The reroofing of a group of Early Christian basilicas on the Karpas peninsula is the subject of The First Vaulted Churches in Cyprus. Charles Anthony Stewart argues that the barrel vaults, which replaced the wooden roofs of these churches, can be dated to the late seventh or early eighth century. Mustering all the evidence now available and placing these monuments in their historical context, he confirms the consensus about dating that was reached, but not fully argued, by investigating archaeologists in the 1970s, Andreas Dikigoropoulos, Athanasios Papageorghiou, and A. H. S. Megaw. When these churches were rebuilt in the seventh and eighth centuries, Cyprus was a neutral state divided between the Arab Caliphate and the Byzantine Empire. In this environment, builders experimented with methods to erect and support heavy vaulting while maintaining the traditional basilical form. Their designs foreshadowed the later development of Romanesque architecture in the West.

The transition from wood roofs to stone vaulting marks a watershed moment in medieval architectural history. In the West this change took place over course of the Romanesque period in Spain or northern Italy.1 In the East scholars generally agree that vaulting coincided with the shift from longitudinal to centrally planned buildings during the reign of the Emperor Justinian I (482––565).2 This simple explanation would be sufficient if not for the conspicuous absence of Justinianic-type churches outside the imperial cities of Constantinople and Ravenna.3 It seems that the building innovations of Justinian's architects had limited impact on structural design, including vaulting, in the eastern Byzantine provinces. For example, the Nea church in Jerusalem and St. Catherine's at Sinai, although both sponsored by Justinian, were constructed as traditional wood-roofed basilicas.4 Another case in point, the island of Cyprus did not have centrally planned churches until the late eleventh century. However, several Cypriot basilicas were refitted to support barrel vaults in the eighth century. Since these structures have longitudinal ground plans, the shift to vaulting on Cyprus cannot be associated with the developments that took place in Constantinople. They exemplify the localized history of a different construction technology.

Five barrel-vaulted churches survive in Cyprus: the Panagia Chrysiotissa (Afentrika), Asomatos church (Afentrika), Agia Varvara (Koroveia), Panagia Afentrika (Sykhada), and Panagia Kanakariáá (Lythrankomi).5 They are concentrated on the northeastern panhandle known as the Karpas Peninsula (Figure 1). This narrow stretch of land lies about 45 miles south of the Anatolian coast and 60 miles west of Syria. Unfortunately these basilicas are in a poor state of repair; all are in ruins, and their frescos are disappearing. Preservation and systematic excavations could place these monuments in their rightful place in architectural history.6 Until then, this article offers observations and new evidence toward a plausible construction sequence and chronology; as demonstrated here, eighth-century builders on Cyprus experimented with different ways of vaulting longitudinal space and developed designs that became hallmarks of Cypriot medieval architecture.

Figure 1

Map of Cyprus indicating principal sites of the eighth century

Figure 1

Map of Cyprus indicating principal sites of the eighth century

Early Christian Churches on Cyprus

Over the past forty years many ancient churches have been excavated on Cyprus. All sixty-five known Early Christian churches, dating from the late fourth to mid-seventh century, display the same traits: they have at least three aisles divided by colonnades supporting wood roofs.7 In this period there are no centrally planned, domed, or vaulted buildings. The conservative nature of Cypriot church building can be explained by the insular character of the Church. During the First Council of Ephesus (431) the Cypriot archbishop was granted autocephaly, meaning that he was not subject to any outside patriarch. The Cypriot Church could maintain its own internal appointments and customs. Because of its independent and powerful hierarchical system, heresies such as Arianism and Monophysitism did not affect Cyprus as they did other Byzantine provinces. Likewise, its church architecture was not affected by outside influence. The island possessed both limestone quarries and vast cedar forests that could supply the main materials for traditional basilica construction. Other materials used for decorating the interior of churches, such as marble columns, opus sectile, and tesserae, could be imported from other provinces by ship, across the Mediterranean Sea.

The Cypriot Church's three-hundred-year building tradition was disrupted in 649, when the Arab armies invaded. From that time until the Byzantine reconquest of 965, the island was a neutral state within the political sphere of both the Arab Caliphate of Damascus and the Byzantine Empire. This era is referred to here as the "period of Cypriot neutrality."8 Sometime after the initial Arab raids, seven churches were rebuilt in a slightly different manner. Some, including Agios Spyridon (Tremithous) and Agios Mamas (Morphou), preserved the layout of their original wood-roofed structures, but their imported marble colonnades were replaced by square-piered arcades made of local stone.9 In these two cases, the walls, apses, floor mosaics and opus sectile, and liturgical furnishing were reused after the renovations. By recycling the shell of the damaged church and using local materials, Cypriot builders were able to renovate quickly. Around this same time experiments in barrel vaulting were conducted on the Karpas Peninsula.

Today the peninsula is remote, barren, and sparsely populated, however in the late fourth century it had thriving cities, deep harbors, and thick forest. One of the island's twelve bishops resided on the peninsula in the city of Carpasia. This see was founded by Epiphanius (320––403), the archbishop of Salamis-Constantia, who appointed his disciple Philon as its first bishop.10 The architecture of the early fifth-century cathedral now known as Agios Philon repeated the layout of other Early Christian basilicas on the island, having three-aisles, three apses, and wood roofs. These elements are also evident at other early churches nearby, including Agia Trias (Yialousa) and the Panagia Kanakariáá (Lythrankomi).11 These structures exhibit how Early Christian architecture fared in the Middle Byzantine period on this part of the island. At Agios Philon, the cathedral was abandoned in the seventh century and subsequently rebuilt as a cross-in-square church in the eleventh century. The sixth-century church of Agia Trias was destroyed in the mid-seventh century and never rebuilt. In contrast, the sixth-century Panagia Kanakariáá was damaged in the seventh century and subsequently reconstructed as a barrel-vaulted basilica.

Near the Panagia Kanakariáá church, four other wood-roofed Early Christian basilicas were transformed into barrel-vaulted structures. In order to carry heavy vaulting, cross-shaped piers replaced aisle colonnades. The new features of this scheme——square imposts, round transverse arches, and windowless clerestories——became key features in Cypriot church architecture. The best-preserved examples, the Panagia Chrysiotissa and the Asomatos church, are located at the site of Afentrika, five miles east of Carpasia.

The Panagia Chrysiotissa (Afentrika)

The ruins of Afentrika lie near the north coast of the Karpas Peninsula. Rising over the site is an acropolis where either a temple or citadel once stood (Figure 2).12 In 1889 David Hogarth proposed, based on his reading of Diodorus of Sicily (first century BCE), that Afentrika was a later town built from the ancient city Urania (ΟΟυυρράννιιαα).13 Since there are no other ancient harbors in the area, Hogarth's hypothesis is still plausible.14 Today vast numbers of pottery shards are found, spread from the coast to the ridge of the acropolis, testifying to a large population during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The principal ruins today consist of four buildings: the Panagia Chrysiotissa, the Asomatos church, Agios Georgios chapel, and Prophitis Elias.15 Seven feet northeast of the Panagia church is a large archway leading to a subterranean rock-cut tomb. Within are several Hellenistic arcosolia niches cut into the walls, later inscribed with crosses, and on the floor are scattered remains of African red-slip pottery (Figure 3). Since the sixth century church was partially constructed over this tomb, it would seem that the ancient necropolis was later converted to a Christian shrine.16 Such a concentration of churches indicates that Afentrika was a major cult center in the early Middles Ages.

Figure 2

Schematic map of Afentrika (Urania), Cyprus

Figure 2

Schematic map of Afentrika (Urania), Cyprus

Figure 3

Panagia Chrysiotissa, Cyprus, sixth-century entrance of the Hellenistic subterranean rock-cut tomb, later converted to a Christian shrine, looking northwest (author's photo)

Figure 3

Panagia Chrysiotissa, Cyprus, sixth-century entrance of the Hellenistic subterranean rock-cut tomb, later converted to a Christian shrine, looking northwest (author's photo)

The Panagia Chrysiotissa currently is a small single-aisle chapel, probably rebuilt in the sixteenth century, to judge from its pointed arches, vaulting, and rounded springing corbels.17 Its name means "the Virgin of Gold," perhaps referring to a lost decoration or icon. Surrounding this chapel are the ruins of an earlier Early Christian basilica that was refitted to support a barrel vault (Figure 4). The nave apse and southern aisle wall still stand to a height of 8 feet. In Georgios Soteriou's 1935 photograph, portions of the southern aisle's barrel vaulting are shown intact; however by 1946 this had fallen, as documented by A. H. S. Megaw.18

Figure 4

Panagia Chrysiotissa, exterior view, looking east (author's photo)

Figure 4

Panagia Chrysiotissa, exterior view, looking east (author's photo)

The Early Christian church (first phase) was a three-aisled wood-roofed basilica with three apses (Figure 5). It had the same general layout as the Early Christian churches of Agia Trias (Yialousa) and Agios Philon (Carpasia).19 From its external wall surface, the Panagia Chrysiotissa's ground plan measured 55 by 75 feet (17.6 ×× 24 m, not including the apses). Its three apses were connected by passages, a shared feature of the island's earliest churches.20 The nave arcades had seven columns carved from local limestone with responds at each end. The original south wall and central apse were constructed with courses of alternating stretchers and headers.21 Three large windows (5 feet by 2 feet 6 inches) pierced the apse above the synthronon (Figure 6). Today earthen mounds spread out beyond the apse and southern aisle, presumably the remains of adjacent rooms lie underneath. One of these was uncovered in 1964, exposing foundations of a chapel flanking the south aisle apse, perhaps functioning as a parekklesion.22

Figure 5

Panagia Chrysiotissa, cutaway reconstruction of original structure, first phase

Figure 5

Panagia Chrysiotissa, cutaway reconstruction of original structure, first phase

Figure 6

Panagia Chrysiotissa, surviving apse window, showing a reduction in the second phase, looking east (author's photo)

Figure 6

Panagia Chrysiotissa, surviving apse window, showing a reduction in the second phase, looking east (author's photo)

When this church was rebuilt as a barrel-vaulted basilica, the original walls and apse were reused (Figure 7). The altar, synthronon, and chancel screens were also reincorporated.23 The builders replaced interior colonnades with pier arcades, each consisting of four cross-shaped piers with square responds at each end. The piers' imposts carried transverse arches forming five bays in each aisle. The southwesternmost column was left in situ to bolster the new archway; it had to be removed in order to center the arch and was then re-erected (Figure 8).24 An additional pier arcade was built along the interior of the original south wall to support the aisle vaulting; this resulted in a blind arcade whose niches mirror the nave arcade (Figure 9). The north aisle foundations, which are currently buried, did not have a similar blind arcade.25 In order to mitigate the stress caused by the barrel vault, the builders added a thin wall around the original apse and reduced its window apertures (see Figure 6).

Figure 7

Panagia Chrysiotissa, cutaway reconstruction of vaulted structure, second phase

Figure 7

Panagia Chrysiotissa, cutaway reconstruction of vaulted structure, second phase

Figure 8

Panagia Chrysiotissa, remains of original column re-erected under the southern arcade, looking north (author's photo)

Figure 8

Panagia Chrysiotissa, remains of original column re-erected under the southern arcade, looking north (author's photo)

Figure 9

Panagia Chrysiotissa, blind arcade in the vaulted southern aisle, looking southeast (author's photo)

Figure 9

Panagia Chrysiotissa, blind arcade in the vaulted southern aisle, looking southeast (author's photo)

The height of the nave vaulting was not uniform. The vault of first three bays (from the western wall) curved at a height of 32 feet. Megaw observed that the remains of the fourth bay did not continue this curvature and appeared more vertical. This caused him to hypothesize a transverse barrel vault running perpendicular to the nave and formed a transept.26 This suggestion is highly unlikely. In Early Christian basilicas, such as St. Peter's (Rome) or Santa Croce (Ravenna), the transept usually crosses the middle or easternmost bay. But here at the Panagia Chrysiotissa, Megaw proposed that the fourth bay was the crossing square, which does not conform to any known design on Cyprus or anywhere else. Athanasios Papageorghiou cast doubt on this hypothetical transept when he supervised the clearing of the site in the 1960s.27 He partially exposed the eastern bay's north wall, confirming that there were no transept arms. So if the church did not have a transept, how should the apparent vertical transition be interpreted? Upon closer inspection, the fourth bay's vaulting has a more subtle curve than the adjoining bays. It seems that the vaulting over the two easternmost bays was taller than the rest of the nave. This greater height emphasized the sacramental function of the bays covering the bema (the sanctuary area reserved for the clergy).

The builders of the Panagia Chrysiotissa left behind clues regarding their methods. Surviving putlog holes in the nave and aisles indicate that wooden centering was used to fashion the vaults. Builders used stones of varying sizes for the arcades; most are rectangular limestone ashlars measuring about 14 by 7 inches (35 ×× 18 cm), facing a rubble core. Slightly smaller blocks were used for the vaulting. The uniformity of the stones suggests that they were mined from a limestone quarry rather than from spolia.28 The impost blocks and transverse arches were made of finely carved ashlars of a standard size. To fill the gaps between ashlars, small pieces of ceramic and tile were embedded in the lime mortar (Figure 10).

Figure 10

Panagia Chrysiotissa, southern aisle impost showing lime mortar with tile infill (author's photo)

Figure 10

Panagia Chrysiotissa, southern aisle impost showing lime mortar with tile infill (author's photo)

Little is known concerning the Panagia Chrysiotissa's internal decoration. The original floor surface has not been uncovered. Inside the sixteenth-century chapel, a marble step demarcates the bema; it was part of a chamfered cornice in the original church. A similar beveled cornice can be seen in the Early Christian apse supporting the semidome. Gypsum plaster and frescos survive on the apse and south wall. Blue and red pigments can still be seen but are too faded to discern form or style.29 Furthermore, there is no trace of windows above the arcades in the nave. In other words, where one would expect to find a clerestory, there is a solid vault.

Asomatos Church (Afentrika)

The Asomatos church lies less than 100 feet (30 m) south of the Panagia Chrysiotissa (Figure 11).30 The two churches have the same layout and style of construction. The exterior dimensions of the Asomatos are 41 by 53 feet (12.5 ×× 16 m, not including the apses)——somewhat smaller than the Panagia. The original basilica had three aisles, two arcades of five columns with responds, three semicircular apses, and a wood roof. The apse belongs to the original church displaying finely-carved ashlar blocks laid with alternating the headers and stretchers.

Figure 11

Asomatos church, Cyprus, exterior view, looking east (author's photo)

Figure 11

Asomatos church, Cyprus, exterior view, looking east (author's photo)

Like the Panagia, the Asomatos was converted into a vaulted basilica utilizing the original ground plan (Figure 12). The three apses, opus sectile flooring, and the synthronon were reused from the previous church. However unlike the Panagia, the north, south, and west walls were completely rebuilt upon the earlier foundations. Within these walls, two pier arcades were constructed, consisting of three cross-shaped piers with pilaster responds. These arcades were connected by transverse arches that spanned across the nave forming four bays. Both the north and south walls were reinforced with an adjacent interior blind arcade. Two levels of putlog holes, the top measuring 10 feet (3 m) above the other, initially held wood scaffolding used to center both the nave vaults. Evidence for similar centering is also found in the aisles. Since about 2 feet (60 cm) survives above the springing point of the nave's barrel vault, it is certain that there were no clerestory windows.

Figure 12

Asomatos church, reconstructed elevation

Figure 12

Asomatos church, reconstructed elevation

The masonry of the vaulted phase is comparable to the Panagia's. The spaces between ashlars were filled with small pieces of ceramic and tile embedded within the lime mortar. Only a few monuments on Cyprus were built in this manner, including the late-seventh-century walls at Salamis-Constantia and the so-called Arab Tower at the Panagia Limeniotissa at Paphos. The only other church built in this fashion was the Cathedral of Agios Epiphanios (Salamis-Constantia), when it was rebuilt as a square-pier wood-roofed basilica in the late seventh century.31 One difference between the Panagia and the Asomatos church is that the latter has much larger foundation stones. From the ground to the impost level, ashlars measure approximately 28 by 18 inches (70 ×× 45 cm); above the imposts the ashlar dimensions are similar to the Panagia's.

The west wall of the Asomatos church had three portals leading to each aisle. Because these did not have fasteners or hinges, Camille Enlart proposed that a narthex once encompassed the basilica's western end.32 There is, however, no evidence of an abutting wall on surviving surfaces, casting doubt on his suggestion. Today only the entrance in the south aisle is preserved; its round arch is slightly wider than space between the jambs, appearing somewhat like a horseshoe arch (see Figure 11). The bottom of another doorway can be traced in westernmost bay of the south aisle, which was subsequently abandoned and filled in by the time the imposts were laid. This might indicate that a parekklesion was planned flanking the south wall.

Since its superstructure and vaulting is intact, the Asomatos church provides important clues regarding how its builders converted the original wood-roofed basilica to a barrel-vaulted structure. A vertical stratigraphy was formed by the imposition of the second phase components (e.g., the internal pier arcades) adjacent to the first phase constructions (e.g., the walls). Because masonry between the two phases differ in quality and appearance, it is possible to trace the construction sequence (Figure 13).33 First, at some point the original building was damaged. Elements such as the internal colonnades, that could not be reused, were removed, leaving the apses and foundations in place. Builders then constructed new walls, and square piers were placed along the north and south walls; these were connected by arches, forming a blind arcade. At that time they built the internal nave arcades supported by square piers. Fourth, transverse arches were built spanning aisle piers and the nave arcade. After the aisle vaults were finished, builders proceeded to construct the nave vaulting.

Figure 13

Asomatos church, schematic sequence illustrating the process of vaulting. Top, left to right: original wood-roofed basilica; with damaged wood roof and columns removed; with original north, west, and south walls removed. Bottom, left to right: new walls were built and pier arcades were constructed in the side aisles to support the aisle vaulting; once the aisle vaulting was finished, the nave vault was completed; exterior view of completed vaulted basilica

Figure 13

Asomatos church, schematic sequence illustrating the process of vaulting. Top, left to right: original wood-roofed basilica; with damaged wood roof and columns removed; with original north, west, and south walls removed. Bottom, left to right: new walls were built and pier arcades were constructed in the side aisles to support the aisle vaulting; once the aisle vaulting was finished, the nave vault was completed; exterior view of completed vaulted basilica

It is certain that the aisle vaults were crucial in supporting the larger nave vault. As seen in the surviving south aisle, the vault thickens as it merges with the upper part of the nave arcade (Figure 14). This buttressed the superstructure below the springing point of the nave vault (see Figures 11, 12). As a result, the thrust exerted by the main vault was partially channeled outward from the inner arcade to the exterior walls. With these stable side vaults in place, the architects could build the nave vaulting with confidence during the final stage of construction.34 In the original wood-roofed basilica, the side aisles supported the tall walls that served as clerestories; in the second phase, side aisles buttressed the nave vault. Apparently stability was more valuable than lighting at this later period.

Figure 14

Asomatos church, exterior view of the south aisle apse (now fallen), looking west (author's photo)

Figure 14

Asomatos church, exterior view of the south aisle apse (now fallen), looking west (author's photo)

Unlike the Panagia Chrysiotissa, where the original walls were preserved, at the Asomatos church builders constructed the new outer wall adjacent to the blind arcade in the aisles. It would have been more economical if they simply constructed a thicker outer wall, but the blind arcades in the aisles served an important purpose. As explained, the vaulting and transverse arches channeled the north-south lateral forces from nave vault to the aisle piers. In addition, the east-west lateral forces were transferred across the arches between the piers. This network of perpendicular arches foreshadows the development of modular planning usually attributed to the Carolingian period.35 To further stabilize the structure, the outer walls abutted the inner blind arcades. There were other advantages to this support system. Aisle niches occupied less space than a thicker wall, preserving the original interior dimensions. Moreover, wall niches mirrored the arcaded nave, contributing to a symmetrical and consistent internal arrangement.

Agia Varvara (Koroveia)

Standing about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of the Asomatos church and about 500 yards (450 m) from the southern coast is another barrel-vaulted basilica called Agia Varvara (St. Barbara) (Figure 15). Its earlier designation was Ayios Yeorgios as marked on Horatio Kitchener's 1885 map. Since then, the church has been conflated with an abandoned settlement called Ayia Varvara about half a mile to the north, and it is now referred to by this name. Neither site was documented prior to Kitchener's map. The nearest modern town, Koroveia (about 1.8 miles north), appears on the 1570 map by Venetian Iacomo Franco as "Corouio."36 At one point the church belonged to a coastal town, judging from the scattered building materials and ceramic shards extending for half a mile westward from the church.37 Today the land is occupied by a large goat farm. Agia Varvara lies in ruins with much of its masonry strewn about within its aisles. Since most of the foundations are buried, it is difficult to assess the Early Christian layout. Fortunately the north wall and pier arcade survive to a height of 8 feet (2.5 m), which provides some sense of its later rebuilt phase. In its final form the church was a three-aisle, three-bay, barrel-vaulted basilica (Figure 16). From its external wall surface, its ground plan measured 41 by 44 feet (12.5 ×× 13 m, not including the apses); these dimensions are comparable to those of the Asomatos church. But unlike the Afentrika churches, there are no blind arcades adjacent to the aisle walls, and putlog holes are absent. Perhaps the builders used centering that rested on the floor. Moreover, the masonry is less refined than in the Afentrika churches. A rubble core was faced with large ashlar blocks mixed with irregular stones, including shards of ceramics and tile. The imposts and voussoirs appear to have been salvaged from other buildings, judging from their awkward and various sizes. The surface would have appeared uneven and scabrous even after the walls were plastered.

Figure 15

Agia Varvara, Cyprus, interior view of the north aisle, looking east (author's photo)

Figure 15

Agia Varvara, Cyprus, interior view of the north aisle, looking east (author's photo)

Figure 16

Agia Varvara, hypothetical plan of the barrel-vaulted basilica

Figure 16

Agia Varvara, hypothetical plan of the barrel-vaulted basilica

While a modest structure, the church is significant for the art history of Cyprus. In the northern aisle, on the easternmost arch's intrados survives a faded and partially damaged fresco. Reconstruction is possible since the form and style consists of a repeating geometrical pattern (Figure 17). It is an example of a wheel-interlace design that is rare in Early Christian or Middle Byzantine architecture, but more common in Umayyad mosaics of the eighth century. Its appearance in this barrel-vaulted church provides an important clue regarding its date.

Figure 17

Agia Varvara, reconstruction of arcade soffit fresco, faded areas are damaged sections (author)

Figure 17

Agia Varvara, reconstruction of arcade soffit fresco, faded areas are damaged sections (author)

Panagia Afentrika (Sykhada)

Five miles east of Agia Varvara stands another barrel-vaulted basilica known as the Panagia Afentrika (Figure 18). Its ground plan is approximately 41 by 45 feet (12 ×× 13.5 m, not including the apses or narthex). It once stood near a settlement called Sykhada, which is now deserted. Historic documentation for the town and church are lacking. The toponym sykada (σσύκκαα) means "fig" and could possibly be the town where the ninth-century Demetrius, bishop of Chytroi, was born.38 The site was passed over by Hogarth, but visited by Enlart in 1897, who mentioned that the locals simply called it "the Panagia."39 Today potsherds and ashlars are scattered in adjacent fields, attesting to an ancient settlement.

Figure 18

Panagia Afentrika, exterior view, looking southwest (author's photo)

Figure 18

Panagia Afentrika, exterior view, looking southwest (author's photo)

Like the churches at Afentrika, the Panagia at Sykhada has traces of an earlier sixth-century church (Figure 19). This was a three-aisled, three-apse, columnar basilica, with two arcades consisting of four columns with responds, made of local limestone. A "cleaning" of the church in 1931 exposed the synthronon, the original floor, and remains of a marble ambo and chancel screen.40 Unfortunately the floor today is covered by dirt and weeds, concealing the opus sectile tiles.

Figure 19

Panagia Afentrika, Cyprus, plan of the vaulted basilica (redrawn after Camille Enlart, L'Art gothique et la Renaissance en Chypre [Paris: Thorin, 1899], 399; and A. H. S. Megaw, "Three Vaulted Basilicas in Cyprus," Journal of Hellenic Studies 66 [1946], 55)

Figure 19

Panagia Afentrika, Cyprus, plan of the vaulted basilica (redrawn after Camille Enlart, L'Art gothique et la Renaissance en Chypre [Paris: Thorin, 1899], 399; and A. H. S. Megaw, "Three Vaulted Basilicas in Cyprus," Journal of Hellenic Studies 66 [1946], 55)

When the church was converted into a barrel-vaulted basilica, all three apses and the church furnishings were reused. In order to support the vaulting, additional walls were constructed along the original northern and southern walls. Arcades divided the aisles, as at Agia Varvara; each consisted of two cross-shaped piers, forming three bays. Likewise, its large ashlar blocks were joined together with lime mortar containing rubble, ceramic shards, and tile. Clearly the builders here used spolia from the earlier church, including the columns and marble furnishings. Unlike the other churches, neither piers nor blind arcades were added to support the aisle vaults. Instead, the transverse ribs were carried by square corbels jutting out from the walls with no pilaster supports (Figure 20).41 Blind arcades were used on the west and east walls of the narthex, which belonged to the same phase of construction as shown by the integration of the masonry between the narthex and the aisles. Three entrances led from the narthex into the nave and aisles——these do not show signs of hinges or door clasps. The surviving door in the south aisle is a simple post-and-lintel design. Another doorway pierced the south wall; its arch was wider than the jambs, similar to the doorway at the Asomatos church. This door led to a subsidiary chapel with an apse, like the parekklesion of the Panagia Chrysiotissa.42

Figure 20

Panagia Afentrika, south aisle vault with hanging corbels supporting transverse arch (author's photo)

Figure 20

Panagia Afentrika, south aisle vault with hanging corbels supporting transverse arch (author's photo)

Little decoration survives at the Panagia Afentrika except for fragments of fresco painting. On the south easternmost soffit is a line drawing of a nimbed saint with an elongated head.43 Nearby the south wall interior bears faint traces of other figures with haloes. Unfortunately these are too faded to ascertain details or attribute a style. In the northwest corner are more vibrant colors, ultramarine and scarlet, belonging to a border that covers earlier fresco layers.

Panagia Kanakariáá (Lythrankomi)

Eleven miles west of the Sykhada basilica stands the Panagia Kanakariáá in a village called Lythrankomi (Figure 21). Its unique apse mosaic of the enthroned Virgin and child has been the subject of several art historical studies.44 The building itself is the result of several renovations. Portions of the original sixth-century basilica are preserved in the central apse area and within the foundations. Six marble capitals lie within the churchyard and probably belong to the original building. At some point, the church was rebuilt with square-pier arcades replacing the original marble colonnade (Figure 22). Unlike the churches at Afentrika, the Kanakariáá's piers are close together, following the intercolumniation of the previous church.45 The arcades stop at the bema, where walls separate the nave from the aisle, forming "bema walls." These walls are massive; their thickness equals the total width of the arcade piers.

Figure 21

Panagia Kanakariáá, Cyprus, exterior view looking northeast, remnants of Early Christian church in foreground (author's photo)

Figure 21

Panagia Kanakariáá, Cyprus, exterior view looking northeast, remnants of Early Christian church in foreground (author's photo)

Figure 22

Panagia Kanakariáá, plan of the vaulted phase (redrawn after Camille Enlart, L'Art gothique et la Renaissance en Chypre [Paris: Thorin, 1899], 402; and A. H. S. Megaw and E. J. W. Hawkins. The Church of the Panagia Kanakariáá at Lythrankomi in Cyprus [Washington, DC, Dumbarton Oaks, 1977], fig. C)

Figure 22

Panagia Kanakariáá, plan of the vaulted phase (redrawn after Camille Enlart, L'Art gothique et la Renaissance en Chypre [Paris: Thorin, 1899], 402; and A. H. S. Megaw and E. J. W. Hawkins. The Church of the Panagia Kanakariáá at Lythrankomi in Cyprus [Washington, DC, Dumbarton Oaks, 1977], fig. C)

Scholars such as Enlart, Andreas Dikigoropoulos, and Athanasios Papageorghiou proposed that the second phase of the Kanakariáá church was a barrel-vaulted basilica.46 However, Megaw challenged this hypothesis in his 1977 monograph, claiming that this rebuilt structure had a wood roof. He never provided clear reasons. Perhaps his interpretation was based on the awkward arrangement of the side aisles. For instance, the south aisle is taller than the north aisle by over three feet and the south apse has pointed arches, indicating a post-Byzantine renovation. Furthermore each side aisle incorporates a second arcade abutting the nave arcade. Although these arcades are sandwiched together and are similar in scale, they are misaligned by a few inches. This clumsy arrangement may have led Megaw to identify the current side aisles and their arcades as later additions. In their absence, the nave arcade could not have sustained the weight exerted by a barrel vault. Perhaps this is why Megaw conjectured that only a lightweight wood roof could span the second phase building. He further postulated that a tall, rectangular tower rose over the bema, in an attempt to explain the massive bema walls.47

Megaw's reconstruction raises issues that bear further analysis.48 First, he assumed that the inner nave arcades were built prior to the outer aisle arcades. However, there is no structural evidence for this. In fact, both arcades are similar in style and construction. For instance, the average size of their ashlar blocks (1.5 by 2 feet) and the molding of the imposts are identical. Moreover in Cyprus traces of earlier plaster were usually left between two separate building phases. But at the Kanakariáá there is no trace of plaster between the adjoining arcades. While the north aisle arcade had its plaster removed, the nave arcade's surface was left alone, contributing to the appearance of two separate phases (Figure 23). If the two arcades were built during the same phase of construction, their combined strength was more than sufficient to support a vaulted nave.

Figure 23

Panagia Kanakariáá, north arcade, easternmost pier, showing two abutting arcades, view from the side aisle looking southwest (author's photo)

Figure 23

Panagia Kanakariáá, north arcade, easternmost pier, showing two abutting arcades, view from the side aisle looking southwest (author's photo)

Megaw proposed that the cross-shaped piers of the second-phase supported wood trusses. However, arcades with engaged piers are absent from all other wood-roofed basilicas in Cyprus, while they are present in the barrel-vaulted churches. In these buildings, engaged piers supported transverse arches, which in turn carried the vaulting. It would have been superfluous for the Kanakariáá church to have transverse arches to carry a wood roof. Furthermore, the surviving clerestory of the second phase is rather low, and such a massive support system would have been unnecessary for such a small amount of masonry. Megaw's hypothetical reconstruction also included a problematic crossing tower. One would expect to find vestiges of such a weighty structure in the exterior masonry; but no such traces exist. Tall rectangular lantern towers are uncommon in the eastern Mediterranean and not found in Cyprus.49 While it is possible that the Panagia Kanakariáá had a unique crossing tower (and evidence for this was later destroyed), it seems unlikely given the uniformity of architectural typologies on Cyprus.

It is more reasonable to associate the second phase of the Panagia Kanakariáá with the other vaulted churches. Located in the Karpas Peninsula, just five miles northwest of the vaulted Agia Varvara, the Kanakariáá church shared a similar environment and history with the other basilicas. It exhibits three important traits with the Panagia at Sykhada. Both have transverse arches in their side aisles that spring from square corbels from the wall. Both have narthexes rebuilt with blind arcades that carry the barrel vaulting. And both churches have "horseshoe" arched doors in their south aisles, like the Asomatos church (see Figure 11).

Kanakariáá's arcade arrangement is also similar to the Afentrika churches. The Panagia Chrysiotissa and Asomatos basilicas have blind arcades adjacent to the north and south walls. The builders of the Kanakariáá took a slightly different approach by placing the additional arcades adjacent to the nave arcades rather than the outer walls. In other words, the problem of distributing the lateral forces of the nave vault was solved using a variation of the same solution employed at the Afentrika churches.

There are two plausible reasons for the massive walls enclosing the Kanakariáá's bema. The current structure could have supported an elliptical dome (see Figure 22).50 But since no other barrel-vaulted church incorporated domes, this is unlikely. Perhaps the walls simply carried two barrel vaults (i.e., a double vault), with one course of voussoirs sitting immediately above the other (Figure 24).51 The use of double vaults can be found in the multiple-domed churches of Cyprus, such as Agios Barnabas (Salamis-Constantia) and Agios Lazaros (Larnaka), and in Anatolia, such as the so-called Great Church at Maden ŞŞehri––Deǧǧle (also known as Binbirkilisi).52 Outside of Cyprus, the cross-and-square church of St. John of Pelekete at Trilye (Turkey) also has a double vault over its bema, tentatively dated to the late eighth century.53 At the Kanakariáá evidence for a large triumphal arch survives that would have held up this double vault. Several imposts of various heights indicate that this arch was rebuilt several times (Figure 25). As discussed, the Panagia Chrysiotissa's vaulting over the bema was also different than the rest of its nave. The change in vaulting marked the sacred space where the altar stood. In Early Christian churches, ciboria (baldachins) hovered over altars to convey the idea of holiness (i.e., that which is "set apart").54 Perhaps the bema's vaulting served the same purpose, replacing the ciboria, when these churches were rebuilt.55

Figure 24

Panagia Kanakariáá, cutaway reconstruction of vaulted structure (second phase)

Figure 24

Panagia Kanakariáá, cutaway reconstruction of vaulted structure (second phase)

Figure 25

Panagia Kanakariáá, arrows indicating imposts for transverse arches over the bema, looking northeast (author's photo)

Figure 25

Panagia Kanakariáá, arrows indicating imposts for transverse arches over the bema, looking northeast (author's photo)

Impetus for Change

All the barrel-vaulted churches exhibit similar design layout and masonry techniques. Since they are close geographically, it would seem that they were built in response to similar stimuli around the same time. What forced this radical transformation? Previous scholars have suggested three explanations. It has been proposed that the Early Christian churches on Cyprus were destroyed in one cataclysmic event, either invasion or earthquake, which necessitated immediate renovation. Others have suggested that the churches gradually fell into disrepair due to economic decline and depopulation, and were later updated when conditions changed. And a third model sees a new population immigrating to the peninsula and introducing this innovative rebuilding campaign.

Megaw and Papageorghiou espoused the first view and argued that the precipitating event was the Arab incursions of 649 and 650. This theory was first formulated by Megaw in 1946. He wrote, "No doubt the churches remained in use …… until the Arab raids obliged the inhabitants of the coastal settlements …… to withdraw to the relative security of the hinterland …… the churches must then have fallen into disuse and ruin, if they were not actually burnt by the invaders."56 According to this hypothesis, the wood-roofed basilicas were destroyed in war and subsequently rebuilt. This thesis is based on numerous historical accounts, from both Byzantine and Arabic sources, that describe the violent Arab invasions of Cyprus.57

Andreas Dikigoropoulos countered, however, that the destructive force may not have been human. He reasoned that "it would not be difficult for the Arabs to set fire to a wooden-roofed basilica, but, on the other hand, it is difficult to see either why they should——the purpose of the Arab raiders could be achieved without setting fire to religious buildings——or, if they did, why the new church [that was] erected did not reuse the columns of the burned building …… it seems to me more probable that the church and columns were destroyed in an unrecorded violent earthquake."58 He believed that both earthquakes and plagues between 649 and 965 could account for depopulation and economic decline. If this were the case, then Early Christian churches, perhaps already damaged by earth tremors, gradually deteriorated due to lack of maintenance.

Both historical sources and archaeology testify to some Early Christian buildings surviving the first Arab invasions. For instance, documentary and archaeological evidence suggest that the cathedral of Agios Spyridon (Tremithous) survived the initial Arab attacks.59 In 655 an ecclesiastical synod was held there in commemoration of the saint who built the original structure.60 Evidence like this led Tassos Papacostas to propose that Early Christian sites were "peacefully abandoned" as early as the seventh century. 61 If so, rural churches may have collapsed because of disuse, earthquakes, and other economic factors decades prior to the Arab invasions.

Unfortunately it is difficult to confirm peaceful abandonment by means of archaeology. If sites were evacuated due to coastal raids, the buildings might appear to have been peacefully abandoned, since there is little reason why marauders would destroy empty churches. Archaeology is ill equipped to measure how long a building might have been vacated, without historical markers such as textual evidence, inscriptions, or coin finds. These indicators have rarely been found associated with the destruction of Early Christian churches on Cyprus.

The earthquake theory has steadily gained momentum in recent years. In 1991 Vincenzo Ruggieri explained how Early Christian churches were susceptible to destruction by seismic shock. In order to resist these effects, Byzantine builders designed an alternative form of sanctuary——the centrally planned domed church.62 Since history records many catastrophic earthquakes on Cyprus, Ruggieri's theory could be applied to the island's first vaulted churches.63 Slobodan ĆĆurcččićć concluded that "the principal cause of the destruction of early basilicas in Cyprus was not the Arabs, but earthquakes," reasoning that "Cypriot builders believed in increasing the buildings mass as the optimum way of countering the effects of earthquakes …… vaulting permanently displaced wooden trussed roofs, thick walls replaced relatively thin ones, while the general height of buildings was reduced."64 Recently Megaw also proposed that the Cathedral of Kourion was destroyed due to earthquake damage, based on the displacement of its walls.65 The coins found in the ruins point to the 680s as the time of destruction. In general, historical documents seem to substantiate this theory; violent earthquakes were recorded throughout the Eastern Mediterranean region in the Early and Middle Byzantine period, while few earthquakes were reported in the Western Europe, where the wood-roofed basilica tradition continued.66

The earthquake theory might also explain why damaged columns were not reused when these churches were rebuilt. However it is still difficult to identify earthquake damage within the majority of Early Christian basilicas.67 History records no specific earthquakes on Cyprus between 370 and 1114, although several sources state that Hagia Sophia (Constantinople) was damaged by quakes in 558, 879, 989, and 1348.68 Why would Cypriot builders have associated stone vaulting with earthquake resistance if the well-known vaults of Hagia Sophia were heavily damaged by seismic forces?69 Likewise there is no scientifically based reason to suppose that barrel-vaulted churches were more resistant to earthquakes than wood-roofed structures.70 Gravity pulls barrel vaults downward in a unilateral north-south direction. Since nave vaults were buttressed by side aisles, additional lateral forces on the walls, such as seismic waves, would create a domino effect with walls toppling over the arcades.

Perhaps the transition to stone vaulting had nothing to do with structural concerns. Papageorghiou once suggested that these barrel-vaulted churches were introduced by an external cultural influence. He wrote that "after returning from captivity, a large number of Cypriots became acquainted with the Early Christian architectural in Syria …… and presented a new architectural type to Cyprus …… the vaulted basilica."71 However, few scholars have accepted this theory since churches in Syria were not refitted with vaults like those in Cyprus. Syrian basilicas, such as the fifth-century Julianos church at Umm el-Jimal or the Bizzos church in Ruweha were constructed from the start as vaulted buildings.72 While it is true that these vaulted structures predate the Cypriot churches, they do not have the same characteristics——such as cross-shaped piers, blind arcades and horseshoe-arched doorways.73

The majority of Early Christian churches that have been excavated remain unpublished. The lack of systematic and rigorous excavation records have made it difficult to evaluate these divergent and equally plausible theories. However, there is one exception. Excavations at Kalavasos-Kopetra, in southern Cyprus, have provided the best evidence for the demise of Cypriot churches in the mid-seventh century. Those investigations revealed the foundations of three Early Christian basilicas located 2.5 miles north of the southern coast. Coin and pottery evidence indicates that all three churches functioned during first four decades of the seventh century and were subsequently abandoned. One of the churches was Kalavasos-Sirmata monastery. Within its courtyard, less than seven feet from the basilica, remains of several individuals (men, women, and children) were discovered in a water cistern.74 The archaeologists found evidence that their placement in the cistern coincided with the monastery's destruction. Although forensic analysis was not able to ascertain how these individuals died, it is clear that an earthquake was not the principal cause for the monastery's ruination.75 Bodies in the cistern would have contaminated the water supply and precluded further use of the church by earthquake survivors. The only viable explanations are plague or war.

The early-ninth-century Byzantine chronicler Theophanes recorded a plague in Constantinople in 745 when empty cisterns were used for burials.76 However, the historian clearly explained that this behavior occurred only in Constantinople, where land was limited, cemeteries were full, and cisterns were empty. In contrast, Cyprus was arid and sparsely populated; there were vast acres of non-arable land that could have been used for burials, and cisterns were not usually condemned or contaminated. Moreover, there was evidence that the Kalavasos-Sirmata monastery's relics were visited by the faithful long after the church was destroyed. This indicates that the destruction of the basilica was not due to peaceful abandonment. The best possible explanation is that the Arab incursions of the middle of the seventh century caused social upheaval and disuse of the site.

Further evidence of the Arab destruction of churches comes from other locations on the southwestern coast. Excavations at Paphos uncovered systematic destruction of two churches, the Panagia Limeniotissa and the cathedral known as the Chrysopolitissa. Sections of each church were reused as workshops after the mid-seventh century. It is highly unlikely that desacralization of this magnitude would have been carried out by the local Cypriot population. Arabic inscriptions and tombstones discovered within these churches testify to Arabic occupation throughout the eighth century. Moreover, the Panagia Limeniotissa church was modified to incorporate a trapezoidal tower that could have served as a watchtower, lighthouse, or minaret.77 Twenty-seven miles east on the Kourion beach, another Early Christian basilica was desecrated, as evidenced by an Arabic inscription on one of its marble columns; soon afterward the basilica was abandoned.78

Similar evidence has been discovered on the east and north coasts. Two inscriptions dated 649/650 at Soloi cathedral clearly attest to successive invasion, ruination, and the rebuilding of the basilica.79 In Salamis-Constantia the cathedral of Agios Epiphanios was destroyed by a gigantic fire. The excavators there found large quantities of "black earth," burnt material, and a human skull in one of the drains.80 Later research in Salamis-Constantia's gymnasium provided clear ceramic and coin evidence of a mid-seventh-century destruction.81 A few yards away at the Campanopetra church, other excavators found indecipherable letters smeared in red paint within the sanctuary; they suggested that this was an Arabic inscription for the purpose of desecration.82

The Karpas Peninsula lies only five miles northeast of Salamis-Constantia. Therefore there is no reason to disassociate the destruction of the original Karpas churches with the widespread demise of Early Christian basilicas throughout the island. Regardless of whether the catalyst was earthquakes or Arab invasion, or both, the original basilicas were damaged sometime between 650 and 700. But while this might explain the need to rebuild the Karpas churches, it does not answer why they were redesigned with barrel vaults.

The Shift to Vaulting

According to conventional wisdom, secular Roman basilicas were utilitarian buildings. Their central naves accommodated large assemblies of people who could move throughout the broad, unencumbered spaces. Light and fresh air were channeled to the interior through the nave's clerestory. There are no historical references to any symbolic significance attached to the tall naves in these early structures. The first churches commissioned by Emperor Constantine in the fourth century were only slightly different in form from the secular Roman basilica. The Early Christian churches of Cyprus belonged to this line of development. When faced with rebuilding their churches with vaults, however, the Cypriots omitted the clerestory while retaining the taller nave design of earlier churches. Why? Before this question is answered, two factors must be kept in mind. First, other Cypriot churches were rebuilt in the established manner——with wood roofs, square-piers, and clerestory windows——during the same period.83 It was possible for the Karpas builders to have done similarly and simply reconstructed their churches with pier arcades supporting wood roofs. This would have been more expedient and less costly. Second, while domed centrally planned buildings had been popularized in Constantinople over a century earlier, the Cypriots chose not to follow this trend.84 Therefore the Cypriot builders consciously experimented with barrel-vaulted basilicas when other types of churches were known and could have been constructed.

Vaulting would have been more practical than wood roofs for several reasons. As Megaw and Papageorghiou argued, vaulting was durable and fire resistant. Wood-roofed basilicas could not be maintained at a time of continual warfare, as in the period of Cypriot neutrality, when there were at least eight major Arab raids on Cyprus.85 The basilicas in the Karpas peninsula were easily approached by sea-borne raiders, and this necessitated a fire-proof construction that was solid enough to stand against occasional attack. This theory has also been applied to explain the vaulting of the earliest Romanesque basilicas in Spain and France, where warfare with Moors and Vikings was a continuous threat.86

The transition from wood to stone could also be a stylistic preference. Vaulted churches and domed architecture were common in other parts of the Byzantine Empire. The Karpas barrel-vaulted churches meshed with these wider trends in the Eastern Mediterranean, while retaining the traditional basilica form. And there is no need to posit an external prototype, since there were earlier barrel-vaulted buildings in Salamis-Constantia, such as the gymnasium (fourth/fifth century) and the so-called St. Catherine's Prison (seventh century BCE). While those examples lack transverse arches and engaged pilasters, they could have suggested the potential of vaulting to late seventh-century Cypriot builders.

Symbolic considerations may also have prompted the adoption of vaults in these Christian churches. There is evidence that changes in the ceiling were used to signify the changes in the sacred character of space below. In both the Panagia Chrysiotissa and the Panagia Kanakariáá the area of the bema is demarcated by a change in the vaulting overhead. Likewise, the distinction between the taller nave vault and shorter side aisles marks the segregated areas reserved for the clergy and those occupied by the laity. Apparently the liturgy in the seventh and eighth centuries on Cyprus was still a processional ritual.87 The entire nave was used for the celebration, from the Great Entrance at the west wall to the reading of scriptures in the center, and finally to the Eucharistic celebration in the bema under the eastern bay. While the clergy performed the service, the laity was restricted to the side aisles——one aisle was for women and the other for men.88 In the Karpas churches the apse passages of Early Christian structures were retained. These tripartite sanctuaries allowed the clergy to deliver the Eucharist to the congregation in the aisles.89 Furthermore, just as the dome symbolized the dome of heaven in Justinianic architecture, it is possible that the vault of heaven was suggested by the new vaulting in the Karpas churches. Christians interpreted natural rainbows as representations of the cosmic arch delineating a cross-section of the sky. The barrel vault was a similar continuous arch, mimicking the sky above.90

The Dating of the Barrel-vaulted Group

Until the 1960s, scholars disagreed on the date of the rebuilding of these basilicas. Camille Enlart examined the Afentrika and Sykhada churches during his research trip to Cyprus in 1895––97, and concluded that they were Romanesque and that the Panagia Chrysiotissa had "nothing Byzantine about it."91 He hypothesized that Crusader architecture in Syria and Palestine inspired these churches. This was understandable, since massive and dark three-aisled churches were quite common in France during the twelfth century. The system of cross-pier arcades, transverse arches, blind arcades, and square imposts can be found in many French churches, such as Saint-Lazare (Autun, begun in 1120). However, while photographing and drafting ground plans of these churches, Enlart did not realize that the Asomatos and Sykhada churches had two building phases. His classification system assumed that barrel-vaulted basilicas were Western phenomena; vaulted Byzantine churches could only be centrally planned.

In 1931 George Soteriou argued against Enlart, suggesting that the churches dated to the sixth or seventh century, like the Early Christian churches of Syria.92 The use of the synthronon and opus sectile indicated to him that they could not be Romanesque or Comnenian. Their basilical plans and square piers convinced him that they pre-dated the centrally-planned Middle Byzantine period (843––1204). Despite this reasoning, Enlart's opinion would continue to prevail, with English-speaking scholars such as George Jeffery and Rupert Gunnis repeating his ideas.93

In 1946 Megaw published a short article providing modified plans and photographs of the Afentrika and Sykhada basilicas. He identified the two building phases of each church. He tried to compromise the extreme dates held by Enlart and Soteriou, hypothesizing that they were built in the tenth-century, when Cyprus was reconquered by the Byzantine Empire.94 He provided no evidence to support his claim, nor did he cite examples elsewhere in the empire of the same period. Few scholars were persuaded. Megaw chose this dating because he could not imagine churches being built during the tumultuous period of Cypriot neutrality (649––965), when the island was in the sphere of Arab governance and isolated from the Byzantine Empire. These historical assumptions were first communicated by George Hill in 1940: "It seems improbable that any important buildings can have been put up during the periods of the Arab raids, that is, from the middle of the [seventh] century to 965."95 Megaw assumed that Islam prohibited Christian worship and that Christian Cypriots were left without churches for over three hundred years.96 This theory contradicts many historical accounts, which attest to a thriving Cypriot church during this period, and Megaw's protéégéé, Dikigoropoulos, quickly modified this thesis in light of his own archaeological discoveries.97

During the 1950s the most notable Early Christian sites, such as Agios Epiphanios (Salamis-Constantia) and Agia Tria (Yialousa), were excavated by Dikigoropoulos. Altogether he uncovered five square-pier wood-roofed basilicas built on the foundations of earlier Early Christian churches.98 The evidence indicated that these were immediately rebuilt after the previous churches were destroyed, during the period of Cypriot neutrality. In order to reconcile the evidence with Megaw's architectural model, Dikigoropoulos suggested that the Arab raids, coupled with earthquakes and plague, caused an economic downturn which stunted architectural development. He concluded that the modest square-pier basilicas were patchwork constructions, mere shadows of the previous structures. In contrast, his analysis of the Karpas barrel-vaulted churches indicated a reversal of Cypriot fortunes. He wrote, "the size and type of the churches of Aphendrika family suggest that they were built at a time when either the finances of those commissioning their erection could afford the cost, or when financial assistance from outside the Island could be forthcoming …… since we know that the Cypriots invoked the help of Byzantium between 780 and 806 we must conclude that the above churches were erected during this period."99 Dikigoropoulos believed that only Constantinople could save Cyprus from the devastation caused by Islam.100 Even with lack of historical evidence for this hypothesis, scholars were convinced by Dikigoropoulos' arguments. This led to a new consensus that the Karpas churches were rebuilt in the late eighth century.101

Papageorghiou was the last archaeologist to work on the Karpas basilicas. While he did not carry out full-scale excavations, he studied their structures and supervised a regional survey in 1965. He was convinced that the vaulted churches were built earlier in the eighth century but never provided his reasons.102 Eventually Megaw conceded that his previous dating of the Afentrika churches were incorrect. Following Dikigoropoulos and Papageorghiou, he suggested that they were built even earlier, immediately after the first Arab invasion of 649; but he, too, provided no explanation for his change of opinion.103 By accepting this redating, Megaw completely transformed his view, stating that the Karpas churches "attest to a substantial recovery in the Cypriot communities well before the re-establishment of Byzantine rule …… [and that] during the period of neutrality some notable monuments were erected."104 Perhaps Megaw's work within the Panagia Kanakariáá led him to reconsider his dating model.

Several pieces of evidence suggest that the church of the Panagia Kanakariáá is the earliest of these barrel-vaulted churches. First, the incorporation of a clerestory level below the springing of the nave vault attests to the Kanakariáá builders' desire to maintain an Early Christian feature. The addition of the clerestory prevented the aisle vaults from adequately supporting the nave vaulting at its springing point. All later builders of vaulted churches would omit the clerestory. Second, the Kanakariáá's aisle arcades, flanking the nave arcades, are evidently experimental. The architects understood that aisle vaults had to be completed prior to building the nave; however, they were unsure of how to integrate these two construction phases. They solved their problem by constructing two arcades, one to hold up the aisle vaults and a second to hold up the nave vaults. These two arcades would be built alongside each other. Their solution worked, but is decidedly less refined than the arrangement in the Afentrika churches, where the aisle arcades are against the north and south walls. At the Kanakariáá the rebuilt nave arcades followed the original intercolumniation, suggesting that the inexperienced builders used the previous foundations as a template for their reconstruction because they were unsure of the stability of square piers. These successful experiments taught Cypriots that massive piers, buttressed by additional arcades in the side aisles, were more than sufficient to carry the nave vaulting.

All Early Christian churches have atria and narthexes. At some point, atria were completely omitted from Cypriot churches, while few narthexes were built between the tenth and twelfth centuries.105 The Kanakariáá and Panagia at Sykhada rebuilt their Early Christian narthexes with barrel-vaults; the omission of narthexes in the other barrel-vaulted churches is a fundamental change that suggests a later development. Because all five barrel-vaulted churches share other similarities and important differences, it is possible to trace a line of development.

The careful preservation of the Kanakariáá's older apse mosaics by the rebuilders, and the reuse of marble flooring and cathedra, indicates that this church was renovated immediately after it was destroyed. Megaw argued that an inscription in the Kanakariáá's southwesternmost pier commemorated a renovation that took place before the ninth century.106 Its barrel-vaulted phase dates to the decades after the first Arab raids in 649 and 650, as argued by Dikigoropoulos and Papageorghiou.107

The Panagia Afentrika (Sykhada) most resembles the Kanakariáá and was either built at the same time or slightly later. The similarities include a vaulted narthex supported by blind arcades and transverse arches in the aisles that spring from corbels jutting from the wall rather than imposts resting on engaged piers. The marble ambo, synthronon, and chancel screens were reutilized from the original basilica, indicating continuity of liturgical practice from the previous phase. However, unlike the Kanakariáá, the builders designed the nave arcades with wide arches that did not follow the intercolumniation of the previous building. Its large piers would carry both the aisle and nave vaults, without additional supports, such as an adjacent aisle arcade. Constructed of rubble masonry and having only three bays, the Panagia Afentrika resembled the nearby church of Agia Varvara. Both were probably built within years of each other, though there are subtle differences.

At Agia Varvara engaged piers carry the aisle ribs, and its narthex was not rebuilt. Fortunately, Agia Varvara contains a fresco whose unique style can be dated. Its wheel-interlace pattern is rare among Early Christian and Byzantine monuments and more common among eighth-century structures in Umayyad Palestine. For example, a floor mosaic in the Panagia at Madaba (in present-day Jordan) has the same interlace pattern, with an inscription dated to 767.108 The same pattern is also exhibited in fresco at Aǧǧaçç Kilisi (Ihlara) in Cappadocia. Nichole Thierry has persuasively dated Aǧǧaçç Kilisi to the late eighth or early ninth century based on the adjacent Sassanid simorgh pattern.109 Because the wheel-interlace pattern is unique, associated with Eastern designs, and aniconic in nature, its appearance at Agia Varvara places the church in the eighth century.110

The Afentrika churches were probably the final Karpas churches to be refitted with barrel vaults. Unlike Agia Varvara, they were much larger and built with carefully cut ashlar blocks. The high quality of their masonry and their well-integrated blind arcades show refinement that the other churches lack. Nevertheless, their later restructuring closely followed their original ground plans and fully incorporated the earlier apses, walls, and flooring; this indicates that those elements were intact when rebuilding began. The conscious reuse of the synthronon and original side passages in the bema implies that liturgical practice remained the same. It would seem, therefore, that they, too, were rebuilt not very long after the initial Arab raids, most likely in the early eighth century. Their masonry is similar to the late-seventh-century square-pier basilica Agios Epiphanios at Salamis-Constantia, incorporating ashlars of various sizes, with pieces of tile and ceramics in the mortar.111 The blind arches were fully integrated with their aisle vaults. These five eighth-century barrel-vaulted churches can now be placed within our general knowledge of Byzantine history.

Historical Context

In 649 the Arab general Mu'āāwiya received permission from the Caliph Uthman to conquer Cyprus. Sailing from Egypt and Syria, two Muslim fleets converged at Acre forming an armada of 1,700 ships.112 They then proceeded to the Cypriot capital, Salamis-Constantia.113 After the conflict, a truce was declared between the Byzantine governor (archon) and Mu'āāwiya. Under the terms of the treaty, Cyprus would become a neutral state, paying an equal amount of taxes to Damascus and Constantinople. 114 Later, in 686, Emperor Justinian II and Caliph 'Abd al-Malik reaffirmed the treaty.115 This unique arrangement lasted until 965, when the Byzantine Empire reconquered the island.116 Over this three-hundred-year period, both the Arab and Byzantine government maintained a presence on the island, but could not garrison soldiers there. Without the ability to enforce laws, the outside governments were ineffectual. Local government was empowered. As a result, the island developed along a different trajectory than other Byzantine provinces.117

The initial raids in 649 and 650 devastated many Early Christian basilicas, and those that survived were probably destroyed by earthquakes a few years later.118 In subsequent decades the policies of the Byzantine Empire exacerbated the decay of infrastructure. For example, in 691 Justinian II reneged on his treaty with the Caliphate. He devised a plan to remove the archbishop of Salamis-Constantia and a large segment of the Cypriot population from Cyprus and resettle them on the Cyzicus peninsula, across the Sea of Marmara from Constantinople.119 A cathedral for the Cypriots was established at the city of Artake, which the emperor renamed Nova Justinianoupolis.120 For the next seventeen years the Cypriot archbishop and the Byzantine Empire abandoned Cyprus to the Arabs, who apparently plundered its monuments. The tenth-century Arab chronicler al-Muqaddasi recorded that around the year 707, "eighteen mule-loads of gold and silver" from Cyprus were used to pay for the construction of the Umayyad Great Mosque of Damascus.121

After the deposition of Justinian II in the early eighth century, the Cypriot archbishop returned to his original episcopal seat.122 Since the island's capital was 25 miles (40 km) from Lythrankomi and 30 miles (48 km) from Agia Varvara, there is reason associate the renovation of the Karpas churches with the rebuilding of Salamis-Constantia that occurred at this time. The Afentrika churches and the vaulted cathedral of Agios Epiphanios exhibit close similarities, such as masonry style, the use of pilasters supporting transverse arches, and tripartite sanctuary connected by apse passageways.123 These developments reflect an economic recovery in the northeastern part of the island at a time when there was a flourishing Muslim presence on the southwestern coast.

Islamic coins, inscriptions, and tombstones dating throughout the eighth and into the ninth century have been found at Paphos. One such tombstone has a Kufic inscription mentioning the hakīīm (governor) of the island, dating to the year 780.124 Scholars once believed that "the island was then divided into two zones, the Arabs controlling the western part (around Paphos)" with the Byzantine Empire ruling the eastern part (Salamis-Constantia).125 They proposed a "line separating the two communities and the possible existence even of two different types of coins, Byzantine for the Byzantines and Islamic for the Moslems."126 Since the majority of Islamic artifacts had been found in Paphos, this theory gained momentum in the 1990s. However, in 2004 French excavators published their catalogue of coins discovered during excavations at Salamis-Constantia between 1964 and 1974. They record twenty-three Umayyad coins, but only three Byzantine coins of the eighth century.127 While these numbers of coins are small and provide only circumstantial evidence, they clearly indicate that Islamic influence persisted throughout the island into the ninth century.128 Even with the Arabic presence the Church of Cyprus apparently continued to thrive.

Conclusion

The barrel-vaulted churches testify to the resiliency of the Cypriot Church after the initial Arab raids. While these structures exhibit a tension between tradition and innovation, their unified typology sets the island apart from other Byzantine provinces. The conscious recycling of older liturgical furnishings, floors, and apses, coupled with maintenance of the basilica form, attest to the importance of maintaining older materials in the renovation process. Instead of constructing on virgin ground, builders made an effort to reutilize established sacred spaces and preserve their cultic associations. Moreover, the basic layout indicates that little changed in liturgical practice between the seventh and eighth centuries on the island. And yet these basilicas mark a clear shift away from Early Christian architecture: vaulting replaced wood roofs, square-pier arcades supplanted previous colonnades, local stone replaced imported materials, mosaics gave way to frescos, and narthexes were eventually omitted. As a result, the light and airy interiors of Early Christian basilicas were transformed into dark and fortified sanctuaries. These elements would characterize Cypriot church design throughout the subsequent centuries.

As Robert Ousterhout has observed, "the adaption or modification of existing built forms provided a significant impetus for the development of new building types and new planning arrangements" in Middle Byzantine architecture.129 This generalization can be applied to the Karpas barrel-vaulted churches. Arab raids in the mid-seventh century led Cypriots to experiment with alternatives to colonnades and wood roofing. Similar developments occurred many decades later in western Europe.

It is tempting to propose that the Karpas churches served as prototypes for Romanesque builders of France and Spain. When the German bishop Willibald visited Cyprus in 723 he recounted, "Those Cypriots dwell between the Greeks and the Saracens, and were disarmed, because a great peace and friendship was then in force between the Saracens and the Greeks there."130 This passage implies that eighth-century Cyprus served as a bottleneck where Latins, Arabs, and Greeks could interact and exchange ideas. However the words of one lone pilgrim are not enough to establish a solid connection between the Cyprus and Western Europe. Perhaps it is sufficient just to acknowledge how different groups of builders arrived at similar solutions based on shared principles. The Karpas and Romanesque basilicas arise from a common type——the Early Christian basilica, and were guided by a common cultural force——orthodox Christianity. In recognizing these common factors perhaps historians can be less rigid as they differentiate between Eastern and Western architecture development.

Notes

This material was analyzed in the Republic of Cyprus from 2005 to 2007. Generous support came from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation Dissertation Fellowship of the Society of Architectural Historians, Fulbright Fellowship, Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI), and Medieval Academy of America. I sincerely thank W. Eugene Kleinbauer and Diane Reilly of Indiana University, Alexis M. Clark of Duke University, and Professor Marcus Rautman of the University of Missouri for reading and editing initial portions of this study. I also acknowledge assistance provided by the Director of the Cyprus Department of Antiquities, Dr. Pavlos Flourentzos, and the Curator of Monuments, Dr. Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou, for access to photography and fieldwork archives. Additional assistance was provided by Dr. Thomas Davis and Vathoulla Moustoukki of CAARI. Preliminary findings of this work were presented at the Byzantine Studies Conference (Toronto, 2007) and the 4th International Cyprological Congress (Nicosia, 2008), where I received significant suggestions from the audience.

Hans Kubach, Romanesque Architecture (New York: Abrams, 1975), 105, 128; Kenneth J. Conant, Caolingian and Romanesque Architecture 800––1200, 4th ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978), 88––93; Roger Stalley, Early Medieval Architecture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 131––34; Edson Armi, Design and Construction in Romanesque Architecture (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Richard Krautheimer, Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture, 4th ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press 1986), 202––3; Andre Grabar, "Christian Architecture, East and West," Archaeology 2 (1949), 95––108; Robert Ousterhout, "The Architecture of Iconoclasm" in L. Brubaker and J. Haldon, Byzantium in the Iconoclast Era (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001), 6; Thomas Mathews, The Early Churches of Constantinople: Architecture and Liturgy (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1971), 155––79.

It is rather ironic that Hagia Sophia remained unreplicated until the advent of Ottoman control over Constantinople; of course, Justinianic architecture was replicated in the west, such as the Palatine Chapel (Aachen) and San Marco (Venice); Robert Ousterhout, "The Holy Space: Architecture and the Liturgy," in Linda Safran's Heaven on Earth (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998), 82; Master Builders of Byzantium (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2008), 16.

Yoram Tsafrir, "Procopius and the Nea Church in Jerusalem," Antiquitéé Tardive 8 (2001), 149––64; George Forsyth, "The Monastery of St. Catherine at Mount Sinai," Dumbarton Oaks Papers 22 (1968), 3––19.

Two other churches located on the southern coast may also belong to the same group: the Panagia Limeniotissa (Paphos) and the Sarayia chapel (Episkopi). This article focuses primarily on the Karpas churches, since these latter two churches are pending publication by their excavator, Athanasios Papageorghiou.

Archaeological excavations in northern Cyprus are currently illegal, and so the material presented here was obtained through past excavation reports, visual analysis, and archival photographs in the Cyprus Department of Antiquities, Nicosia. All measurement provided in this article are given in approximations. Accompanying illustrations are based on the author's sketch plans and measurements in the field. These plans were compared with the available sketch plans published by Camille Enlart and A. H. S. Megaw and modified accordingly; Enlart, L'Art gothique et la Renaissance en Chypre I (Paris: Leroux, 1899), 397––98; Megaw, "Three Vaulted Basilicas in Cyprus," Journal of Hellenic Studies 66 (1946), 48––56.

In 1985 Athanasios Papageorghiou counted fifty-six Early Christian churches, since then nine more have been found: Garrison's Camp (Paphos), three at Kalavasos-Kopetra, Agioi Pente (Geroskipou), two basilicas at Polis, the Panagia Limeniotissa (Kourion), and Agios Georgios (Nicosia): "L'Architecture palééochréétienne de Chypre," Corsi di cultura sull'arte ravennate e bizantina 22 (1985), 300; Filippo Guidice et al. "Paphos, Garrison's Camp," Report of the Department of Antiquities Cyprus (2004), 271––315; Marcus Rautman, A Cypriot Village of Late Antiquity: Kalavasos-Kopetra in the Vasilikos Valley (Portsmouth, Rhode Island, 2003); Demetrios Michaelides, "'Ayioi Pente' at Yeroskipou, a New Early Christian Site in Cyprus," Musiva & Sectilia 1 (2004), 185––98.

Previous scholars have often used the appellation "Condominium Period" for the time between 650 and 965 on Cyprus. This is a misnomer, since neither the Byzantine Empire or the Arab Caliphate governed the island in any direct or joint fashion; R. J. Jenkins, "Cyprus between Byzantium and Islam, A.D. 688––965," Studies Presented to David Moore Robinson on His Seventieth Birthday (St. Louis, 1953), 1006––1014; 1994––1998. Costas Kyrris, "Cyprus, Byzantium and the Arabs from the 7th to the early 8th centuries," ΤΤόμμοουυ ττιιςς εϵππεϵττηηρρίδδααςς ττιιςς εϵττααιιρρεϵίααςς ββυυζζααννττιιννώνν σσπποουυδδώνν 49, 185––236.

Seven Early Christian churches were rebuilt as square-pier basilicas with wood roofs: Agios Mamas (Morphou), Panagia Angeloktisti (Kiti), Agios Heracleidos (Tamassos-Polikitico), Agios Spyridon (Tremithous), the Southwest basilica at Amathous, and Agios Epiphanios (Salamis-Constantia). Regarding Agios Spyridon see Athanasios Papageorghiou, "Έρρεϵυυνναα εϵιιςς ττοονν ννααώνν ττοουυ ααγγίοουυ ΣΣππυυρρίδδωωννοοςς εϵνν ΤΤρρεϵμμεϵττοουυσσιιά," ΚΚυυππρριιαακκααί ΣΣπποουυδδααί 30 (1966), 17––33; for Agios Mamas see A. H. S. Megaw "Archaeology in Cyprus, 1958," Archaeological Reports 5 (1958), 34; see also Andreas Dikigoropoulos, "Cyprus 'betwixt Greeks and Saracens,' A.D. 647––965," (DPhil diss., Oxford University, 1961), 85––87.

Polybius of Rhinocorura Vita Epiphanii (Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Graeca, 41.85). Carpasia was originally a sea port. This city was first recorded by Strabo and seems to have flourished through the end of Late Antiquity: Geographica 14.6.3; A. H. S. Megaw and Joan du Plat Taylor, "Excavations at Ayios Philon, The Ancient Carpasia" Report of the Department of Antiquities Cyprus (1981), 209––50.

Papageorghiou, "Architecture palééochréétienne," 318––19; Megaw and J. du Plat Taylor, "Excavations at Ayios Philon," 209––50; A. H. S. Megaw and E. J. W. Hawkins, The Church of the Panagia Kanakariáá at Lythrankomi in Cyprus (Washington, D. C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1977).

David Hogarth, Devia Cypria (Oxford: Horace Hart, 1889), 86.

Hogarth was not the first explorer to visit the site. The cartographer Richard Pococke passed the ruins in 1837 and reported that locals called the place "Asphronisy"; see C. D. Cobham, Excerpta Cypria (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1908), 258. The British diplomat Alexander Drummond wrote twenty-five years later: "About two miles eastward are fine ruins of a village, which they call Athendrae, though I cannot find it in any map I have seen: however, in many circumstances it answers the description of the ancient Carpasia, built by Pygmalion ……"; Letter dated 13 Nov. 1750, in David Martin, English Texts: Frankish and Turkish Periods (Albany, New York: Institute of Cypriot Studies, University of New York, 1998), 98. Hogarth, Devia Cypria, 85; Papageorghiou, "Cities and Countryside," 40, fig. 9. Diodorus, Bibliotheca historica 20.47.

Athanasios Papageorghiou, "Cities and Countryside at the End of Antiquity and the Beginning of the Middle Ages in Cyprus," in The Sweet Land of Cyprus (Nicosia, 1993), 40, fig. 9; J. du Plat Taylor and E. Dray, "Tsambres and Aphendrika," Report of the Department of Antiquities Cyprus (1937––39), 24––123.

Ibid, 86; Papageorghiou, "Cities and Countryside," 40, fig. 9. The chapel of Agios Georgios, while related to the Afentrika barrel-vaulted churches in both date and construction, will be treated in a separate publication being prepared by the author.

Hogarth was unaware of this shrine but described a similar one at Rizokarpaso five miles away: "The tombs are all empty, and many, to judge from the crosses cut on walls and roof, have been re-used in Christian times: one is lined with plaster"; Devia Cypria, 92.

Megaw, "Three Vaulted Basilicas in Cyprus," 48––56.

Georgios Soteriou, ΤΤαα ΒΒυυζζααννττιιννά ΜΜννήμμαατταα ττηηςς ΚΚύππρροουυ (Athens: Athens Academy, 1935), plate 15a; Megaw, "Three Vaulted Basilicas," 50––52.

Papageorghiou, "Architecture palééochréétienne," 299––324; Megaw and du Plat Taylor, "Ayios Philon," 221; Megaw and Hawkins, Panagia Kanakariáá, 24––30.

The late-fourth-century cathedral of Agios Epiphanios at Salamis-Constantia is the earliest church on the island to have these passages. It is a feature found in other Early Christian churches such as Agios Philon (Carpasia).

This is noted by Megaw, "Three Vaulted Basilicas," 50. The large fifth-century church of the Campanopetra (Salamis-Constantia) was built in a similar fashion: G. Roux, La basilique de la Campanopéétra (Paris: De Boccard1998). Portions of the walls at the 5th century church Qal'at Si'man (Syria) and the 6th c. fortress at Haïïda in North Africa also have this type of construction; Krautheimer, Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture, 260.

Papageorghiou called this chamber a chapelle des martyres; "ΠΠααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκή κκααιι ββυυζζααννττιιννή …… 1964," 94––96; Vassos Karageorghis, "Chroniques des fouilles en 1964," Bulletin de correspondance helléénique 89 (1965), 300. Regarding the function of these chapels see Georgiana Babííc's Les Chapelles annexes des ééglises byzantines (Paris: CNRS, Klincksieck, 1969) and Slobodan Curcic's "Architectural Significance of Subsidiary Chapels in Middle Byzantine Churches," JSAH 36, no. 2 (1977), 94––110.

Athanasios Papageorghiou, "ΗΗ ππααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκή κκααιι ββυυζζααννττιιννή ααρρχχααιιοολλοογγίαα κκααιι ττέχχννηη εϵνν ΚΚύππρρωω κκααττά ττοο 1964," ΑΑππόσσττοολλοοςς ΒΒααρρννάββααςς 26 (1965), 94––96.

A similar development occurred at Andaval (Cappadocia) after the church there was rebuilt as a barrel-vaulted basilica. Like the Panagia Afentrika, this Cappadocian church still has its early Christian columns in situ between the later square pilasters: Nicole Thierry, La Cappadoce: de l'Antiquitéé au Moyen-ââge (Turnhout: Brepols, 2002), 78, fig. 46.

Papageorghiou, "ΠΠααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκή κκααιι ββυυζζααννττιιννή …… 1964," 94––96.

Megaw, "Three Vaulted Basilicas," 51––52, fig. 7. Other scholars omit any discussion of this detail; Camille Enlart, L'Art gothique (Paris, 1899), 397––98; Papageorghiou, "ΗΗ ππααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκή κκααιι ββυυζζααννττιιννή …… 1964," and "ΗΗ ππααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκή κκααιι ββυυζζααννττιιννή ααρρχχααιιοολλοογγίαα κκααιι ττέχχννηη εϵνν ΚΚύππρρωω κκααττά ττοο …… 1965," ΑΑππόσσττοολλοοςς ΒΒααρρννάββααςς 27 (1966), 221; Georger Jeffery, A Description of the Historic Monuments of Cyprus (London, 1918, rpt. London: Zenon, 1983), 57––58; G. Soteriou, "ΤΤαα ππααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκά κκααιι ββυυζζααννττιιννά μμννηημμεϵίαα ττηηςς ΚΚύππρροουυ," ΠΠρραακκττιικκά ττηηςς ΑΑκκααδδηημμίααςς ΑΑθθηηννώνν (1931), 482; R. Gunnis, Historic Cyprus (London: Methuen, 1936), 167; Dikigoropoulos, "Cyprus 'betwixt Greeks and Saracens,'" 230.

Papageorghiou, "ΗΗ ππααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκή κκααιι ββυυζζααννττιιννή …… 1964," 94––96.

A large quarry called Phylakes is located east of Afentrika and is still used as such today; Hogarth, Devia Cypria, 85.

Papageorghiou, "ΗΗ ππααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκή κκααιι ββυυζζααννττιιννή …… 1965," 221.

Hogarth called this church Agios Demetrios; its original name is uncertain; Devia Cypria, 86.

Dikigoropoulos, "Cyprus 'betwixt Greeks and Saracens,'" 179––81.

Enlart, L'Art gothique, 398.

The first phase masonry has large, finely carved ashlars (measuring 24 ×× 12 inches) joined together by smooth mortar; the second phase has smaller, coarser stones (12 x 6 inches) joined by mortar mixed with tile and ceramics pieces.

Few scholars of Byzantine architectural history have mentioned the necessity of side aisles or ambulatories in supporting vaults. In contrast, Stalley describes the significance of this technological understanding in the earliest Romanesque vaulted basilicas; Early Medieval Architecture, 133––34. Perhaps the structural necessity of aisles is demonstrated at the early-fourth-century Basilica Nova in Rome, where aisle vaults served as "proto-flying buttresses"; Robert Mark, Architectural Technology up to the Scientific Revolution (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1993), 87.

The reliance on round arches in the arcades, vaulting, and transverse ribs necessarily depends on the square, or more precisely, the half-square. Each half-square unit was repeated for each bay, simply because each bay supported a network of round arches. The measurements of each bay derived from the width the half-circle (i.e., barrel vault) overhead; Franççois Bucher, "Medieval Architectural Design Methods," Gesta 11, no. 2 (1972), 37––51; W. Eugene Kleinbauer, "Pre-Carolingian Concepts of Architectural Planning," in The Medieval Mediterranean: Cross-Cultural Contacts, ed. M. Chiat and K. Reyerson (St. Cloud, Minn.: North Star Press, 1988), 67––74.

Andreas and Judith Stylianou, The History of the Cartography of Cyprus (Nicosia: Cyprus Research Centre, 1980), 57––58. The site of Agia Varvara is closer to the prehistoric ruins of Nitoviklia on the coast than to modern Koroveia. A Cypriot city called "Koroneia" (ΚΚοορρώννεϵιιαα) was mentioned by the sixth-century chronicler Stephanus Byzantinus in his Ethnica.

The road leading to the church is a goat path used by the local Turkish farmer; occasionally ruts made by tractor tires uncover examples of coins, amphorae, and ancient glass. Hogarth provided the earliest description of the church: Devia Cypria, 70.

H. Gregoire, "Saint Demetrianos, éévêêque de Chytri," Byzantinische Zeitschrift 16 (1907), 209––12.

The church was first recorded by Kitchener on his 1885 map, marked as "Aphendrika (ruins)" northwest of Sykhada. He also marked another church a few yards away called "Agia Yeorgios (ruins)," which I have been unable to locate; A Trigonometrical Survey of the Island of Cyprus (London, 1885), Enlart, L'Art gothique, 399.

This work consisted of removing loose stones and brush from the interior space, and was not a scientific excavation: Megaw, "Three Vaulted Basilicas," 55, fig. 13.

The "hanging" corbel used to support a transverse arch is common in the Binbirkilise region of Anatolia, perhaps as early as the sixth century; R. Lienhardt, "The Great Basilica, Church no. 1, at Bin Bir Kilise in Anatolia," JSAH 24 no. 4 (Dec. 1965), 300––303; W. Ramsay and G. Bell, The Thousand and One Churches (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1909), 41––51. Krautheimer has argued the architectural technology and design of the Binbirkilise region was derived from Syria; however, I have not found any examples of "hanging" corbels in Syria; Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture, 162. Many barrel vaults at Binbirkilise have neither piers nor transverse arch support. The sixth-century basilica at Tolmeita in North Africa had a barrel-vaulted nave with transverse arches supported by wall corbels; however, the corbels rest directly above the aisle piers, so they are not really hanging, but inset within the wall supported by piers (ibid., 275).

On the others side of the church, Enlart mentioned an external staircase attached to the north wall, which does not survive. He explained that this led to the flat roof of the church. This suggestion is rather odd, since the church was clearly barrel vaulted, as Enlart noted. Perhaps this stairway led to a later bell tower, or like so many converted churches on Cyprus, a minaret; L'Art gothique, 399. Hogarth wrote, "That the Carpas was entirely unmolested by the Turks is disproved by the existence of so many ruined churches in its area, and of Greek-speaking Mahometan villages like Galinoporni and Koroveia, sure traces of a forced conversion of the conquered"; Devia Cypria, 59. The Panagia Afentrika at Sykhada lies two miles between Galinoporni and Koroveia.

The figure's head is elongated so that its height is twice the length of its width. Human representations in this style brings to mind the seventh- or eighth-century figures depicted in the Red Monastery in Egypt; Elizabeth Bolman, "Late Antique Aesthetics, Chromophobia, and the Red Monastery, Sohag, Egypt," Eastern Christian Art 3 (2006), 1––24.

Megaw and Hawkins, Panagia Kanakariáá; Jakov Smirnov, "ХХррййссттааннссккiяя ММооззааййккйй ККййппрраа," Vizantiiskii vremennik (1897), 1––93; Marina Sacopoulo, La Theotokos àà la mandorle de Lythrankomi (Paris: Maisonneuve & Larose, 1975).

This spacing was followed during the second phase reconstruction of Agios Spyridon (Tremithou); Papageorghiou, "ΑΑγγίοουυ ΣΣππυυρρίδδωωννοοςς," 17––33.

Enlart, L'Art gothique, I.402; Dikigoropoulos, "Cyprus 'betwixt Greeks and Saracens,'" 189; Athanasios Papageorghiou, "ΗΗ ππααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκή κκααιι ββυυζζααννττιιννή ααρρχχααιιοολλοογγίαα κκααιι ττέχχννηη εϵνν ΚΚύππρρωω," 27 (1966), 21, and vol. 29 (1968), 24.

Megaw's reconstruction of the Kanakariáá's second phase is based on its similarities with the wood-roof phase of the Agios Epiphanios (Salamis-Constantia), such as the square-pier arcades and especially, the "walled bema." But as I argue throughout this article, all the barrel-vaulted churches have similarities with both the second and third phases of Agios Epiphanios. The use of a "walled bema" does not exclude the Kanakariáá from the barrel-vaulted group as Megaw seems to infer; Megaw and Hawkins, Panagia Kanakariáá, 30––33, plate F.

Few scholars have accepted Megaw's reconstruction; S. ĆĆurččićć's review in Speculum, 55, no. 4 (1980), 812––16; Athanasios Papageorghiou, "Constantinopolitan Influence on the Middle Byzantine Architecture of Cyprus," Jahrbuch der ÖÖsterreichischen Byzantinistik 32, no. 4 (1982), 469––70.

There are rare examples of Early Christian churches with crossing towers known in Asia Minor, such as Meriamlik; Stephen Hill, The Early Byzantine Churches of Cilicia and Isauria (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1996). However little is known regarding their roofing and they appear much earlier than the rebuilt church of the Panagia Kanakariáá.

Megaw dated the current bema dome to the twelfth century; Panagia Kanakariáá, 34––35. However, the last archaeologist to work on the church, Athanasios Papageorghiou, believes it must date earlier, perhaps to the tenth century (personal communication, 24 Nov. 2006).

Multiple courses of voussoirs are known in the earliest examples of Roman barrel vaults; Jean-Pierre Adam, Roman Building: Materials and Techniques, trans. A. Mathews (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994), 158––59.

C. A. Stewart, "The Barrel-Vaulted Basilicas of Cyprus," Proceedings of the 4th International Cyprological Congress, Lefkosia, 29 April––3 May 2008 (Nicosia, 2009).

Cyril Mango, Byzantine Architecture (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1978), 98, plate 140.

Richard Kieckhefer, Theology in Stone: Church Architecture from Byzantium to Berkeley (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 75––76.

There is no evidence for the use of ciboria in Cyprus between the seventh and tenth centuries.

Megaw "Three Vaulted Basilicas," 56.

Costas Kyrris, "Cyprus, Byzantium and the Arabs,"185––236; Costas Kyrris, "The Nature of Arab-Byzantine Relations in Cyprus from the Middle of the 7th to the Middle of the 10th Century A.D.," Graeco-Arabica 1 (1982), 144––75; R. J. Jenkins, "Cyprus between Byzantium and Islam," 1006––1014; M. T. Mansouri, Chypre dans les sources arabes méédiéévales (Nicosia, 2001). Robert Schick, The Christian Communities of Palestine from Byzantine to Islamic Rule (Princeton, N.J.: Darwin Press, 1995); Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: from Jihad to Dhimmitude (Madison, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1996).

Dikigoropoulos also wrote: "Various factors may have contributed to the abandonment of the great basilicas. Arab action in the seventies of the seventh century, when an Arab garrison may have been established on the Island is not known. But it is not impossible that it was adverse to the maintenance of a large basilica …… by a shrinking population. Earthquakes, which are recorded in the region of Palestine during this period …… may have struck Constantia causing irreparable damage to the great basilica. Of this however, we have no record"; Dikigoropoulos, "Cyprus 'betwixt Greeks and Saracens,'" 182 note 2, 186 note 1.

Papageorghiou recognized two different stages of rebuilding after the Early Christian church of Agios Sypridonos was destroyed. He proposed that the destruction was caused by the Arabs, but not the initial raids of 649 and 650; "ΑΑγγίοουυ ΣΣππυυρρίδδωωννοοςς," 17––33.

Theodore of Paphos, La Léégende de St. Spyridon éévêêque de Trimithonte, trans. P. Van den Ven, (Louvain, 1953), 89; Acta Sanctorum, Maii VI, 684––85.

Tassos Papacostas, "Byzantine Cyprus: The Testimony of Its Churches, 650––1200," (DPhil diss., Oxford University, 1999), 209––10. This echoes Dikigoropoulos' observations that "one would expect to find some evidence that the abandonment of some 58%, if not more, of the Island's rural settlements took place as a result of sacking or destruction by raiders …… such evidence is not, however, forthcoming"; "Cyprus 'betwixt Greeks and Saracens,'" 266.

Vincenzo Ruggieri, Byzantine religious architecture (582––867) (Rome: Pontificale Institutum Studiorum Orientalium, 1991), 140––50.

"Byzantine Architecture on Cyprus," Medieval Cyprus (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), 73.

Middle Byzantine Architecture on Cyprus: Provincial or Regional? (Nicosia: Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, 2000), 10.

Megaw, Kourion: Excavations in the Episcopal Precinct (Washington D. C: Dumbarton Oaks, 2007), 174––76.

E. Guidoboni, A. Comastri and G. Traina, Catalogue of Ancient Earthquakes in the Mediterranean Area up to the 10th Century (Bologna: Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica, 1994).

No archaeological method has been devised to distinguish between a wall that has fallen due to an earthquake and one that collapses due to human demolition or simply age. The latest "earthquake-linked coins" at Kourion are dated to 687. This is a rather conspicuous timeframe for the coin record to end. According to the ninth-century Byzantine historian Theophanes, in the year 691 the Emperor Justinian II resettled "the population of the island of Cyprus" on the Cyzicus peninsula near Constantinople; C. Mango and R. Scott, The Chronicle of Theophanes Confessor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 509, notated as Chronographia below. It is possible that the bishop of Kourion and his flock abandoned their church at this time. This is further discussed in the next section.

While an earthquake was reported in Palestine in 640, Cyprus belongs to a separate fault line and was probably not affected. Only one historical earthquake was massive enough that it could have impacted Cyprus: in 796 a devastating tremor in Constantinople, Alexandria, and Crete was recorded; N. Ambraseys, "The Seismic History of Cyprus," Revue de l'Union Internationale de Secours 3 (1965), 25––48; Guidoboni et al., Catalogue of Ancient Earthquakes. But as I discuss below, the barrel-vaulted churches seem to date to the earlier part of that century. For the historical sources for earthquakes damage regarding Hagia Sophia, see W. Eugene Kleinbauer's Saint Sophia at Constantinople: Singulariter in mundo (Dublin, N.H.: William L. Bauhan, 1999), 31, 34.

A general critique of Ruggieri's earthquake theory was provided by Robert Ousterhout; Speculum 68.2 (1993), 559––61.

Experiments conducted by the Getty Institute and Macedonian scholars have tested the seismic strength of Middle Byzantine churches in a series of experiments. While central-planned structures are remarkably resilient to seismic forces, the dome was the single most unstable feature. The swaying of the dome led to walls cracking. Therefore we should question whether Byzantine architects viewed domed structures are "earthquake proof?"; P. Gavrilovííc, "Seismic Strengthening and Repair of Byzantine Churches," Journal of Earthquake Engineering 3, no. 2 (1999), 199––235; Predrag Gavrilovićć et al., Conservation and Seismic Strengthening of Byzantine Churches in Macedonia (Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute, 2004).

"ΠΠααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκή κκααιι ββυυζζααννττιιννή …… 1965," 221; Athanasios Papageorghiou, "Constantinopolitan Influence on the Middle Byzantine Architecture of Cyprus," Jahrbuch der ÖÖsterreichischen Byzantinistik 32, no. 4 (1982), 468––70; see also Papageorghiou's entries for the respective churches in the ΜΜεϵγγάλληη ΚΚυυππρριιαακκή εϵγγκκυυκκλλοοππααίδδεϵιιαα (Nicosia, 1985).

A. Michel and M. Piccirillo, Les ééglises d'éépoques byzantine et Umayyade de Jordanie (Turnhout: Brepots, 2001), 169. The rare examples of barrel-vaulted churches elsewhere, such as Agios Georgios in Astypalaia (Greece) and Belovo (Bulgaria), are even more dissimilar in their design and form; A. H. S. Megaw, "Byzantine Architecture and Decoration in Cyprus: Metropolitan or Provinical?" Dumbarton Oaks Papers 28 (1974)," 78 note 81; see also Krautheimer, Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture, 162, 275.

The closest comparanda to the Cyprus barrel-vaulted basilicas can be found at Maden ŞŞehri––Deǧǧle, also known as Binbir Kilisi. This region contains several churches, like the so-called "Great Basilica" which were renovated with double barrel vaults (see note 41 above). Also the scale and form of the seventh-century barrel-vaulted church of Küüççüük Tavşşan Adasi (off the coast of Göölkööy) in Turkey is the closest to the Karpas churches; V. Ruggieri, "La chiesa di Küüççüük Tavşşan Adasi nella Caria Bizantina," Jahrbuch der ÖÖsterreichischen Byzantinistik 40 (1990), 383––403. These similarities necessitate a closer examination.

Rautman, Cypriot Village, 69––71, 90.

Ibid., 275––76.

Chronographia 423.

These sites were never fully published as excavation reports; Megaw, "Reflections on Byzantine Paphos," in ΚΚααθθηηγγήττρριιαα: Essays Presented to Joan Hussey for Her 80th Birthday (Camberley, England: Porphyrogenitus, 1988), 135––36; Dikigoropoulos, "Cyprus 'betwixt Greeks and Saracens,'" 230; VassosKarageorghis, "Chroniques des fouilles en 1967," Bulletin de correspondance helléénique 92, 351; Vassos Karageorghis, "Chroniques des fouilles en 1968," Bulletin de correspondance helléénique 93, 564––66; Athanasios Papageorghiou, "ΠΠααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκή κκααιι ββυυζζααννττιιννή …… 1968," ΑΑππόσσττοολλοοςς ΒΒααρρννάββααςς (1969), 82––88; Athanasios Papageorghiou, ΙΙεϵρρά ΜΜηηττρρόπποολλιιςς ΠΠάφφοουυ, ΙΙσσττοορρίαα κκααιι ττέχχννηη (Nicosia: Imprinta, 1996), 6, 55.

The excavation this church, known as the Panagia Limeniotissa at Kourion, has not been published; initial findings were reported in CAARI News 15 (Dec. 1997), 4––5.

The second inscription read "destroyed by the fire …… the entire episcopal palace …… in the other places …… of the island …… other fires …… the fervor of John …… and in great haste …… rebuilt buildings that were destroyed, renovated roofs, they have decorations and have finished the work for the Glory of the Father of the Son and Holy Spirit the year 13 of the Indiction, 371st year of the Era of Diocletian"; D. Feissel, "Bulletin éépigraphique-Chypre," Revue des éétudes grecques 100 (1987), 380––81; J. Des Gagniers and T. Tinh, Soloi. Dix campagnes de fouilles (1964––1974) I: La Basilique (Saint-Foy, Canada: Presses Universitéé Laval, 1985); Athanasios Papageorghiou, "ΜΜιιαα σσύγγχχρροοννηη ππηηγγή γγιιαα ττιιςς δδύοο ππρρώττεϵςς ααρρααββιικκέςς εϵππιιδδρροομμέςς κκααττά ττηηςς ΚΚύππρροουυ," Stasinos 9 (1986––88), 167––75.

Munro, A. and H. Tubbs, "Excavations in Cyprus, 1890, Salamis," Journal of Hellenic Studies 12 (1891), 102––3.

George Hill, A History of Cyprus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1940), I.254; Dikigoropoulos, "Cyprus 'betwixt Greeks and Saracens,'" 186; Megaw, "Archaeology in Cyprus, 1956," Archaeological Reports 3 (1956), 30.

Roux, La basilique de la Campanopéétra, 250.

See note 9 above.

For a list of centrally planned churches of the eighth and ninth centuries, see Ousterhout, "The Architecture of Iconoclasm," 3––18.

Recorded raids from both Arab and Byzantine sources are: (1) In 648/49, invasion of Mu'āāwiya; Feissel, "Bulletin éépigraphique-Chypre," 380––81; M. Tabari, Ta'rīīkh al-Rusul wa'l Mul¯¯uk IV, ed. M. Ibrāāhīīm (Cairo: Dar al Ma'arit, 1972), 258; Theophanes Chronographia, 344; Hippolyte Delahaye, "Life of St. Therapon," Acta Sanctorum Maii 6, 684––85). (2) In 653/54, Second Arab invasion led by Abu'l A'war al Sulami; A. Balāādhuri, The Origin of the Islamic State (Kitāāb Futūūh al-Buldāān) trans. P. Hitti and F. Murgotten (New York: Columbia University Press, 1924), 209. (3) In 691––98, Justinian II resettled Cypriots on the Cyzicus peninsula, causing the Arabs to raid the island in retaliation; A. Dikigoropoulos,"The Political Status of Cyprus A.D. 648––965," Report of the Department of Antiquities Cyprus (1940––1948), 101 note 42. (4) In 743, Walid-Ibn-Yezid raided Cyprus and deported scores of Cypriots to Syria; Agapius of Manbij, Universal History (Kitāāb al-'Unwāān) ed. and trans. A. Vasiliev, Patrologie Orientalis 8 (1912), 511––12. (5) In 773, Arabs capture Laherfavos, a prosopon (Byzantine representative) on Cyprus; Theophanes, Chronographia, 446. (6) In 805/6, Arab raids; Theophanes, Chronographia, 481. (7) In 807 Humaid b. Ma'yüüf, governor of the coast of Syria, carried out the raids on Rhodes and Cyprus; Theophanes, Chronographia, 483. (8) In 912, four-month Arab raid, led by Damianus, Emirate of Tarsus; A. Mas'ūūdi, Murūūj al-Dhahab wa Ma'āādin al-Jawhar VIII, ed. C. Barbier de Meynard and A. Pavet de Courteille (Paris: Impr. Impéériale, 1861––77), 282––83.

Stalley, Early Medieval Architecture, 131––34.

Our best description of the seventh- and eighth-century liturgy comes from Maximus the Confessor's Mystagogia (Migne, Patrologia Graeca 91) and the Patriarch Germanus I of Constantinople Historia Ecclesiastica (Paul Meyendorff, St. Germanus of Constantinople on the Divine Liturgy [Crestwood, New York: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1984]).

Thomas F. Mathews, "An Early Roman Chancel Arrangement and its Liturgical Functions," Rivista di archeologia cristiana 38 (1962), 93––94.

Robert Taft, "The Frequency of the Eucharist throughout History," Concilium 172 (1982), 13––24.

Karl Lehmann, "The Dome of Heaven," Art Bulletin 27 (1945), 1––27; T. F. Mathews, "Cracks in Lehmann's 'Dome of Heaven,'" Art and Architecture in Byzantium and Armenia (Variorum Collected Studies Series CS 510, 2001), 11––16. The rainbow became an important symbol in Christian art denoting the sky above and the spiritual heaven. For example, at Hosios David (fifth century) and Hagia Sophia (eighth century) in Thessaloniki mosaics depicts Christ seated on the rainbow. As such the rainbow is a symbol for heaven——Christ's throne (Isaiah 66:1, Acts 7:49, Revelations 4:2––3). Often ancient writers do not make a distinction between a barrel vault and a dome; see the discussion in H. Howe, "The Dome of Clement," Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 97 (1966), 265––67.

Enlart, L'Art gothique, I: 395––401.

Soteriou, "ΤΤαα ππααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκά κκααιι ββυυζζααννττιιννά μμννηημμεϵίαα ττηηςς ΚΚύππρροουυ," ΠΠρραακκττιικκά ττηηςς ΑΑκκααδδηημμίααςς ΑΑθθηηννώνν (1931):482; Soteriou, ΤΤαα ΒΒυυζζααννττιιννά ΜΜννήμμαατταα, plate 10a, 11a, & 15a (mislabeled as Agios Philon).

Jeffery, Historic Monuments of Cyprus, 257––58; Gunnis, Historic Cyprus, 167.

"Three Vaulted Basilicas," 48––56.

Hill, History of Cyprus, I. 322.

"Three Vaulted Basilicas," 56.

John Hackett, A History of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus (London: Methuen, 1901); Andreas Dikigoropoulos, "The Church of Cyprus during the Period of the Arab Wars," Greek Orthodox Theological Review 11 (1965––66), 237––79.

See note 9 above.

"Cyprus 'betwixt Greeks and Saracens,'" 193.

Theophanes recorded that Emperor Michael sent a grant to refugees fleeing Palestine; these funds were not for church building; Theophanes, Chronographia, 498.

Dikigoropoulos wrote: "Professor Soteriou has also revised his views since then and now agrees to a dating within the period of the Arab wars"; and "Mr. Megaw tentatively dated the Aphendrika churches to the period after the Byzantine reconquest of 965; he has, however, revised his view since then and is now of the opinion that they belong to the period of the Arab wars. I understand Mr. Megaw is going to comment on the Aphendrika churches in a paper he is reading at the Byzantine Congress, at Ochrid, in September, 1961"; "Cyprus 'betwixt Greeks and Saracens,'" 191 note 1. However, no trace of Megaw's paper exists, nor have I been able to verify if he attended. Megaw mentioned that his views toward the barrel-vaulted basilicas changed, but provided no reason why; "Byzantine Architecture and Decoration in Cyprus: Metropolitan or Provinical?" Dumbarton Oaks Papers 28 (1974), 76 note 80.

Papageorghiou, "ΠΠααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκή κκααιι ββυυζζααννττιιννή …… 1965," 221; Papageorghiou, "Constantinopolitan Influence," 468––70; Athanasios Papageorghiou, ΜΜεϵγγάλληη ΚΚυυππρριιαακκή εϵγγκκυυκκλλοοππααίδδεϵιιαα (Nicosia, 1985).

Megaw and Hawkins, Panagia Kanakariáá, 31 note 130.

"'Betwixt Greeks and Saracens,'" in Acts of the International Archaeological Symposium "Cyprus between the Orient and the Occident" September 1985, ed. V. Karageorghis (Nicosia: Dept. of Antiquities, Cyprus, 1985), 518.

A. Papageorghiou, "The Narthex of the Churches of the Middle Byzantine Period in Cyprus," in Rayonnement Grec, ed. L. Hadermann-Misguich and G. Raepsaet (Brussels: Editions de l'Universitéé de Bruxelles, 1982), 437––48.

Megaw and Hawkins, Panagia Kanakariáá, 148––49. Cyril Mango, who transcribed the inscription for Megaw, suggested that the content served a funerary function unassociated with repairs; Ruggieri, Byzantine religious architecture, 268 n. 361.

Dikigoropoulos, "Cyprus 'betwixt Greeks and Saracens,'" 189––92; Papageorghiou, "ΗΗ ππααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκή κκααιι ββυυζζααννττιιννή ααρρχχααιιοολλοογγίαα," 221.

M. Piccirillo, The Mosaics of Jordan (Amman: American School of Oriental Research, 1992), 25––27; L. Di Segni, "The Date of the Church of the Virgin in Madaba," Liber annuus (1992), 251––57. This pattern is not common in late antiquity, but widespread in Umayyad Palestine. It was described by Balmelle as a "pattern of rows of tangent and intersecting circles, in interlaced and tangentially interloped bands; C. Balmelle et al., Le Déécor gééoméétrique de la mosaïïque romaine (Paris, 1985––2002), 1: 368, plate 235. The same pattern is found on the island of Cos in mosaic, but is not dated; S. Pelekanides et al., ΣΣύννττηηγγμμαα ττοονν ΠΠααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκώνν ψψηηφφιιδδωωττώνν δδααππέδδωωνν ττεϵςς ΕΕλλλλάδδοοςς (Thessaloniki: Kentron Vyzantinon Ereunon, 1974), I. no. 250.

Thierry, Cappadoce, 140––42, plate 54.

For the dating of aniconic frescos: M. Chatzidakis et al., Naxos (Athens: Melissa, 1989) and Thierry, Cappadoce, 114––42; J. Lafontaine-Dosogne, "Pour une probléématique de la peinture d'ÉÉglise byzantine a l'éépoque iconoclaste," Dumbarton Oaks Papers (1987) 41: 321––37. Since aniconic art is based on Late Antique mosaic and opus sectile, I am not persuaded by the later dating proposed by L. Brubaker and J. Haldon who base their arguments on book illumination; Byzantinum in the Iconoclast Era, 24––28.

Dikigoropoulos, "Cyprus 'betwixt Greeks and Saracens,'" 179––81.

Theophanes, Chronographia, 344. A few Arabic sources provide more conservative numbers such as 120 or 250 ships; Vassilios Christides, The Image of Cyprus in the Arabic Sources (Nicosia: Archbishop Makarios III Foundation Press, 2006), 19––18.

Dionysius of Tel-Mahréé, Chronicle, A. Palmer, The Seventh Century in the West——Syrian Chronicles (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1993), 174––75; J.-B. Chabot, Chronique de Michel le Syrien II (Paris, 1899––1910; rpt. Brussels 1963), 442.

This initial treaty is recorded by Al-Baladhuri (d. ca. 892) and Abu'Ubayd al-Qasim b. Sallam (770––838). The historian Abi J'afar Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838––923) recorded an additional condition: "And in the treaty between them [the Cypriots] and him [Mu'āāwiya], was that they should marry women of our enemies only after our authorization"; M. Mansouri, Chypre dans les sources arabes méédiéévales (Nicosia: Centre de Recherche Scientifique de Chypre, 2001), 29. Christides argued that these sources confuse the initial treaty, whatever it contained, with the later treaty of 686; Image of Cyprus, 31––33. I see no reason to why the later treaty would necessarily depart from the earlier arrangement.

Theophanes, Chronographia, 363.

John Norwich, Byzantium: The Apogee (New York: Knopf, 1992), 195; Titos Papamastorakis,"The Bamberg Hanging Reconsidered," ΔΔεϵλλττίωωνν ττηηςς ΧΧρριισσττιιααννιικκέςς ΑΑρρχχααιιοολλοογγιικκέςς ΕΕττααιιρρεϵίααςς 24, no. 4 (2003), 375––92.

Dikigoropoulos, "Political Status," 94––114; "The Church of Cyprus," 237––79; D. M. Metcalf, Byzantine Lead Seals from Cyprus (Nicosia: Cyprus Research Centre, 2004), 69––79.

Gagniers and Tinh, Soloi, 118––23; Feissel, "Bulletin éépigraphique," 380––81; Rautman, Cypriot Village, 90; Megaw, "Three Vaulted Basilicas," 56; Papageorghiou, "ΜΜιιαα σσύγγχχρροοννηη," 167––75; Papageorghiou, ΙΙεϵρρά ΜΜηηττρρόπποολλιιςς ΠΠάφφοουυ, 6, 55.

Theophanes, Chronographia, 365. The sea route from Salamis-Constantia to Cyzicus is about 800 nautical miles.

Dikigorpoulos argued that "Nea Justinianoupolis" was actually a renaming of the city of Salamis-Constantia, after a renovation campaign of Justinian II; "Cyprus 'betwixt Greeks and Saracens,'" 31––35. This was proven incorrect by B. Englezakis; Studies on the History of the Church of Cyprus (London: Ashgate-Variorum, 1995), 63––82; see also Hill, History of Cyprus, 228––29; Dikigoropoulos, "Political Status," 94––114; Dikigoropoulos, "The Church of Cyprus," 237––79.

K. A. C. Creswell, Early Muslim Architecture, Umayyads, Early 'Abbāāsids and Tūūlūūnids (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1932), 101.

This resettlement took place either in the year 707 or 717. Regarding the return of the Cypriot archbishop from Cyzicus, see the following: Englezakis, Church of Cyprus, 63––82; Kyrris, "Cyprus, Byzantium and the Arabs," 185––236.

Dikigoropoulos, "Cyprus 'betwixt Greeks and Saracens,'" 179––81.

Megaw, "Reflections on Byzantine Paphos," 135––50. A complete survey of early Islamic artifacts on Cyprus has not been produced. Several archaeologists have mentioned Arab graves discovered in their excavations, but subsequently never published them (e.g., see Professor Daszewski's comments in Megaw, "'Betwixt Greeks and Saracens,'" 518). Seventeen Arabic inscriptions have been found in Cyprus dating from the eighth to ninth century; Christides, Image of Cyprus, 113––32; Athanasios Papageorghiou, "Les premièères incursions arabes àà Chypre et leurs consééquences," ΑΑφφιιέρρωωμμαα εϵιιςς ττοονν ΚΚοοννσσττααννττίννοονν ΣΣππυυρριιδδάκκιινν (Nicosia: Kypros, 1964), 152––58; Athanasios Papageorghiou, ΗΗ ΠΠααλλααιιοοχχρριισσττιιααννιικκή κκααιι ββυυζζααννττιιννή ααρρχχααιιοολλοογγίαα κκααιι ττέχχννηη εϵνν ΚΚύππρρωω κκααττά ττοο 1968," ΑΑππόσσττοολλοοςς ΒΒααρρννάββααςς 30 (1969), 82––88; Papageorghiou, "ΜΜιιαα σσύγγχχρροοννηη," 167––75.

J. Nesbitt and N. Oikonomides, Catalogue of Byzantine Seals at Dumbarton Oaks and in the Fogg Museum of Art (Washington D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1991), 101.

A. Pitsillides and D. Metcalf, "Islamic and Byzantine Coins in Cyprus during the Condominium Centuries," ΕΕππιιττηηρρεϵίςς ττοουυ ΚΚέννττρροουυ ΕΕππιισσττηημμοοννιικκώνν ΕΕρρεϵυυννώνν 21 (1995), 1––13. An argument against this thesis, based on historical sources, was provided in Christides, Image of Cyprus, 39.

These numbers are based on the legible coin finds, coming from several sites, such as the Campanopetra church, the Temple of Zeus (which was converted into a church by the seventh century), and a seventh-century house called "L'huilerie"; O. Callot, Les Monnaies: fouilles de la ville 1964––1974 (Paris: De Boccard, 2004), 99––104. Thirteen of these Umayyad coins dated before 680. Of the Byzantine coins, 194 were from Constans II (641––668); seven from Justinian II (685––695); five from Leo III (695––698); eleven from Tiberius (698––705); two from Constantine V (741––775). No coins from subsequent Byzantine emperors were discovered, except for one dating from late tenth century, Basil II (976––1025). Therefore, it is rather curious that Pitsillides and Metcalf make the statement that "there were no copper coins from after 691 from the site [Salamis-Constantia]: none was identified"; "Islamic and Byzantine Coins," 10.

In addition to the coin finds at Salamis-Constantia, Pitsilides and Metcalf record thirty-three Islamic and fourteen Byzantine coins dating from mid-seventh to the tenth century, found throughout the island; "Islamic and Byzantine Coins," 1––13; Pitsillides and Metcalf, "Some more finds of Islamic and Byzantine coins from the condominium centuries," ΕΕππιιττηηρρεϵίςς ττοουυ ΚΚέννττρροουυ ΕΕππιισσττηημμοοννιικκώνν ΕΕρρεϵυυννώνν 23 (1997), 1––7.

Ousterhout, Master Builders of Byzantium, 86.

Huneberc of Heidenheim, Vita seu Hodoeporicon S. Willibaldi, Itinera Hierosolymitana in Acta Sanctorum, July, II (1721): 505a.