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E01341: The episcopal basilica of Kourion (eastern Cyprus) housed a mosaic with depictions of two Church Fathers and an unnamed *Archangel (S00191). Probably 6th c.

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posted on 2016-05-03, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Four Cypriot churches: Panagia Kanakaria at Lythrankomi (E01338), Panagia Angeloktistos at Kiti, Panagia tes Kyras near Livadia (E01340), and the episcopal basilica of Kourion ($E01341), house pre-iconoclastic mosaics with depictions of Christ, *Mary, Mother of Christ, *Archangels, *Apostles, and *Evangelists. Arthur Megaw and Ernst Hawkins suppose that the mosaics survived iconoclasm, because Cyprus was exempted, as neutral ground, from direct Byzantine authority after the the treaty of 688 between Justin II and 'Abd al-Malik, and thus the imperial iconoclastic policy was not enforced there.

The episcopal basilica of Kourion lies in the southern part of the island, close to the seashore. It was excavated by Arthur Megaw. For a summary account of the excavations on the site, see: Megaw 2007.

The 6th c. mosaic, originally displayed on the eastern wall and the central niche of a side chapel, is now almost completely destroyed. Surviving fragments are kept in the Kourion Museum in Episkopi. It is supposed that the mosaic showed at least two Church Fathers and an Archangel (unspecified).


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Archangels (unspecified) : S00191 Anonymous saints : S00518

Type of Evidence

Images and objects - Wall paintings and mosaics Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea) Images and objects - Representative images

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Aegean islands and Cyprus

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Kourion Salamis Σαλαμίς Salamis Salamis Farmagusta Far Κωνσταντία Konstantia Constantia

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Renovation and embellishment of cult buildings

Cult activities - Use of Images

  • Public display of an image


Further reading: Megaw, A.H.S., Kourion: Excavations in the Episcopal Precinct, with contributions by R. Anderson (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection 2007). Megaw, A.H.S., "Mosaici parietali Paleobizantini di Cipro", in: XXXII Corso di Cultura sull Arte Ravennatee Bizantina, "Ciproe il Mediterraneo Orientale." Ravenna 23-30 Marzo 1985 (Ravenna: Edizionidel Girasole, 1985), 192-95. Michaelides, D., "A catalogue of Hellenistic, Roman and early Christian mosaics of Cyprus with representations of human figures", Report of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus (1987), 240-241. Michaelides, D., "The early Christian mosaics of Cyprus", The Biblical Archaeologist: From Ruins to Riches: CAARI on Cyprus 52/4 (1989), 192-202.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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