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Baalbek

(174 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram
[German Version] (Heliopolis) in the northern Biqaʾ (Bekaa valley, Lebanon) was an ancient Phoencian cult site for Baal. Construction of the monumental temple of Zeus, the largest in antiquity, began in the 3rd century bce and was completed between the 1st and 3rd cent. ce; in the 2nd cent. ce further temples were erected, while the city acquired colonnaded streets and public buildings. According to Eusebius of Caesarea ( Vita Constantini III 58), Constantine the Great had a temple to Aphrodite torn down to make room for a church (locat…

Via Egnatia

(98 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram
[German Version] Via Egnatia, a via publica laid out around the mid-2nd century bce by Cnaeus Egnatius, in part on top of older roads. It continued the Via Appia, leading from the Adriatic ports of Dyrrhachion (Durres) and Apollonia (in modern Albania) through Thessalonica and Philippi to Constantinople/Byzantium (Istanbul). It was thus the most important land route connecting Rome and the Balkans, Asia Minor, and the Levant; it continued to play a significant role into the early Middle Ages. Guntram Koch Bibliography M. Rathmann, DNP XII/2, 2002, 161f. M. Fasolo, La via egnatia, vol. …

Seleucia-Ctesiphon

(249 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram
[German Version] (Tell Omar) was founded c. 300bce by Seleucus I on the right (west) bank of the Tigris, on the site of the earlier Upi (Opis). Babylonians, Greeks, Macedonians, and Jews are said to have settled there, bringing its eventual population to some 600,000. In the first half of the 2nd century bce, the Parthians built their new capital Ctesiphon on the east bank of the Tigris; c. 230/240 ce the Sasanids likewise built a capital Veh-Ardashir (Coche) south of Ctesiphon. Legend traces the earliest Christian community in Seleucia-Ctesiphon back to the apost…

Solin

(155 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram
[German Version] in Croatia near Split, was an Illyrian city that became a Roman colony under Julius Caesar. It flourished under the Empire, since it had an excellent harbor and good communications with the interior, and became the capital of the province of Dalmatia. Christianity spread very early and intensively in Salona. The city and its surroundings and the nearby island of Brattia (Brac) contain the ruins of a large number of churches and buildings over the tombs of martyrs, dating from the…

Mistra

(327 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram
[German Version] was founded as a castle in 1249 by William II of Villehardouin, the Frankish prince of Achaea; it was built on a prominent rock elevation (621 m) for the protection of the city of “Lakedaimonia” (ancient and modern Sparta [see Greece, map]), which lies roughly 7 km to the southeast of Mistra. In 1204, the Latin knights of the Fourth Crusade had conquered the Peloponnese, as well as other places. The Byzantines regained control of its southeastern part in 1262, and Mistra became th…

Sator-Rotas Square

(210 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram
[German Version] ( Sator arepo tenet opera rotas). The sator-rotas square began to appear in the mid-1st century throughout the Roman Empire, initially beginning with ROTAS, later with SATOR. In the Middle Ages and the modern period, popular belief put the square on amulets and used it widely as a charm or magic formula. The five lines of five letters can each be read from all four sides and in all directions: ¶ ROTAS SATOR OPERA AREPO TENET TENET AREPO OPERA SATOR ROTAS The interpretation is not clear. The formula is not Christian, but it has been used by Christians since the…

Externsteine Rocks,

(117 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram
[German Version] originally a Benedictine rock sanctuary at the southern end of the Teutoburg Forest. It was a replica of Golgotha in Jerusalem, with chapels for the discovery of the cross (dedicatory inscription of 1115) and the exaltation of the cross, a tomb high in the rock and a tomb at the base (Holy Sepulchre). There is a Roman monumental relief of the removal from the cross (24m2), and further, a relief with Adam ¶ and Eve. After the Lippe Reform (1538), it was no longer used for worship. Since 1810, it has been a historic monument. Guntram Koch Bibliography W. Matthes & R. Speckner, Das Re…

Salona

(153 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram
[English Version] Salona, nahe bei Split (Kroatien) gelegen, war eine illyrische Stadt, die unter Iulius Caesar röm. Kolonie wurde. In der Kaiserzeit blühte S., da es einen vorzüglichen Hafen und recht gute Verbindungen ins Landesinnere hatte, und wurde Hauptstadt der Provinz Dalmatia. Das Christentum verbreitete sich in S. früh und intensiv. Bereits aus dem 4.Jh., v.a. dann aus dem 5./6.Jh. ist in der Stadt, ihrer Umgebung und auf der vorgelagerten Insel Brattia (Brac) eine größere Anzahl von Kir…

Qalaat Seman

(283 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram
[English Version] Qalaat Seman, bedeutende frühchristl. Pilgerstätte (Wallfahrt/Wallfahrtsorte: III.) im nördlichen Syrien, ca.40 km von Aleppo. Zentrum war die Säule, auf der der Mönch Symeon Stylites d. Ä. von 415 bis 459 n.Chr. sein Leben in »stasis«, d.h. »Stehen«, verbracht hat; sie soll zuletzt ca.18 m hoch gewesen sein. Schon zu Lebzeiten war Symeon weithin berühmt, zog zahlreiche Pilger an, und Bilder von ihm waren bis nach Rom verbreitet. Nach seinem Tode, wahrscheinlich zw. 475 und 491 n…

Parenzo

(145 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram
[English Version] (Porecˇ), kroatische Hafenstadt an der Westküste Istriens, seit der B-Zeit besiedelt; im 2.Jh. v.Chr. röm., unter Tiberius (14–37 n.Chr.) »colonia«. Noch heute wird das Stadtbild durch das System der sich rechtwinklig kreuzenden Straßen und das hervorgehobene Forum bestimmt. Die Anfänge des Christentums in P. liegen im Dunkeln. Um 550 ließ Bf. Euphrasius eine Kirche errichten; Vorgänger sind eine große röm. Villa des 3.Jh. sowie Kirchen aus dem späten 4. und dem frühen 5.Jh. Sehr…

Sarkophag/Urne/Ossuar

(711 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram | Freigang, Christian
[English Version] I. Bronzezeit bis Spätantike Es sind zu unterscheiden: S. für die Aufnahme der Leichen, U. für die Asche der verbrannten Toten, O. oder Ostothek für spätere Bestattung der Knochen der Toten, wenn das Fleisch verwest war (s.a. Bestattung). Diese Behältnisse wurden in der Regel vergraben, waren also nicht sichtbar und deshalb schlicht. In einigen Gegenden und zu bestimmten Zeiten kam die Sitte auf, sie aus Marmor oder anderen Gesteinen zu fertigen und mit figürlichen oder dekorativen …

Tur ʿAbdin

(297 words)

Author(s): Tamcke, Martin | Koch, Guntram
[English Version] I. Kirchen- und theologiegeschichtlich Die »Berge der Knechte« im Südosten der Türkei erlangten ihre Bedeutung durch das Mönchtum, dessen Anfänge hier mit Jakob von Nisibis und Augin von Clysma im 4.Jh. zu fassen sind. Im östlichen Teil, Izla, fanden sich die Klöster der Nestorianer. Von hier ging die ostsyr. Mönchsreform im 6.Jh. unter Abraham von Kaškar im sog. Großen Kloster auf dem Izla aus. Die Berge sind das Zentrum des syr.-orth. Mönchtums (syrische Klöster). Dessen Kloster i…

Trier

(1,279 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram | Seibrich, Wolfgang
[English Version] I. Archäologische Denkmäler Augusta Treverorum wurde unter Kaiser Augustus um 17 v.Chr. an der Stelle des Hauptortes des Stammes der Treveri gegründet; es blühte wegen der günstigen Straßenverbindungen und der Lage an der Mosel schnell auf. Unter Kaiser Constantius Chlorus und seinem Sohn Konstantin d.Gr. (ca.285 bis 312) und dann nochmals unter Valentinian I. und Gratian (ca.364 bis 383) war T. kaiserliche Residenz. Bald nach 400 begann der Niedergang, um 470 wurde T. fränkisch. –…

Carthage

(2,038 words)

Author(s): Huß, Werner | Koch, Guntram
[German Version] I. Names – II. Geography – III. History and Society – IV. Religion and Literature I. Names Even though in ancient literary contexts Carthage was occasionally called Tyre, Tarshish, Kaine Polis, Kadmeia, Oinus, Kaccabe, Afrike, and Byrsa, the official name of the city was, nonetheless, always Qrtḍdšt, “New City.” The city was called “New City” to characterize it as an establishment of the “Old City,” Tyre (in Phoenicia). It shared this name with Phoenician settlem…

Bozrah (Hauran, Syria)

(361 words)

Author(s): Wenning, Robert | Koch, Guntram
[German Version] I. Pre-Christian Period – II. Christian Archaeology I. Pre-Christian Period Bozrah (or Bostra; Arab. Bushra ash-Sham), in the southeast of the Hauran, is a crossroads of many long-distance routes. It is mentioned in Egyptian texts from the 2nd millennium. First settled in the Early Bronze Age, it was captured by Judas Maccabeus (Maccabees) (1 Macc 5:28). In the 1st century bce and the 1st century ce, it was on the edge of the Nabatean territory in southern Auranitis and was the site of an important …

Trier

(1,623 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram | Seibrich, Wolfgang
[German Version] I. Archaeological Monuments Augusta Treverorum was founded around 17 bce under Emperor Augustus, on the site of the main settlement of the tribe of the Treveri; it soon prospered by virtue of favorable road links and its situation on the Moselle River. Trier was an imperial residence under Emperor Constantius Chlorus and his son Constantine the Great (i.e. from about 285 to 312), and again under Valentinian I and Gratian (c. 364–383). Trier’s decline began soon after 400, the city becoming…

Tur ʿAbdin

(326 words)

Author(s): Tamcke, Martin | Koch, Guntram
[German Version] I. Church History The “Mountains of the Servants (of God)” in southeastern Turkey gained their fame from monasticism, which began in the 4th century with Jacob of Nisibis and Augin of Clysma. Mount Izla, in the east, was home to the monasteries of the Nestorians (Nestorianism); the so-called Great Monastery on Izla was the fountainhead of the East Syrian monastic revival in the 6th century under Abraham of Kashkar. The mountains are the heart of Syrian Orthodox monasticism (Syrian mo…

Ephesus

(1,220 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram | Günther, Matthias
[German Version] I. Archaeology – II. Church History I. Archaeology Early evidence of settlement in the area of Ephesus dates back to the 5th millennium bce. The city itself was founded sometime after 1200 bce by Ionian Greeks. Lying at the mouth of the River Cayster (though now approx. 10 km from the sea), Ephesus grew wealthy as a seafaring and trading town. Impressive architectural remains still testify to its great prosperity …

Cologne

(1,945 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram | Klueting, Ham
[German Version] I. Archaeology – II. City and Diocese – III. University I. Archaeology Evidence that Cologne was a particularly flourishing city in the 2nd and early 3rd centuries includes remains of the city wall, aqueduct, sewers, and praetorium, mosaic floors and mural paintings from private houses, several tombs, and a great variety of small artworks. Famous is the 3rd-century Dionysus Mosaic in the Römisch- Germanisches Museum, still to be seen in situ in the ceremonial room of a large house within the city walls. There is evidence of Christianity in…

Hand of God and Hand of Humans in Art

(952 words)

Author(s): Schroer, Silvia | Koch, Guntram
[German Version] I. Ancient to Pre-Roman Times – II. From Roman Times I. Ancient to Pre-Roman Times From its earliest beginnings, ancient art reflected the central role of the hand in sign language. Hands were raised in prayer, incantation, greeting, blessing, and in delivering a blow. Hands were raised in entreaty and in mourning, or were thrown in the air in triumph. Hostility was averted with an extended hand and fingers or the fist. Parties to a contract shook the right hand as a sign of binding commitment…
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