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  • Tags: Procopius

8 Items

Skande/Scandis

Large fort on the fringes of late antique Lazica and referred to in late antique sources as being a place of importance to the defence of the kingdom.

Type: Architecture
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Shorapani/Sarapanis

Serving much the same purpose as Skande/Scandis and contemporary with it. Shorapani/Sarapanis is also referred to in late antique sources and played a role in the conflicts to control Lazica.

Type: Architecture
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Vardtsikhe/Rhodopolis city walls

Defences of the city of Vardtsikhe/Rhodopolis. The western and south western sections seem to be the best preserved.There has been a significant amount of restoration in modern times and in some places complete replacement of the wall.

Type: Architecture
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Tsikusdziri/Petra

The castle of Tsikusdziri is believed by many to be the fortified city of Petra, (not to be confused with Petra in Jordan) mentioned in late antique sources and built by the Byzantines. This identification seems to be because a better candidate has not been located. Tsikusdziri lacks the harbour a trading centre like Petra would have required. Nevertheless the association of Tsikusdziri with Petra is mostly accepted.

Type: Architecture
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Fortifications, Zalabiyeh

The fortification of Zalabiyeh is recorded by Procopius who attributes the building of the defences to Justinian's reign. As with much of Procopius' testimony this claim must not be accepted out of hand. The remains of the defences show evidence of at least two major phases of building. The oldest phase is composed of ashlar faced walls with a rubble and concrete core, the later phase is made up of ashlars throughout. The later phase appears to have been only present in some of the towers and is certainly part of a renovation of the defences where some of the older towers needing replacing. These two different wall building techniques are mirrored across the river at the fortifications of Halabiyeh, Zalabiyeh's sister site. I have proposed that the site was not originally fortified by Justinian but was rather repaired during his reign and had older origins, potentially during the reign of Anastasius.

Type: Architecture
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Resafa City Gates and Walls

The impressively preserved city walls of Resafa are the subject of some debate when regards to their age and to who's reign their construction can be credited to. Scholars seem to be split as to whether they were constructed in the reigns of the Emperor Anastasius (491-518 AD) or the Emperor Justinian (527-565 AD). Procopius' attributes the first stone wall to the reign of Justinian. However this cannot be wholly accepted as fact as Procopius' accounts are occasionally deliberately misleading and sometimes wholly inaccurate. The most well preserved and impressive of the gates still extant is the Sura Gate on the north side of the city.
Regardless of which reign they were constructed in the defences do seem to be Late Antique. The walls, their covered galleries, the towers and gates were well preserved when I visited in 2010. As a result of the civil war their current condition is hard to ascertain.

Type: Architecture
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Hagia Sophia/Aya Sofya, Istanbul

Without doubt the greatest and most enduring legacy of the reign of the Emperor Justinian, the Basilica of Hagia Sophia (Divine Wisdom) is an engineering marvel and is testament to the ingenuity of the engineers who designed it.

Type: Architecture
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