Some Notes on the Topography of Eastern Pontos Euxeinos in Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium
21 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2014
Date Written: December 29, 2014
This paper clarifies some issues of late antique and early Byzantine topography of Eastern Pontos Euxeinos. These questions can be divided into two large groups: the ecclesiastical topography and the locations of Byzantine fortresses. The earliest testimony of Apostolic preaching on the Eastern black sea coast — the list of the apostles by Pseudo-Epiphanius — following the ‘Chronicon’ of Hyppolitus of Rome, unsuccessfully connects South-Eastern Pontos Euxeinos to Sebastopolis the Great (modern Sukhumi), which subsequently gives rise to an itinerary of the apostle Andrew. The Early Byzantine Church in the region had a complicated arrangement: the Zekchians, Abasgians and possibly Apsilians had their own bishoprics (later archbishoprics); the Lazicans had a metropolitan in Phasis (and not in their capital Archaeopolis) with five bishop-suffragans. Byzantine fortresses, mentioned in 7th c sources, are located mostly in Apsilia and Missimiania, in the Kodori valley, which had strategic importance as a route from the Black sea to the North Caucasus.
Keywords: Caucasus, Byzantium, topography, Church, fortresses
JEL Classification: Z12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation