Amorium: A Byzantine City in Anatolia - An Archaeological by Chris Lightfoot

By Chris Lightfoot

Even supposing much less popular than a few Anatolian websites, it really is Amorium's value as a tremendous payment after the Roman interval that makes it so vital. The excavation programme's major target has been to make clear the Byzantine cost that flourished right here until eventually the eleventh century advert. This guidebook is an try to fill in a number of the gaps within the archaeology, and to convey town and its historical past again to existence.

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The siege of AD 838 can also be regarded as a major turning-point in Byzantine history, for the city’s fall marked the final humiliation of iconoclasm and led directly to the restoration of the veneration of holy icons in AD 843. In this sense it has had a long-lasting effect on the development of the Greek Church, the history of Orthodox Christianity, and the traditions of eastern European art. Equally important, especially from the stand-point of the modern Republic of Turkey, is the fact that the siege marks the first occasion on which the presence 58 Amorium of Turks in Anatolia is clearly recorded.

The Byzantine period marks the high-point of Amorium’s existence. First and foremost, it is a place celebrated in the history of the Byzantine Empire as the home of a short-lived dynasty of emperors – Michael II (AD 820-829), Theophilus (AD 829-842), and Michael III (AD 842-867). It is equally famous as the site of a major Byzantine disaster – the siege, capture, and sack of Amorium in AD 838 by the armies of the Arab caliph al-Mu‘tassim. Gold earring, strung with emerald and pearls, found in the Lower City Enclosure (7th centruy AD).

It suggests that from early times the site was associated with the cult of the Anatolian mother goddess. Certainly the name predates the establishment of the Roman 33 History and Archaeology province of Asia in 133 BC, as has been shown by the recent discovery of a Hellenistic inscription at Pessinus (Ball›hisar) that mentions the existence of Amorion in the 3rd century BC. The city’s name first appears in ancient literature in the work of the geographer Strabo, who lived during the reign of the emperor Augustus (27 BC–AD 14).

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