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Nicaea (Byzantium), Dormition Church

Author(s) : Kastrinakis Nikos (6/16/2005)
Translation : Velentzas Georgios

For citation: Kastrinakis Nikos , "Nicaea (Byzantium), Dormition Church ",
Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor
URL: <http://www.ehw.gr/l.aspx?id=8507>

Νίκαια (Βυζάντιο), Ναός Κοιμήσεως (2/15/2007 v.1) Nicaea (Byzantium), Dormition Church   (2/15/2007 v.1) 



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.

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.

drum of dome
Part of the church, semicircular or polygonal, on which rises an hemispheric dome

exonarthex (outer narthex)
The transverse vestibule or portico preceding the narthex of the church.

megas hetaireiarches
Ηead of the Hetaireia, a military officer (10th-11thC), in charge of the security of the imperial palace.

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

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.

(from lat. patricius) Higher title of honour, placed, according to the "Tactika" of the 9th and the 10th centuries, between anthypatos and protospatharios. It was given to the most important governors and generals. Gradually, however, it fell into disuse and from the 12th century did not exist any more.

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

(from lat. praepositus sacri cubiculi) The praepositos or praipositos (πραιπόσιτος του ιερού κουβουκλίου or του ευσεβεστάτου κοιτώνος) was a grand chamberlain by the Early Byzantine period the highest official, usually Eunuch, in the imperial service. After the 6th C. his functions were assumed by the parakoimomenos. The dignity involved in palace ceremony and disappeared until the end of 11th C.

("care", "forethought") An institution that goes back to the 11th century. It refers to estates granted to a prominent military official or to the Church; it also designates in general the right of an individual of areligious foundation to receive directly from citizens of farmers whatever dues they would normally be obliged to pay to the state. The holder of a pronoia was called pronoiarios. The pronoiai could not be inherited by the family of military officials after their death, while when a donation was made to the Church, the pronoia was considered full and permanent.

Rows of built benches, arranged in a semicircular tier like a theatre, in the apse of a church. On these benches the clergy sat during Divine Liturgy. The bishop sat on the cathedra at the top of the synthronon.

templon or iconostasis
A structure separating the sanctuary from the main church. At first, it simply divided the nave from the presbytery, but later it became higher, with small columns and an epistyle. From the 11th century onwards, icons were placed between the templon columns and, somewhat later, icons were also placed above the epistyle, thus forming the iconostasis. The templon were originally from marble. Wooden iconostases appeared from the 13th century.

High-ranking title first mentioned under John Tsimiskes (969-976). In the 10th-11th C bestowed upon important generals. At the end of the 11th C assumed by the protovestes. The titles vestes and protovestes disappeared after the reign of Alexios I (1081-1118).


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