Author Topic: "Archeologists Find Churches in Ancient City of Hippos-Sussita in Israel"  (Read 608 times)

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Offline rakovsky

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"Archeologists Find Churches in Ancient City of Hippos-Sussita in Israel"
By Felix N. Codilla III , Christian Post, May 14, 2017

Sussita-Hippos is an archaeological site in Israel, located on a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Between the 3rd century BC and the 7th century AD, Hippos was the site of a Greco-Roman city. Archeologists digging the ancient city of Hippos-Sussita near the Sea of Galilee have unearthed a cluster of churches that may have existed in the late fifth or early sixth century. The expedition has found six to seven places of worship so far...

Christians in those times held various interpretations of their faith, but they opted to build their churches as closely as possible. It seemed that the coexistence of multiple churches in a single place was the norm during those days. Some of the churches may have been built at different times. They could have also been made to accommodate different theological perspectives. ...

But the bishops of Hippos in the sixth century advocated the Chalcedonian perspective... The professor from Concordia University explained that the during the time, the monophysite belief was strong in Palestine, but this changed in around year 516 when the apostle John, who was then the patriarch of Jerusalem, embraced the Chalcedonian Christianity. The belief was carried on by John's successor, Peter during the second Synod in 538. Present in that Synod was the bishop of Hippos, which meant that the ancient city generally adhered to the Chalcedonian tradition.

The "apostle" John?
"Tomb of Unknown Saint Found in Israel, Archaeologists Deduce"
Ruth Schuster, May 08, 2017, Haaretz

How many churches Hippos actually had is quite the mystery. So far, archaeologists have found at least six, maybe seven, from that time, says Prof. Mark Schuler... That said, multiple churches was no anomaly in the landscape of ancient Palestina.

Hippos' Cathedral and Baptistry

"There are at least 13 churches at Jerash (Gerasa), and a number at both Gadara and Scythopolis," Schuler tells Haaretz. "Multiple churches as a feature was not unusual. In Jerash, three churches right next to each other even share common outside walls." One church Schuler helped excavate at Hippos had a decidedly unusual feature: burials in the chancel – the part of the apse at the front of the church normally reserved for sacred rites by the clergy. But the really interesting tomb was at the head of the south aisle in the chancel. “It was a single sarcophagus, exposed above the floor, faced with marble and crosses. It had a hole bored on the top of the sarcophagus that could have been used for pouring oil or wine on the remains,” says Schuler. Or that hole might have had another purpose: for rods to be inserted by the early Christians, to touch the remains inside. Why would they want to do that? The early Christians believed that a rod touching a saint’s relics could serve as a conduit of sorts to transfer the holiness to themselves.

The bishops of Hippos in the sixth century were advocates of the Chalcedonian perspective of Christianity. Schuler explains. ... there was a bishop from Hippos, Colon, present at the Jerusalem synod in 518 that endored pro-Chalcedonian views. The year 538 brought the Second Synod, at which John’s successor, Peter, made strong statements in support of the Chalcedonian (Western) opinion, Schuler says. And who was at the synod? The bishop of Hippos. After which, the churches of Hippos, which had featured different architectural configurations, began to undergo Western-style structural modifications some time during the sixth century.

“We saw a baptistery added to the cathedral during the sixth century according to the Western design,” says Schuler. ...the eastern church... had a second apse added during the sixth century. The most southwest church had a reliquary inserted into its chancel, which accords with the Western tradition, says Schuler. An apse was also added to the north aisle of the northwest church. An apse was also added to the north aisle of the northwest church. "The western-style modifications going on in the 6th century correlate, in my view, with what was happening in Jerusalem, the struggle between the monophysite and Chalcedonian opinions. Jerusalem was becoming more officially Chalcedonian," says Schuler.
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Maybe he is wrong to claim that multiple apses are a Western feature?
In the Byzantine east, churches appeared frequently with multiple apses, three being the most common. Many examples are found in church ruins in Palestine from the fifth century on through the Crusades.

The Prothesis is the place in the sanctuary [1] in which the Liturgy of Preparation takes place in the Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches. During the reign of the Emperor Justin II (565–574), it came to occupy its own separate chamber to the north of the sanctuary, having a separate apse, and joined to the Altar by an arched opening. Another apsed chamber was added on the south side for the Diaconicon. So that from this time forward, large Orthodox churches were triapsidal (having three apses on the eastern side).

The triple apse of an Orthodox church. The Altar is in the larger central apse, the Prothesis in the apse to the right, and the Diaconicon in the one to the left.

Hippos Church

The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Ioustinos

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Re: "Archeologists Find Churches in Ancient City of Hippos-Sussita in Israel"
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2017, 06:12:37 AM »
I was able to visit this site this past June while on pilgrimage.  It is an excellent site and it was very special to tour.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: "Archeologists Find Churches in Ancient City of Hippos-Sussita in Israel"
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2017, 12:50:38 PM »
Excellent picture of iconstasis, pre-Iconoclasm.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth