VINOGRADOV A.Yu. Synodia. A Rare Type of Religious Community in Inscriptions from the Early Byzantine Pilgrimage Basilica of the Machkhomeri Fortress in Lazica

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2021.6.10

Andrey Yu. Vinogradov

Candidate of Sciences (History), Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Senior Researcher,

National Research University Higher School of Economics,

Staraya Basmannaya St, 21/4, Bld. 3, 105066 Moscow, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9516-6534


Abstract. Introduction. The process of Christianization of the Lazica, poorly presented in written sources, received an important source in the recently found inscriptions from the Machkhomeri fortress near Khobi.

Analysis. The inscriptions were discovered during the excavations of a three-nave basilica, built in the 6th c. by a certain Gorgonios in honour of Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste. The next benefactor of the church was a certain Theonas, his wife and family. In the northern part of the basilica, there were also found fragments of two inscriptions, which contain the list of benefactors with their synodiai. The dedicants of the inscriptions were among others the carpenters/ builders of the church and their colleagues, who probably also formed a synodia.

Results. Thus, we see in the 6th-c. Lazica a rare kind of religious community around a mighty person or institution – a synodia consisting mainly of lay people. The competition for the right to own objects inside the Machkhomeri Basilica shows that this church was the centre of attraction and pilgrimage in the region, perhaps thanks to the relics of the Martyrs of Sebaste.

Key words: Lazica, Byzantine epigraphy, religious communities, Byzantine architecture, pilgrimages.

Citation. Vinogradov A.Yu. Synodia. A Rare Type of Religious Community in Inscriptions from the Early Byzantine Pilgrimage Basilica of the Machkhomeri Fortress in Lazica. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2021, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 119-125. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2021.6.10.

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Synodia. A Rare Type of Religious Community in Inscriptions from the Early Byzantine Pilgrimage Basilica of the Machkhomeri Fortress in Lazica by Vinogradov A.Yu. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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