Excavations at Amorium, a Byzantine Provincial Capital in Asia Minor

Excavations at Amorium, a Byzantine Provincial Capital in Asia Minor, and the Rise and Collapse of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor (800–1050 C.E.), lecture by Nikos Tsivikis (Institute for Mediterranean Studies (FORTH), Greece)

The Byzantine city of Amorium (near the modern city of Afyon Karahisar in Turkey) was the provincial capital of the thema of Anatolikonsince the 8th century C.E. and one of the most important medieval cities in all of Asia Minor. For centuries it figured in the forefront of the wars against the Arabs initially and the Seldjuk Turks thereafter for the control of the East, and as a frontier city it was destined to play a dramatic role in these events. The excavations at the Middle Byzantine thematic capital of Amorion in central Asia Minor have been lucky enough to locate archaeological evidence of one of the most important 'destruction layers' currently under investigation, connected with the sack of the city in the summer of 838 C.E. by the Arabs, led by the Abbasid caliph al-Mu‛tasim. Recent systematic work at the site has given us the opportunity to locate a second phase of the city’s dramatic history, which corresponds to large scale historical events. Almost two centuries after the Arab sack the city had again come to prosper, then in the middle of the 11th century it was abruptly and under less known conditions abandoned in the wake of the coming of the new masters of Asia Minor, the Seljuk Turks. The lecture will offer a comprehensive overview of the life and death of a major Byzantine city, and raise the questions of how we understand the collapse of Byzantine rule in Asia Minor.

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 in Lectures



for Byzantine Arts and Culture

Founded in 2010 through a generous gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of knowledge about the rich heritage of Byzantine art and culture.

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