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Bithynia (Byzantium), Kurşunlu, Elegmoi Monastery and the church of St. Abercius

Author(s) : Toivanen Hanna-Riitta

For citation: Toivanen Hanna-Riitta, "Bithynia (Byzantium), Kurşunlu, Elegmoi Monastery and the church of St. Abercius",
Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor
URL: <http://www.ehw.gr/l.aspx?id=3938>

Bithynia (Byzantium), Kurşunlu, Elegmoi Monastery and the church of St. Abercius - has not been published yet Βιθυνία (Βυζάντιο), Κουρσουνλού, Μονή Ελεγμών και ναός του Αγ. Αβέρκιου - to be assigned 



An arched srtucture or a semi-circular end of a wall. In byzantine architecture it means the semicircular, usually barrel-vaulted, niche at the east end of a basilica. The side aisles of a basilica may also end in an apse, but it is always in the central apse where the altar is placed. It was separated from the main church by a barrier, the templon, or the iconostasis. Its ground plan on the external side could be semicircular, rectangular or polygonal.

In ancient Roman architecture a large oblong type building used as hall of justice and public meeting place. The roman basilica served as a model for early Christian churches.

The area at east end of the naos in Byzantine churches, containing the altar, also referred to as the presbetery or hierateion (sanctuary). In these area take place the Holy Eucharist.

1. (Antiq. and Byz.) Member of the entablature or the architrave that projects in the elevation of a secular or religious building. As a horizontal member it may run along a wall. The cornice may also be the projecting part of the roof, protecting the building from rain.2. (Byz. archit.) Decorative architectural element used to articulate the walls of a church, both on the inside and on the outside, by marking the division between the vertical wall and the spring of the vaults. It usually bears painted or sculptural decoration of vegetal or geometric motifs.

cross- (groin-) vault
A vault formed over square or rectangular spaces by the interpenetration of two barrel-vaults of equal hight and diameter. The lines of the intersection form a diagonal cross.

cross-domed basilica
Type of domed basilica. A church plan, whose core, enveloped on three sides by aisles and galleries with a transept, forms a cross. The core is surmounted by a dome in the centre.

cross-in-square church
Type of church in which four barrel-vaulted bays form a greek cross; the central square of their intersection is domed. The cross is inscribed into the square ground plan by means of four corner bays.

An auxiliary chamber of the church, also known in early years as skeuophylakion, which could be a separate building attached to the church. There were kept the sacred vessels but sometimes also the offerings of the faithful, the archive or library. In Byzantine churches the diakonikon becomes the sacristy to the south of the Bema, corresponding to the prothesis to the north, and forming along with them the triple sanctuary. It usually has an apse projecting to the east.

A characteristic element of Byzantine architecture. The dome is a hemispherical vault on a circular wall (drum) usually pierced by windows. The domed church emerges in the Early Byzantine years and its various types gradually prevail, while they are expanded in the Balkans and in Russia.

Glazed Pottery
Glaze: vitreous material applied to vessel or tile prior to firing in a kiln, in order to give a glossy surface after firing.

(of a window) The arched opening or window in Byzantine churches. Depending on the number of lights, there are single-light, double-light and three-light windows.

The tiny column in a two- or three-lightwindow, separating the different window-lights from each other.

A portico or a rectangular entrance-hall, parallel with the west end of an early Christian basilica or church.

Semi-circular recess on the surface of the wall.

1. Antiquity: The oikonomos (treasurer) was responsible for the payments for inscriptions, sacrifices, xenia and construction of statues. 2. Medieval/Byzantine: Ecclesiastic official, the trustee for the property of a religious foundation. The post is attested already in 340 (Council of Gangra), but the term «oikonomos» is current from the early 5th C. Oikonomos was usually a cleric, appointed by the bishop or, after the 11th C., by the metropolitan; however, between the 9th C. and 1057, the (megas) oikonomos of the Great Church was appointed by the emperor, though this practice departed from the ecclesiastic rule.

opus sectile, the
Technique of floor or wall decoration. Thin pieces of polychrome marble are carved or joined so that a decorative motif could be depicted.

pastophoria (parabemata)
Rooms or places that as a rule surrounded the apse, next to to the Holy Bema, of the Paleochristian or Byzantine churches, namely the diakonikon and the prothesis.

Triangular surface used for the transition from the square base of the church to the hemispheric dome.

Ιn ecclesiastical architecture, the sacristy to the north of the sanctuary. Usually it has an apse projecting to the east. It is the chamber where the eucharistic elements were prepared (Proskomide) before the Communion.

A dome separated to small arched segments, usually visible only on its inside, but sometimes also projecting on the outside.

recessed brick technique
A masonry technique in which bands of wider and smaller bricks are alternated. The smaller bricks rows are slightly recessed and covered with mortar, thus creating an alternation of red (brick) and light-colored (mortar) surfaces.

tympanum (lunette)
(Rom., Byz.) The arched panel (lunette) inside an arch or an arcosolium.

Foundation document of a monastery compiling the rules regarding its administrative organization and liturgic rituals, as well as the comportment inside a cenobitic monastery. The monastic typika could also include the biography (vita) of the monastery founder along with a catalogue of the movable or immovable property of the monastery. They constitute an important source for the study of the monastic life, while at the same time they shed light on many aspects of the Byzantine society. The liturgical typika were calendars with instructions for each day’s services, liturgical books with rules arranging the celebration rituals.


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