Nicaea or Nicea ( // ; Greek : Νίκαια , Níkaia) was an ancient Greek city in northwestern Anatolia, and is primarily known as the site of the First and Second Councils of Nicaea (the first and seventh Ecumenical councils in the early history of the Christian Church), the Nicene Creed (which comes from the First Council), and as the capital city of the Empire of Nicaea following the Fourth Crusade in 1204, until the recapture of Constantinople by the Byzantines in 1261.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor, Asian Turkey, the Anatolian peninsula or the Anatolian plateau, is the westernmost protrusion of Asia, which makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Armenian Highlands to the east and the Aegean Sea to the west. The Sea of Marmara forms a connection between the Black and Aegean seas through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits and separates Anatolia from Thrace on the European mainland.
The First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynian city of Nicaea by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325.
The ancient city is located within the modern Turkish city of İznik (whose modern name derives from Nicaea's), and is situated in a fertile basin at the eastern end of Lake Ascanius, bounded by ranges of hills to the north and south. It is situated with its west wall rising from the lake itself, providing both protection from siege from that direction, as well as a source of supplies which would be difficult to cut off. The lake is large enough that it could not be blockaded from the land easily, and the city was large enough to make any attempt to reach the harbour from shore-based siege weapons very difficult.
Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian peninsula in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, the part of Turkey in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Greece and Bulgaria to its northwest; Georgia to its northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south. Istanbul is the largest city while Ankara is the capital. Approximately 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority; the size of the Kurdish population is a subject of dispute with estimates placing the figure at anywhere from 12 to 25 per cent of the population.
İznik is a town and an administrative district in the Province of Bursa, Turkey. It was historically known as Nicaea, from which its modern name also derives. The town lies in a fertile basin at the eastern end of Lake İznik, bounded by ranges of hills to the north and south. As the crow flies, the town is only 90 kilometres southeast of Istanbul but by road it is 200 km around the Gulf of Izmit. It is 80 km by road from Bursa.
The ancient city is surrounded on all sides by 5 kilometres (3 mi) of walls about 10 metres (33 ft) high. These are in turn surrounded by a double ditch on the land portions, and also included over 100 towers in various locations. Large gates on the three landbound sides of the walls provided the only entrance to the city.
Today the walls have been pierced in many places for roads, but much of the early work survives and, as a result, it is a major tourist destination.
The place is said to have been colonized by Bottiaeans, and to have originally borne the name of Ancore (Ἀγκόρη) or Helicore (Ἑλικόρη), or by soldiers of Alexander the Great's army who hailed from Nicaea in Locris, near Thermopylae. The later version however was not widespread even in Antiquity. Νίκαια , also transliterated as Nikaia or Nicæa; see also List of traditional Greek place names), in tribute to his wife Nicaea, who had recently died.Whatever the truth, the first Greek colony on the site was probably destroyed by the Mysians, and it fell to Antigonus I Monophthalmus, one of Alexander's successors ( Diadochi ) to refound the city ca. 315 BC as Antigoneia (Ἀντιγονεία) after himself. Antigonus is also known to have established Bottiaean soldiers in the vicinity, lending credence to the tradition about the city's founding by Bottiaeans. Following Antigonus' defeat and death at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC, the city was captured by Lysimachus, who renamed it Nicaea (
Bottiaeans or Bottiaei were an ancient people of uncertain origin, living in Central Macedonia. Sometime, during the Archaic period, they were expelled by Macedonians from Bottiaea to Bottike. During the Classical era, they played an active role in the military history of ancient Chalcidice, but after the Macedonian conquest under Philip II nothing remained except the names of these two regions and the adjective Bottiaean, which was limited to sole geographical meaning. Unlike other tribes of Macedonia ruled by kings or living in villages, Bottiaeans developed some polis form of self-government. Unfortunately, no Bottiaean individual is known to us and the limited historical or archaeological sources shed no further light.
Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (basileus) of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, and by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history's most successful military commanders.
Nicaea or Nikaia, was an ancient fortress of the Epicnemidian Locrians, situated upon the sea, and close to the pass of Thermopylae. It is described by Aeschines as one of the places which commanded the pass. It was the first Locrian town after Alpenos, the latter being at the very entrance of the pass. The surrender of Nicaea by Phalaecus to Philip II, in 346 BCE, made the Macedonian king master of Thermopylae, and brought the Third Sacred War to an end. Philip kept possession of it for some time, but subsequently gave it to the Thessalians along with Magnesia. But in 340 BCE we again find Nicaea in the possession of Philip. According to Memnon of Heraclea, Nicaea was destroyed by the Phocians, and its inhabitants founded Bithynian Nicaea. But even if this is true, the town must have been rebuilt soon afterwards, since we find it in the hands of the Aetolians during the Roman wars in Greece. Subsequently the town is only mentioned by Strabo. William Martin Leake identifies Nicaea with the castle of Mendenitsa, where there are Hellenic remains.
Sometime before 280 BC, the city came under the control of the local dynasty of the kings of Bithynia. This marks the beginning of its rise to prominence as a seat of the royal court, as well as of its rivalry with Nicomedia. The two cities' dispute over which one was the pre-eminent city (signified by the appellation metropolis ) of Bithynia continued for centuries, and the 38th oration of Dio Chrysostom was expressly composed to settle the dispute.
Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus and the Euxine Sea. It bordered Mysia to the southwest, Paphlagonia to the northeast along the Pontic coast, and Phrygia to the southeast towards the interior of Asia Minor.
Nicomedia was an ancient Greek city in what is now Turkey. In 286 Nicomedia became the eastern and most senior capital city of the Roman Empire, a status which the city maintained during the Tetrarchy system (293–324).
A metropolis is a large city or conurbation which is a significant economic, political, and cultural center for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections, commerce, and communications. The term is Ancient Greek (μητρόπολις) and means the "mother city" of a colony, that is, the city which sent out settlers. This was later generalized to a city regarded as a center of a specified activity, or any large, important city in a nation.
Along with the rest of Bithynia, Nicaea came under the rule of the Roman Republic in 72 BC. The city remained one of the most important urban centres of Asia Minor throughout the Roman period, and continued its old competition with Nicomedia over pre-eminence and the location of the seat of the Roman governor of Bithynia et Pontus. 700 m × 700 m (2,297 ft × 2,297 ft) or 0.7 km × 0.7 km (0.43 mi × 0.43 mi) covering an area of some 50 ha (124 acres) or 0.5 km2 (0.2 sq mi); it had four gates, and all its streets intersected one another at right angles in accordance with the Hippodamian plan, so that from a monument in the centre all the four gates could be seen. This monument stood in the gymnasium, which was destroyed by fire but was restored with increased magnificence by Pliny the Younger, when he was governor there in the early 2nd century AD. In his writings Pliny makes frequent mention of Nicaea and its public buildings.The geographer Strabo (XII.565 ff.) described the city as built in the typical Hellenistic fashion with great regularity, in the form of a square, measuring 16 stadia in circumference, i.e. approx.
The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world.
A Roman governor was an official either elected or appointed to be the chief administrator of Roman law throughout one or more of the many provinces constituting the Roman Empire. A Roman governor is also known as a propraetor or proconsul.
Strabo was a Greek geographer, philosopher, and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.
Emperor Hadrian visited the city in 123 AD after it had been severely damaged by an earthquake and began to rebuild it. The new city was enclosed by a polygonal wall of some 5 kilometres in length. Reconstruction was not completed until the 3rd century, and the new set of walls failed to save Nicaea from being sacked by the Goths in 258 AD.The numerous coins of Nicaea which still exist attest the interest taken in the city by the Roman emperors, as well as its attachment to the rulers; many of them commemorate great festivals celebrated there in honour of gods and emperors, as Olympia, Isthmia, Dionysia, Pythia, Commodia, Severia, Philadelphia, etc.
Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus in Italica, Hispania Baetica, into a Hispano-Italic family that settled in Spain from the Italian city of Atri in Picenum. His father was of senatorial rank and was a first cousin of Emperor Trajan. He married Trajan's grand-niece Vibia Sabina early in his career, before Trajan became emperor and possibly at the behest of Trajan's wife Pompeia Plotina. Plotina and Trajan's close friend and adviser Lucius Licinius Sura were well disposed towards Hadrian. When Trajan died, his widow claimed that he had nominated Hadrian as emperor immediately before his death.
The Goths were an East Germanic people, two of whose branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire through the long series of Gothic Wars and in the emergence of Medieval Europe. The Goths dominated a vast area, which at its peak under the Germanic king Ermanaric and his sub-king Athanaric possibly extended all the way from the Danube to the Don, and from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.
In Greek antiquity, athletic festivals under the name of "Olympic games", named in imitation of the original Olympic games at Olympia, were held in various places all over the Greek world. Some of these are only known to us by inscriptions and coins; but others, as the Olympic festival at Antioch, obtained great celebrity. After these Olympic festivals had been established in several places, the great Olympic festival itself was sometimes designated in inscriptions by the addition of Pisa.
By the 4th century, Nicaea was a large and prosperous city, and a major military and administrative centre. Emperor Constantine the Great convened the First Ecumenical Council there, and the city gave its name to the Nicene Creed.The city remained important in the 4th century, seeing the proclamation of Emperor Valens (364) and the failed rebellion of Procopius (365). During the same period, the See of Nicaea became independent of Nicomedia and was raised to the status of a metropolitan bishopric. However, the city was hit by two major earthquakes in 363 and 368, and coupled with competition from the newly established capital of the Eastern Empire, Constantinople, it began to decline thereafter. Many of its grand civic buildings began to fall into ruin, and had to be restored in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian I.
The city disappears from sources thereafter and is mentioned again in the early 8th century: in 715, the deposed emperor Anastasios II fled there, and the city successfully resisted attacks by the Umayyad Caliphate in 716 and 727.The city was again damaged by the 740 Constantinople earthquake, served as the base of the rebellion of Artabasdos in 741/2, and served as the meeting-place of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, which condemned Byzantine Iconoclasm, in 787 (the council probably met in the basilica of Hagia Sophia). Nicaea became the capital of the Opsician Theme in the 8th century and remained "a center of administration and trade" (C. Foss). A Jewish community is attested in the city in the 10th century. Due to its proximity to Constantinople, the city was contested in the rebellions of the 10th and 11th centuries as a base from which to threaten the capital. It was in the wake of such a rebellion, that of Nikephoros Melissenos, that it fell into the hands of Melissenos' Turkish allies in 1081. The Seljuk Turks made Nicaea the capital of their possessions in Asia Minor until 1097, when it returned to Byzantine control with the aid of the First Crusade after a long siege.
The 12th century saw a period of relative stability and prosperity at Nicaea. The Komnenian emperors Alexios, John and Manuel campaigned extensively to strengthen the Byzantine presence in Asia Minor. Major fortifications were constructed across the region, especially by John and Manuel, which helped to protect the city and its fertile hinterland. There were also several military bases and colonies in the area, for example the one at Rhyndakos in Bithynia, where the emperor John spent a year training his troops in preparation for campaigns in southern Asia Minor.
After the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade in 1204, and the establishment of the Latin Empire, Nicaea escaped Latin occupation and maintained an autonomous stance. From 1206 on, it became the base of Theodore Laskaris, who in 1208 was crowned emperor there and founded the Empire of Nicaea. The Patriarchate of Constantinople, exiled from Constantinople, also took up residence in the city until the recapture of Constantinople in 1261. Although Nicaea was soon abandoned as the primary residence of the Nicaean emperors, who favoured Nymphaion and Magnesia on the Maeander, the period was a lively one in the city's history, with "frequent synods, embassies, and imperial weddings and funerals", while the influx of scholars from other parts of the Greek world made it a centre of learning as well.
After the restoration of the Byzantine Empire in 1261, the city once again declined in importance. The neglect of the Asian frontier by Michael VIII Palaiologos provoked a major uprising in 1262, and in 1265, panic broke out when rumours circulated of an imminent Mongol attack.Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos visited the city in 1290 and took care to restore its defences, but Byzantium proved unable to halt the rise of the nascent Ottoman emirate in the region. After Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos and John Kantakouzenos were defeated at Pelekanon on 11 June 1329, the Byzantine government could no longer defend Nicaea. Nicaea finally surrendered to the Ottomans after a long siege 2 March 1331.
In 1331, Orhan I captured the city from the Byzantines and for a short period the town became the capital of the expanding Ottoman emirate.Many of its public buildings were destroyed, and the materials were used by the Ottomans in erecting their mosques and other edifices. The large church of Hagia Sophia in the centre of the town was converted into a mosque and became known as the Orhan Mosque. A madrasa and baths were built nearby. In 1334 Orhan built a mosque and an imaret (soup kitchen) just outside the Yenisehir gate (Yenişeh Kapısı) on the south side of the town. With the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the town lost a great degree of its importance, but later became a major centre with the creation of a local faïence pottery-making industry in the 17th century.
The ancient walls, with their towers and gates, are relatively well preserved. Their circumference is 3,100 m (10,171 ft), being at the base from 5 to 7 m (16 to 23 ft) in thickness, and from 10 to 13 m (33 to 43 ft) in height; they contain four large and two small gates. In most places they are formed of alternate courses of Roman tiles and large square stones, joined by a cement of great thickness. In some places columns and other architectural fragments from the ruins of more ancient edifices have been inserted. As with those of Constantinople, the walls seem to have been built in the 4th century. Some of the towers have Greek inscriptions. The ruins of mosques, baths, and houses, dispersed among the gardens and apartment buildings that now occupy a great part of the space within the Roman and Byzantine fortifications, show that the Ottoman-era town center, though now less considerable, was once a place of importance, but it never was as large as the Byzantine city. It seems to have been almost entirely constructed of the remains of the Byzantine-era Nicaea, the walls of the ruined mosques and baths being full of the fragments of ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine temples and churches. In the northwestern parts of the town, two moles extend into the lake and form a harbour; but the lake in this part has much retreated, and left a marshy plain. Outside the walls are the remnants of an ancient aqueduct.
The Church of the Dormition, the principal Greek Orthodox church in Nicaea, was one of the most architecturally important Byzantine churches in Asia Minor. A domed church with a cross-shaped nave and elongated apse, and dating from the perhaps as early as the end of the 6th century, its bema was decorated with very fine mosaics that had been restored in the 9th century. The Church of the Dormition was destroyed in 1922; only the lower portions of some of its walls survive today.
Excavations are underway in the Ottoman kilns where the historic Nycean tileware were made. The Hagia Sophia of Nicaea is also undergoing restoration.
The bishopric of Nicaea remains as a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church,which has left the seat vacant since the death of its last titular bishop in 1976. It is also a titular metropolitan see of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The incumbent 2001–2010 was the former Archbishop of Karelia and All Finland, Metropolitan Johannes (Rinne).
Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire (1204–1261) and of the Ottoman Empire (1453–1923). In 1923 the capital of Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, was moved to Ankara and the name Constantinople was officially changed to Istanbul. The city is located in what is now the European side and the core of modern Istanbul. The city is still referred to as Constantinople in Greek-speaking sources.
The Empire of Romania, more commonly known in historiography as the Latin Empire or Latin Empire of Constantinople, and known to the Byzantines as the Frankokratia or the Latin Occupation, was a feudal Crusader state founded by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade on lands captured from the Byzantine Empire. It was established after the capture of Constantinople in 1204 and lasted until 1261. The Latin Empire was intended to supplant the Byzantine Empire as the titular Roman Empire in the east, with a Western Roman Catholic emperor enthroned in place of the Eastern Orthodox Roman emperors.
Edirne, historically known as Adrianople, is a city in the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne in the region of East Thrace, close to Turkey's borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the third capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1369 to 1453, before Constantinople became the empire's fourth and final capital between 1453 and 1922. The city's estimated population in 2014 was 165,979.
The Empire of Nicaea or the Nicene Empire was the largest of the three Byzantine Greek rump states founded by the aristocracy of the Byzantine Empire that fled after Constantinople was occupied by Western European and Venetian forces during the Fourth Crusade. Founded by the Laskaris family, it lasted from 1204 to 1261, when the Nicaeans restored the Byzantine Empire in Constantinople.
Kütahya is a city in western Turkey with 237,804 inhabitants, lying on the Porsuk river, at 969 metres above sea level. It is the capital of Kütahya Province, inhabited by some 564,294 people. The region of Kütahya has large areas of gentle slopes with agricultural land culminating in high mountain ridges to the north and west. The city's Greek name was Kotyaion, Latinized in Roman times as Cotyaeum.
The Great Palace of Constantinople, also known as the Sacred Palace, was the large Imperial Byzantine palace complex located in the south-eastern end of the peninsula now known as Old Istanbul, in modern Turkey. It served as the main royal residence of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine emperors from 330 to 1081 and was the center of imperial administration for over 690 years. Only a few remnants and fragments of its foundations have survived into the present day.
The city of Istanbul has been known by a number of different names. The most notable names besides the modern Turkish name are Byzantium, Constantinople, and Stamboul. Different names are associated with different phases of its history and with different languages.
The Hagia Sophia at Nicaea is a Byzantine-era church in Nicaea in Turkey.
The Hagia Sophia in Thessaloniki, Greece, is one of the oldest churches in that city still standing today. It is one of several monuments in Thessaloniki included as a World Heritage Site on the UNESCO list.
Kalenderhane Mosque is a former Eastern Orthodox church in Istanbul, converted into a mosque by the Ottomans. With high probability the church was originally dedicated to the Theotokos Kyriotissa. The building is sometimes referred to as Kalender Haneh Jamissi and St. Mary Diaconissa. This building represents one among the few extant examples of a Byzantine church with domed Greek cross plan.
The Architecture of Istanbul describes a large mixture of structures which reflect the many influences that have made an indelible mark in all districts of the city. The ancient part of the city is still partially surrounded by the Walls of Constantinople, erected in 5th century by the Emperor Theodosius II to protect the city from invasion. The architecture inside the city proper contains buildings, statues, and functional constructions which came from Byzantine, Genoese, Ottoman, and modern Turkish sources. The city has many architecturally significant entities. Throughout its long history, Istanbul has acquired a reputation for being a cultural and ethnic melting pot. As a result, there are many historical mosques, churches, synagogues, palaces, castles and towers to visit in the city.
Basilinopolis or Basilinoupolis was a town in Bithynia Prima, which obtained the rank of a city under, or perhaps shortly before, Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate, whose mother was Basilina.
Edirnekapı is a quarter of Istanbul, Turkey. It is part of the district of Fatih and belongs to the walled city.
The Metropolis of Chalcedon is an ecclesiastical territory (diocese) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Christianity spread in Chalcedon during the 2nd century AD. The city was initially the see of a bishopric before being promoted to a metropolis at 451 AD, at the time of the Fourth Ecumenical Council. It is one of the four remaining active Greek Orthodox Church metropolises of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey today and the only one surviving in Asia Minor (Anatolia).
The Metropolis of Ephesus was an ecclesiastical territory (metropolis) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in western Asia Minor, modern Turkey. Christianity was introduced already in the city of Ephesus in the 1st century AD by Paul the Apostle. The local Christian community comprised one of the seven churches of Asia mentioned at the Book of Revelation, written by John the Apostle. The metropolis remained active until 1922-1923.
The Metropolis of Nicomedia was an ecclesiastical territory (metropolis) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in northwestern Asia Minor, modern Turkey. Christianity spread in Nicomedia already in the 1st century AD. Following the capture of the city by the Ottoman Turks in the early 14th century, the metropolitan see remained for a period vacant. The metropolis was re-established during the 15th century and remained active until the Greek-Turkish population exchange of 1922–1923.
The Metropolis of Nicaea, was an ecclesiastical province of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the city of Nicaea in the province of Bithynia. A prestigious see due to its proximity to the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, and the location of two Ecumenical Councils in 325 and 787, the metropolitan see of Nicaea remained important until its conquest by the Ottoman Turks in 1331. The Christian element in the diocese diminished rapidly after that, with the flight of the Greek population and the Islamization of the remainder. As a result, the seat of the diocese was moved to Cius. The metropolis remained active until the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in the early 1920s. It remains a titular see of the Patriarchate of Constantinople as well as being, since the mid-15th century, a titular archbishopric of the Roman Catholic Church.
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