x

Culture

A Long Marble Lintel “Rewrites” the Late Byzantine History of Lesbos

September 14, 2022

ATHENS – A 3.50-metre-long marble lintel found during an excavation near the foundations of the Byzantine gate of the castle of Agioi Theodoroi and linked to the ancient city-state of Antissa, one of the ancient Aeolian city-states of the island of Lesbos, is leading to a revision of the island’s late Byzantine history.

According to the Ministry of Culture, the lintel was found during the excavation of the southeastern part of the medieval sea wall of the castle of Agioi Theodoroi, also known as Ovriokastro, next to the Byzantine gate of the castle. It bears in relief the heraldry of the Genoese House of Gattilusio, as well as that of the Palaiologos dynasty, which until today were only known from their equivalents in the medieval castle of Mytilene and indicate the handover of the governance of Lesvos, as well as its castles, from the Byzantines to the Gattilusio dynasty.

The most interesting thing, however, about the lintel of this Byzantine gate is that next to the heraldry of the Palaiologos, instead of the double-headed eagle, a symbol of Byzantium, was found a depiction of a castle with a main gate and three rectangular towers on the acropolis, a depiction which seems to be identified with the then Byzantine castle of Agioi Theodoroi, which was handed over in 1355 AD by the Byzantines to the Gattilusi. The heraldry of the Gattilusi, the well-known ‘Pholidae’, is also present on the lintel. It is noted that the written sources and testimonies to date do not preserve any depiction of the Byzantine castle of Aghioi Theodoroi. The marble lintel is the first representation of it and gives evidence of its form, unknown to us until today, as it had undergone substantial reconstruction during the 15th century by the House of Gattilusio.

RELATED

LONDON - Noted British actor and writer Stephen Fry, a champion of the return of the stolen Parthenon Marbles from the London Museum to Greece, compared their theft by Lord Elgin to the Nazis taking the Arc de Triomphe from Paris.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Alberto, Season’s First Named Tropical Storm, Dumps Rain on Texas and Mexico, Which Reports 3 Deaths

TAMPICO, Mexico (AP) — Tropical Storm Alberto rumbled toward northeast Mexico early Thursday as the first named storm of the season, carrying heavy rains that left three people dead but also brought hope to a region suffering under a prolonged, severe drought.

ATHENS – After five years of systematic research, documenting and collecting stories from all over Greece, Istorima, the largest-scale collection of oral history in the country, continues its activity and is enriched with a renewed website with updated series and collections.

For centuries, ancient artifacts, art, and relics have been a topic of ownership, provenance, and morality debates.

LESVOS – The 2nd International ELIA Lesvos Confest (an olive conference and festival) took place at the Vrana Olive Press Museum on the island of Lesvos in Greece May 23-26.

NEW YORK – Pancyprian Association of America issued a statement mourning the passing of Constantine Iordanou, the businessman and philanthropist who was also a founding member of the Association.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.