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The Byzantine Churches of Trebizond


The material in this article was collected during a three-month stay in Trebizond (now Trabzon) in the summer of 1958, financed by the Henry L. Florence bursary awarded by the R.I.B.A., to whom I am most grateful not only for the bursary but for permission to publish the material collected.

My especial thanks are due to Mr. David Winfield, leader of the Russell Trust Expedition which is cleaning the wall-paintings in St. Sophia, Trebizond, for immense help and encouragement and for introductions both to churches and to officials; to the officials, especially the Director of Education and the Mufti, for their courtesy and assistance; to Bayan Aliye Aşurbay; and to the many tapeholders, both Turkish and British, who were pressed into service.

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1 Texier C., Description de l'Arménie, la Perse et la Mésopotamie, Paris, 1842, pp. 49, 50, Pl. 1.

2 Texier C. and Pullan R., Byzantine Architecture, London, 1864, pp. 189–202, 217–18, Pls. LX, LXIV.

3 Millet G., “Les Monastères et les Églises de Trébizonde,” BCH., XIX, 1895, pp. 419459.

4 Brounov N., “La Sainte-Sophie de Trébizonde,” Byzantion, IV, pp. 393408; Baklanov N., “Deux Monuments Byzantins de Trébizonde,” Byzantion, IV, pp. 363391.

5 Rice D. Talbot, “Religious Buildings of Trebizond,” Byzantion, V, pp. 47et seq.

6 Millet and Rice Talbot, Byzantine Painting at Trebizond, London, 1936.

7 Strzygowski J., “Les Chapiteaux de Sainte-Sophie de Trébizonde,” BCH., XIX, 1895, pp. 517522.

8 Alpatov M., “Reliefs de Sainte-Sophie de Trébizonde,” Byzantion, IV, pp. 410–18.

9 Hamilton W. J., Researches in Asia Minor, Pontus and Armenia, London, 1843, vol. I, pp. 159162.

10 Lynch H. F. B., Armenia, London, 1901, vol. I, pp. 836.

11 Miller W., Trebizond, London, 1926, p. 10.

12 χρυσάνθος, Ἀρχεῑον Πόντου, 45, Athens, 1933.

13 Procopius , De Aed., 3, 7; de Tournefort P., Voyage du Levant, Paris, 1717, Tome II, p. 234.

14 Millet gives many other inscriptions in an article “Inscriptions Byzantines de Trébizonde”, BCH., XX, 1896, pp. 496501, and in the article mentioned in note 3, but none is relevant to the dating of the churches.

15 Baklanov's sketch plans are of some use here, but are to a minute scale.

16 Fergusson , History of Architecture, London, 1867, p. 337.

17 Ramsay and Bell , The Thousand and One Churches, London, 1909, pp. 45 and 73; Henry P., Les Églises de la Moldavie du Nord, Paris, 1930.

18 Professor Talbot Rice considers that it was moved to this position by the Moslems, perhaps from a south door now blocked.

19 Millet, op. cit., in note 3, p. 458, quotes Marengo in Missions Catholiques, XI, p. 303; Baklanov, op. cit., in note 4, p. 388. More were seen in 1959.

20 Rice, op. cit., in note 5, quotes Fallmerayer , Original fragmente, Münich, 1843, I, p. 120.

21 Marengo, see note 19.

22 Chrysanthos, op. cit., in note 12, p. 245.

23 op. cit., in note 4.

23a See below, note 42.

24 Rice, op. cit., in note 5, p. 113.

25 Millet, op. cit., in note 5, p. 23.

26 The church of the Panaghia Evangelistria and Church A, both now destroyed, also had crypts.

27 Millet, op. cit., in note 3, p. 443.

28 Chrysanthos, op. cit., in note 12, p. 439.

29 Rice, op. cit., in note 5, p. 54, quotes Fallmerayer , Original fragmente, I, p. 125.

30 Rice, op. cit., in note 5, p. 54, quotes Minzlov , The Epic of Trebizond (in Russian), Berlin, c. 1922.

31 Rice, op. cit., in note 5, quotes Κυριακιδου , Ἱστορία τῆς μονῆς τῆς Σουμέλᾶ, Athens, 1898, pp. 90 f.

32 Strzygowski , BCH, XIX, pp. 518 ff.

33 Strzygowski , Die Baukunst der Armenier und Europa, Vienna, 1918, Fig. 775.

34 op. cit., in note 8.

35 Millet, op. cit., in note 3, quotes Finlay , History of Greece, Oxford, 1877, p. 394.

36 Effendi Evliya, trans. von Hammer-Pürgstall J., Narratives of Travels in Europe, Asia and Africa, London, 1834, p. 45.

37 op. cit., in note 4.

38 op. cit., in note 33, pls. 520, 521.

39 I am indebted to Miss Freya Stark for information of the existence of this church.

40 Texier, op. cit., in note 1, p. 59; Travels of Marco Polo, ed. by Cordier H., London, 1903, Vol. I, p. 49.

41 Rice, op. cit., in note 6, p. 140.

42 Bordier Julien, “Relation d'un Voyage en Orient 1604–1612,” ed. by Chrysanthos in Ἀρχειον Ποντου, 6, Athens, 1934.

43 BZ., 1927, p. 85.

44 The Art and Architecture of Russia, Pelican History of Art, 1954, Pl. I.

45 A Short Account of Early Muslim Architecture, Penguin Books, 1958, p. 103.

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Anatolian Studies
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