under the Persian Achaemenid Empire, the northwest corner of Asia Minor, still occupied by Phrygians but by Aeolians, was called "Phrygia Minor" - and by the Greeks "Hellespontos". After Rome's defeat of Antiochus the Great in the Roman-Syrian War of 192 to 188 BC, the area, held by the Diadoch Seleucid Empire, passed to Rome's ally, the kingdom of Pergamon, and, on the death of King Attalus III of Pergamon in 133 BC, to Rome itself, which made it part of the province of Asia and a separate proconsular Roman province, called "Hellespontus". According to the Acts of the Apostles, the apostles Paul and Timothy came to Mysia during Paul's second missionary journey; the narrative suggests that they were uncertain where to travel during this part of the journey, being "forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia". Shortly afterwards Paul had a vision of a "man of Macedonia" who invited the apostles to travel westwards to Macedonia; the remains of several Roman bridges can still be found: Aesepus Bridge across the Aesepus Constantine's Bridge across the Rhyndacus Makestos Bridge across the Makestos White Bridge across the Granicus Ancient regions of Anatolia Mysians Mysian language Telephus Aeolis
A saint is a person, recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the denomination. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation. While the English word saint originated in Christianity, historians of religion now use the appellation "in a more general way to refer to the state of special holiness that many religions attribute to certain people", with the Jewish tzadik, the Islamic walī, the Hindu rishi or Sikh guru, the Buddhist arhat or bodhisattva being referred to as saints. Depending on the religion, saints are recognized either by official ecclesiastical declaration, as in the Catholic faith, or by popular acclamation; the English word "saint" comes from the Latin "sanctus". The word translated in Greek is "ἅγιος", which means "holy"; the word ἅγιος appears 229 times in the Greek New Testament, its English translation 60 times in the corresponding text of the King James Version of the Bible.
The word sanctus was a technical one in ancient Roman religion, but due to its "globalized" use in Christianity the modern word "saint" in English and its equivalent in Romance languages is now used as a translation of comparable terms for persons "worthy of veneration for their holiness or sanctity" in other religions. Many religions use similar concepts to venerate persons worthy of some honor. Author John A. Coleman S. J. of the Graduate Theological Union, California wrote that saints across various cultures and religions have the following family resemblances: exemplary model extraordinary teacher wonder worker or source of benevolent power intercessor a life refusing material attachments or comforts possession of a special and revelatory relation to the holy. The anthropologist Lawrence Babb in an article about Sathya Sai Baba asks the question "Who is a saint?", responds by saying that in the symbolic infrastructure of some religions, there is the image of a certain extraordinary spiritual king's "miraculous powers", to whom a certain moral presence is attributed.
These saintly figures, he asserts, are "the focal points of spiritual force-fields". They exert "powerful attractive influence on followers but touch the inner lives of others in transforming ways as well". According to the Catholic Church, a "saint" is anyone in Heaven, whether recognized on Earth or not, who form the "great cloud of witnesses"; these "may include our own mothers, grandmothers or other loved ones" who may have not always lived perfect lives but "amid their faults and failings they kept moving forward and proved pleasing to the Lord". The title "Saint" denotes a person, formally canonized, authoritatively declared a saint, by the Church as holder of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, is therefore believed to be in Heaven by the grace of God. There are many persons that the Church believes to be in Heaven who have not been formally canonized and who are otherwise titled "saints" because of the fame of their holiness. Sometimes the word "saint" denotes living Christians. In his book Saint of the Day, editor Leonard Foley, OFM says this: the " surrender to God's love was so generous an approach to the total surrender of Jesus that the Church recognizes them as heroes and heroines worthy to be held up for our inspiration.
They remind us that the Church is holy, can never stop being holy and is called to show the holiness of God by living the life of Christ."The Catholic Church teaches that it does not "make" or "create" saints, but rather recognizes them. Proofs of heroicity required in the process of beatification will serve to illustrate in detail the general principles exposed above upon proof of their "holiness" or likeness to God. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church Chapter 2, Article 1, 61, "The patriarchs and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honored as saints in all the church's liturgical traditions." On 3 January 993, Pope John XV became the first pope to proclaim a person a "saint" from outside the diocese of Rome: on the petition of the German ruler, he had canonized Bishop Ulrich of Augsburg. Before that time, the popular "cults", or venerations, of saints had been local and spontaneous and were confirmed by the local bishop. Pope John XVIII subsequently permitted a cult of five Polish martyrs.
Pope Benedict VIII declared the Armenian hermit Symeon to be a saint, but it was not until the pontificate of Pope Innocent III that the Popes reserved to themselves the exclusive authority to canonize saints, so that local bishops needed the confirmation of the Pope. Walter of Pontoise was the last person in Western Europe to be canonized by an authority other than the Pope: Hugh de Boves, the Archbishop of Rouen, canonized him in 1153. Thenceforth a decree of Pope Alexander III in 1170 reserved the prerogative of canonization to the Pope, insofar as the Latin Church was concerned. One source claims that "there are over 10,000 named saints and beatified people from history, the Roman Martyrology and Orthodox sources, but no definitive head count". Alban Butler published Lives of the Saints including a total of 1,486 saints; the latest revision of this book, edited by the Jesuit Herbert Thurston and the British author Donald Attwater, contains the lives of 2,565 saints. Monsign
Epirus is a geographical and historical region in southeastern Europe, now shared between Greece and Albania. It lies between the Pindus Mountains and the Ionian Sea, stretching from the Bay of Vlorë and the Acroceraunian mountains in the north to the Ambracian Gulf and the ruined Roman city of Nicopolis in the south, it is divided between the region of Epirus in northwestern Greece and the counties of Gjirokastër, Vlorë, Berat in southern Albania. The largest city in Epirus is Ioannina, seat of the region of Epirus, with Gjirokastër the largest city in the Albanian part of Epirus. A rugged and mountainous region, Epirus was the north-west area of ancient Greece, it was inhabited by the Greek tribes of the Chaonians and Thesprotians, home to the sanctuary of Dodona, the oldest ancient Greek oracle, the most prestigious one after Delphi. Unified into a single state in 370 BC by the Aeacidae dynasty, Epirus achieved fame during the reign of Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose campaigns against Rome are the origin of the term "Pyrrhic victory".
Epirus subsequently became part of the Roman Empire along with the rest of Greece in 146 BC, followed by the Byzantine Empire. Following the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade, Epirus became the center of the Despotate of Epirus, one of the successor states to the Byzantine Empire. Conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, Epirus became semi-independent during the rule of Ali Pasha in the early 19th century, but the Ottomans re-asserted their control in 1821. Following the Balkan Wars and World War I, southern Epirus became part of Greece, while northern Epirus became part of Albania; the name Epirus is derived from the Greek: Ḗpeiros, meaning "mainland" or terra firma. It is thought to come from an Indo-European root *apero-'coast', was applied to the mainland opposite Corfu and the Ionian islands; the local name was stamped on the coinage of the unified Epirote commonwealth: ΑΠΕΙΡΩΤΑΝ. The Albanian name for the region, which derives from the Greek, is Epiri; the historical region of Epirus is regarded as extending from the northern end of the Ceraunian mountains, located just south of the Bay of Aulon, to the Ambracian Gulf in Greece.
The northern boundary of ancient Epirus is alternatively given as the mouth of the Aoös river to the north of the Bay of Vlorë. Epirus's eastern boundary is defined by the Pindus Mountains, that form the spine of mainland Greece and separate Epirus from Macedonia and Thessaly. To the west, Epirus faces the Ionian Sea; the island of Corfu is not regarded as part of Epirus. The definition of Epirus has changed over time, such that modern administrative boundaries do not correspond to the boundaries of ancient Epirus; the region of Epirus in Greece only comprises a fraction of classical Epirus and does not include its easternmost portions, which lie in Thessaly. In Albania, where the concept of Epirus is never used in an official context, the counties of Gjirokastër, Vlorë, Berat extend well beyond the northern and northeastern boundaries of classical Epirus. Epirus is a predominantly mountainous region, it is made up of the Pindus Mountains, a series of parallel limestone ridges that are a continuation of the Dinaric Alps.
The Pindus mountains form the spine of mainland Greece and separate Epirus from Macedonia and Thessaly to the east. The ridges of the Pindus are parallel to the sea and so steep that the valleys between them are suitable for pasture rather than large-scale agriculture. Altitude increases as one moves east, away from the coast, reaching a maximum of 2,637 m at Mount Smolikas, the highest point in Epirus. Other important ranges include Tymfi, Lygkos, to the west and east of Smolikas Gramos in the northeast, Tzoumerka in the southeast, Tomaros in the southwest, Mitsikeli near Ioannina and Nemercke/Aeoropos on the border between Greece and Albania, the Ceraunian Mountains near Himara in Albania. Most of Epirus lies on the windward side of the Pindus, the prevailing winds from the Ionian Sea make the region the rainiest in mainland Greece. Significant lowlands are to be found only near the coast, in the southwest near Arta and Preveza, in the Acheron plain between Paramythia and Fanari, between Igoumenitsa and Sagiada, near Saranda.
The Zagori area is a scenic upland plateau surrounded by mountain on all sides. The main river flowing through Epirus is the Vjosë, which flows in a northwesterly direction from the Pindus mountains in Greece to its mouth north of the Bay of Vlorë in Albania. Other important rivers include the Acheron river, famous for its religious significance in ancient Greece and site of the Necromanteion, the Arachthos river, crossed by the historic Bridge of Arta, the Louros, the Thyamis or Kalamas, the Voidomatis, a tributary of the Vjosë flowing through the Vikos Gorge; the Vikos Gorge, one of the deepest in the world, forms the centerpiece of the Vikos–Aoös National Park, known for its scenic beauty. The only significant lake in Epirus is Lake Pamvotis, on whose shores lies the city of Ioannina, the region's largest and traditionally most important city; the climate of Epirus is Alpine in the interior. Epirus is forested by coniferous species; the fauna in Epirus is rich and features species such as bears, foxes and lynxes.
Epirus has been occupied since at least Neolithic times by
Justin I was the Eastern Roman Emperor from 518 to 527. He rose through the ranks of the army to become commander of the imperial guard; when Emperor Anastasius died he out-maneouvered his rivals and was elected as his successor, in spite of being 70 years old. His reign is significant for the founding of the Justinian dynasty that included his eminent nephew Justinian I and three succeeding emperors, his consort was Empress Euphemia. He was noted for his orthodox Christian views; this facilitated the ending of the Acacian schism between the churches of Rome and Constantinople, resulting in good relations between Justin and the papacy. Throughout his reign he stressed the religious nature of his office and passed edicts against various Christian groups seen at the time as non-Orthodox. In foreign affairs he used religion as an instrument of state, he endeavoured to cultivate client states on the borders of the Empire, avoided any significant warfare until late in his reign. Justin was a peasant and a swineherd by occupation, from the region of Dardania, part of the Prefecture of Illyricum.
He was born in the hamlet Bederiana near Scupi. He was of Thraco-Roman or Illyro-Roman descent, spoke Latin and only rudimentary Greek, bore, like his companions and members of his family, a Thracian name, Istok, his sister Vigilantia married Sabbatius and had two children: the future emperor Petrus Sabbatius Justinianus and Vigilantia. The younger Vigilantia married Dulcissimus and had at least three children: the future emperor Justin II; as a teenager, he and two companions fled from a barbarian invasion. Taking refuge in Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, they possessed nothing more than the ragged clothes on their backs and a sack of bread among them. Illiterate at the time of his arrival there, Justin joined the newly formed palace guard, the excubitors, he served in various positions, campaigning against the Isaurians and the Sassanian Persians and was noticed for his bravery. Because of his ability he was successively appointed a tribune, a comes, a senator and, under the Emperor Anastasius I, the influential position of comes excubitorum, commander of the palace guard.
During this period he married Lupicina. According to contemporary historian Procopius, Lupicina was a barbarian slave, Justin's concubine before their marriage. During the night of 8–9 July 518, Anastasius died and his silentarii, a senior servant, summoned Justin and Celer to his deathbed. Celer was the magister officiorum and commander of the palace regiments of the Scholae Palatinae, a force of parade-ground display troops. By morning the event had been announced throughout Constantinople; the high officials, including John of Cappadocia, the appointed Patriarch of Constantinople, were summoned to the Great Palace for the election of a new emperor. Meanwhile, the people gathered in the Hippodrome of Constantinople and awaited the proclamation of the name of the new emperor. Anastasius had a host of known relatives; this extensive family included several viable candidates for the throne. His brother Flavius Paulus had served as consul in 496. According to John Malalas, the praepositus sacri cubiculi, had intended to have Theocritus, commander of an elite guard unit, elected to the throne.
Theocritus and Amantius were relying on their control of a large military force and on buying the support of the other officials. Amantius was said to have given a substantial sum of money to Justin. However, Justin controlled a smaller, but higher quality group of soldiers, used the money to buy support for himself, he was elected as the new emperor by the council and was proclaimed emperor in the Hippodrome as Justin I. His wife became his empress consort under the name Euphemia; the name was chosen for reasons of respectability. The original Euphemia was a Christian martyr during the Diocletianic Persecution, she was a local saint of Chalcedon and the Council of Chalcedon had taken place in a cathedral consecrated in her name. The selection of this name was an early indication of Justin and Lupicina being fervent Chalcedonian Christians; the population of the capital were supportive because of his strong Chalcedonian position on the fierce Christological debate of the time, in opposition to his predecessor's Monophysite leanings.
Justin cemented his position by assassinating potential opponents anti-Chalcedonian supporters of Anastasius. Both Amantius and Theocritus were executed nine days after the election. A career soldier with little knowledge of statecraft, Justin surrounded himself with trusted advisors; the most prominent of these was his nephew Flavius Petrus Sabbatius, whom he adopted as his son and invested with the name Iustinianus. Justin endeavoured to cultivate client states on the borders of the Empire, avoided any significant warfare until late in his reign. In 497 Anastasius had agreed with Theoderic, the Ostrogothic king of Italy, that he would rule Italy as Anastasius’ deputy; this preserved Italy as nominally a part of the Empire, neutralised a dangerous neighbour. The arrangement suited Theodoric, as the Ostrogoths were a small aristocratic minority in Italy and the blessing of Constantinople helped reconcile the majority of the population to their rule; the feelings of the majorit
Council of Chalcedon
The Council of Chalcedon was a church council held from 8 October to 1 November, 451, at Chalcedon. The Council was called by Emperor Marcian to set aside the 449 Second Council of Ephesus, its principal purpose was to assert the orthodox catholic doctrine against the heresy of Eutyches and the Monophysites, although ecclesiastical discipline and jurisdiction occupied the council's attention. The council is numbered as the fourth ecumenical council by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, most Protestants. Oriental Orthodox Churches do not agree with the conduct and the proceedings of the Council calling it "Chalcedon, the Ominous". Followers of the Council believe its most important achievement was to issue the Chalcedonian Definition, stating that Jesus is "perfect both in deity and in humanness; the council's judgments and definitions regarding the divine marked a significant turning point in the Christological debates. In 325, the first ecumenical council determined that Jesus Christ was God, "consubstantial" with the Father, rejected the Arian contention that Jesus was a created being.
This was reaffirmed at the Council of Ephesus. About two years after Cyril of Alexandria's death in 444, an aged monk from Constantinople named Eutyches began teaching a subtle variation on the traditional Christology in an attempt to stop what he saw as a new outbreak of Nestorianism, he claimed to be a faithful follower of Cyril's teaching, declared orthodox in the Union of 433. Cyril had taught that "There is only one physis, since it is the Incarnation, of God the Word." Cyril had understood the Greek word physis to mean what the Latin word persona means, while most Greek theologians would have interpreted that word to mean natura. The energy and imprudence with which Eutyches asserted his opinions led to his being misunderstood. Thus, many understood Eutyches to be advocating Docetism, a sort of reversal of Arianism —where Arius had denied the consubstantial divinity of Jesus, Eutyches seemed to be denying that Jesus was human. Pope Leo I wrote. Eutyches had been accusing various personages of covert Nestorianism.
In November 448, Bishop of Constantinople held a local synod regarding a point of discipline connected with the province of Sardis. At the end of the session of this synod one of those inculpated, Bishop of Dorylaeum, brought a counter charge of heresy against the archimandrite. Eusebius demanded. Flavian preferred that the bishop and the archimandrite sort out their differences, but as his suggestion went unheeded, Eutyches was summoned to clarify his position regarding the nature of Christ. Eutyches reluctantly appeared, but his position was considered to be theologically unsophisticated, the synod finding his answers unresponsive condemned and exiled him. Flavian sent a full account to Pope Leo I. Although it had been accidentally delayed, Leo wrote a compendious explanation of the whole doctrine involved, sent it to Flavian as a formal and authoritative decision of the question. Eutyches appealed against the decision, labeling Flavian a Nestorian, received the support of Pope Dioscorus I of Alexandria.
John Anthony McGuckin sees an "innate rivalry" between the Sees of Constantinople. Dioscurus, imitating his predecessors in assuming a primacy over Constantinople, held his own synod which annulled the sentence of Flavian, absolved Eutyches. Through the influence of the court official Chrysaphius, godson of Eutyches, in 449, the competing claims between the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria led Emperor Theodosius II to call a council, held in Ephesus in 449, with Dioscorus presiding. Pope Leo sent four legates to represent him and expressed his regret that the shortness of the notice must prevent the presence of any other bishop of the West, he provided his legates, one of whom died en route, with a letter addressed to Flavian explaining Rome's position in the controversy. Leo's letter, now known as Leo's Tome, confessed that Christ had two natures, was not of or from two natures. On August 8, 449 the Second Council of Ephesus began its first session; the Acts of the first session of this synod were read at the Council of Chalcedon, 451, are thus preserved.
The remainder of the Acts are known through a Syriac translation by a Monophysite monk, written in the year 535 and published from a manuscript in the British Museum. Nonetheless, there are somewhat different interpretations as to what transpired; the question before the council by order of the emperor was whether Flavian, in a synod held by him at Constantinople in November, 448, had justly deposed and excommunicated the Archimandrite Eutyches for refusing to admit two natures in Christ. Dioscorus began the council by banning all members of the November 448 synod which had deposed Eutyches from sitting as judges, he introduced Eutyches who publicly professed that while Christ had two natures before the incarnation, the two natures had merged to form a single nature after the incarnation. Of the 130 assembled bishops, 111 voted to rehabilitate Eutyches. Throughout these proceedings, Hilary called for the reading of Leo's Tome, but was ignored; the Eastern Orthodox Church has different accounts of The Second Council of Ephesus.
Pope Dioscorus requested deferring reading of Leo's Tome, as it was not seen as necessary to start with, could be read later. This was seen as a rebuke to the representatives from the Chur
Old St. Peter's Basilica
Old St. Peter's Basilica was the building that stood, from the 4th to 16th centuries, where the new St. Peter's Basilica stands today in Vatican City. Construction of the basilica, built over the historical site of the Circus of Nero, began during the reign of Emperor Constantine I; the name "old St. Peter's Basilica" has been used since the construction of the current basilica to distinguish the two buildings. Construction began by orders of the Roman Emperor Constantine I between 318 and 322, took about 40 years to complete. Over the next twelve centuries, the church gained importance becoming a major place of pilgrimage in Rome. Papal coronations were held at the basilica, in 800, Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire there. In 846, Saracens damaged the basilica; the raiders seem to have known about Rome's extraordinary treasures. Some holy – and impressive – basilicas, such as St. Peter's Basilica, were outside the Aurelian walls, thus easy targets, they were "filled to overflowing with rich liturgical vessels and with jeweled reliquaries housing all of the relics amassed".
As a result, the raiders pillaged the holy shrine. In response Pope Leo IV built the Leonine wall and rebuilt the parts of St. Peter's, damaged. In 1099, Urban II convened a council including St Anselm. Among other topics, it repeated the bans on lay investiture and on clergy's paying homage to secular lords. By the 15th century the church was falling into ruin. Discussions on repairing parts of the structure commenced upon the pope's return from Avignon. Two people involved in this reconstruction were Leon Battista Alberti and Bernardo Rossellino, who improved the apse and added a multi-story benediction loggia to the atrium facade, on which construction continued intermittently until the new basilica was begun. Alberti pronounced the basilica a structural abomination: I have noticed in the basilica of St. Peter's in Rome a crass feature: an long and high wall has been constructed over a continuous series of openings, with no curves to give it strength, no buttresses to lend it support... The whole stretch of wall has been pierced by too many openings and built too high...
As a result, the continual force of the wind has displaced the wall more than six feet from the vertical. At first Pope Julius II had every intention of preserving the old building, but his attention soon turned toward tearing it down and building a new structure. Many people of the time were shocked by the proposal, as the building represented papal continuity going back to Peter; the original altar was to be preserved in the new structure. The design was a typical basilica form with the plan and elevation resembling those of Roman basilicas and audience halls, such as the Basilica Ulpia in Trajan's Forum and Constantine's own Aula Palatina at Trier, rather than the design of any Greco-Roman temple. Constantine went to great pains to build the basilica on the site of Saint Peter's grave, this fact influenced the layout of the building; the Vatican Hill, on the west bank of the Tiber River, was leveled. Notably, since the site was outside the boundaries of the ancient city, the apse with the altar was located in the west so that the basilica's façade could be approached from Rome itself to the east.
The exterior however, unlike earlier pagan temples, was not lavishly decorated. The church was capable of housing from 3,000 to 4,000 worshipers at one time, it consisted of five aisles, a wide central nave and two smaller aisles to each side, which were each divided by 21 marble columns, taken from earlier pagan buildings. It was over 350 feet long, built in the shape of a Latin cross, had a gabled roof, timbered on the interior and which stood at over 100 feet at the center. An atrium, known as the "Garden of Paradise", stood at the entrance and had five doors which led to the body of the church; the altar of Old St. Peter's Basilica used several Solomonic columns. According to tradition, Constantine took these columns from the Temple of Solomon and gave them to the church; when Gian Lorenzo Bernini built his baldacchino to cover the new St. Peter's altar, he drew from the twisted design of the old columns. Eight of the original columns were moved to the piers of the new St. Peter's; the great Navicella mosaic in the atrium is attributed to Giotto di Bondone.
The giant mosaic, commissioned by Cardinal Jacopo Stefaneschi, occupied the whole wall above the entrance arcade facing the courtyard. It depicted St. Peter walking on the waters; this extraordinary work was destroyed during the construction of the new St. Peter's in the 16th century, but fragments were preserved. Navicella means "little ship" referring to the large boat which dominated the scene, whose sail, filled by the storm, loomed over the horizon; such a natural representation of a seascape was known only from ancient works of art. The nave ended with an arch, which held a mosaic of Constantine and Saint Peter, who presented a model of the church to Christ. On the walls, each having 11 windows, were frescoes of various people and scenes from both the Old and New Testament; the fragment of an eighth-century mosaic, the Epiphany, is one of the rare remaining bits of the medieval decoration of Old St. Peter's Basilica; the precious fragment is kept in the sacristy of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
It proves the high artistic quality of the destroyed mosaics. Another one, a standing madonna, is on a side altar in the Basilica of San Marco in Florence. Since the crucifixion and burial of Saint Peter in
Zeno the Isaurian named Tarasis Kodisa Rousombladadiotes, was Eastern Roman Emperor from 474 to 475 and again from 476 to 491. Domestic revolts and religious dissension plagued his reign, which succeeded to some extent in foreign issues, his reign saw the end of the Western Roman Empire following the deposition of Romulus Augustus and the death of Julius Nepos, but he contributed much to stabilising the Eastern Empire. In ecclesiastical history, Zeno is associated with the Henotikon or "instrument of union", promulgated by him and signed by all the Eastern bishops, with the design of solving the monophysite controversy. Zeno's original name was Tarasis, more Tarasikodissa in his native Isaurian language. Tarasis was born in Isauria, at Rusumblada renamed Zenonopolis in Zeno's honour, his father was called his mother Lallis, his brother Longinus. Tarasis had a wife, whose name indicates a relationship with the Constantinopolitan aristocracy, whose statue was erected near the Baths of Arcadius, along the steps that led to Topoi.
Near Eastern and other Christian traditions maintain that Zeno had two daughters and Theopiste, who followed a religious life, but historical sources attest the existence of only one son by Arcadia, called Zenon. According to ancient sources, Zeno's prestigious career—he had fought against Attila in 447 to defend Constantinople and been consul the following year—was the reason why another Isaurian officer, chose the Greek name Zeno when he married into the Imperial family, thus being known as Zeno when he rose to the throne; some modern historians suggest that the Isaurian general Zeno was the father of the emperor, but there is no consensus about this, other sources suggest that Tarasis was a member of Zeno's entourage. The Isaurians were a people who lived inland from the Mediterranean coast of Anatolia, in the core of the Taurus Mountains. Like most borderland tribes, they were looked upon as barbarians by the Romans though they had been Roman subjects for more than five centuries. However, being Orthodox Christians rather than Arians, as the Goths and other Germanic tribes were, they were not formally barred from the throne.
According to some scholars, in the mid-460s, the Eastern Roman Emperor, Leo I, wanted to balance the weight of the Germanic component of the army, whose leader was the Alan magister militum Aspar. He thought that Tarasis and his Isaurians could be that counterweight, called him, with many Isaurians, to Constantinople; this interpretation, has been contested. By the mid-460s, Arcadia and Zeno had been living at Constantinople for some time, where Lallis and Longinus lived, the latter married to a Valeria a woman of aristocrat rank. According to ancient sources, the earliest reference to Tarasis dates back to 464, when he put his hands on some letters written by Aspar's son, which proved that the son of the magister militum had incited the Sassanid King to invade Roman territory, promising to support the invasion. Through these letters, which Tarasis gave to Leo, the Emperor could dismiss Ardabur, who at the time was magister militum per Orientem and patricius, thus reducing Aspar's influence and ambition.
As reward for his loyalty, which Leo praised to Daniel the Stylite, Tarasis was appointed comes domesticorum, an office of great influence and prestige. This appointment could mean that Tarasis had been a protector domesticus, either at Leo's court in Constantinople, or attached at Ardabur's staff in Antioch. In 465, Leo and Aspar quarrelled about the appointment of consuls for the following year. To make himself more acceptable to the Roman hierarchy and the population of Constantinople, Tarasis adopted the Greek name of Zeno and used it for the rest of his life. In mid-late 466, Zeno married elder daughter of Leo I and Verina; the next year their son was born, Zeno became father of the heir apparent to the throne, as the only son of Leo I had died in his infancy. Zeno, was not present at the birth of his son, as in 467, he participated in a military campaign against the Goths. Zeno, as a member of the protectores domestici, did not take part in the disastrous expedition against the Vandals, led in 468 by Leo's brother-in-law Basiliscus.
The following year, during which he held the honour of the consulate, he was appointed magister militum per Thracias and led an expedition in Thrace. The sources do not state what enemy he fought there, historians had proposed either Goths or Huns, or the rebels of Anagastes. Either way, before leaving and Zeno asked for Daniel the Stylite's opinion about the campaign, Daniel answered that Zeno would be the target of a conspiracy but would escape unharmed. Indeed, Leo sent some of his personal soldiers with Zeno to protect him, but they were bribed by Aspar to capture him instead. Zeno was informed of their intention and fled to Serdica, because of this episode, Leo grew more suspicious of Aspar. After the attack, Zeno did not return to Constantinople, where Aspar and Ardabur were, still with considerable power. Instead, he moved to the "Long Wall" to Pylai and from there to Chalcedon. While waiting here for an opportunity to return to the capital, he was appointed magister militum per Orientem.