Author Topic: Hagia Sophia Pews/Seating?  (Read 3495 times)

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Offline 88Devin12

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Hagia Sophia Pews/Seating?
« on: June 28, 2012, 12:48:33 PM »
While reading Lars Brownworth's book "Lost to the West", I noticed on page 195, while talking about the uprisings in favor of Nicephorus Phocas (10th Century) that he mentions that Leo Phocas (Nicephorus' brother) fled to Hagia Sophia for refuge against the guards trying to kill him And the congregation rose up in support of him and even used "demolished pews" to fight back the guards...

Would this have been a misunderstanding on the part of the author? I thought pews didn't exist in churches until the 15th Century, and the only seating was behind the iconostasis (against the apse) and the seat for the emperor.

Offline 88Devin12

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Re: Hagia Sophia Pews/Seating?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2012, 01:00:40 PM »
Some quick research I did just says that (as we knew) any seating at the time was a lot the walls and most often stone. So they could have used the seating for the infirm along the walls as weapons.

Offline Schultz

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Re: Hagia Sophia Pews/Seating?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2012, 01:01:44 PM »
While reading Lars Brownworth's book "Lost to the West", I noticed on page 195, while talking about the uprisings in favor of Nicephorus Phocas (10th Century) that he mentions that Leo Phocas (Nicephorus' brother) fled to Hagia Sophia for refuge against the guards trying to kill him And the congregation rose up in support of him and even used "demolished pews" to fight back the guards...

Would this have been a misunderstanding on the part of the author? I thought pews didn't exist in churches until the 15th Century, and the only seating was behind the iconostasis (against the apse) and the seat for the emperor.

What he calls "pews" may just have been some benches against the wall or whatever.  It would be interesting to see what the original Greek says.
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