This website presents selected photos of more or less known monuments and sites of Constantinople and Minor Asia (special reference is made to Cappadocia and Mount Sinai because of their special character), which display the intense Greek presence throughout the years.
Edited and captioned by Dr Nikoleta Troupkou, Byzantine Archaeology.
Translated in English by Eleftheria Kyriakopoulou, Postgraduate student, Classical Archaeology.
Introductory address of the Rector of A.U.TH.
The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki addresses with distinct pleasure the annual scientific and educational trips of the students of Faculty of Philosophy to Minor Asia, which had as an additional result the creation of the Digital Archives of Greek Civilization.
These archives, not only property of the Department of History and Archaeology but also of our University in general, are the work of Professor Emeritus of Byzantine History Theodoros Korres, who captured with his photographic lens monuments of our cultural heritage in Minor Asia and thus rendered them approachable to the academic community of our University. This is why A.U.TH. expresses its thanks to the creator of the archives.
Rector of A.U.TH.
Introductory address of the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy A.U.TH.
For decades, now Professor Emeritus of the Department of History and Archaeology of the Faculty of Philosophy A.U.TH., Theodoros Korres, captures with his photographic lens thousands of images and sites from the past, thousands of religious and secular monuments of the Classical, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Period. Besides Thessaloniki and Hagion Oros (Mount Athos), Professor Korres has travelled almost in every corner of the Eastern Mediterranean, wherever the presence of Greek civilization is still very intense: from Northeastern Aegean sea to the coastline of Asia Minor and from there to Anatolia, Jordan, Mount Sinai and Egypt.
The results are indeed very impressive: tens of thousands shots capturing moments of our cultural heritage, many of which are completely unknown to most of us. We truly do not know what to admire first, the quality, the quantity, the aesthetic beauty or the justified emotions caused by the special subject of his shots? The first example of the exceptional work of Professor Korres was given in 2009 with the publication of an excellent album, along with the financial support of A.U.TH., for the religious monuments of Constantinople. In 2015, many had the chance to enjoy his work at the exhibition presented in the Museum of Byzantine Culture and titled “Travelling in Eastern Mediterranean through the Digital Archives of Greek Culture of Th. Korres (A.U.TH.)”.
Today, thanks once more to the aid of our University, the upload of the complete archives of Professor Theodoros Korres to a website, created for the students of the Department of History and Archaeology and generally for the Faculty of Philosophy, became possible. This way, not only the Department and the Faculty are being enriched with a database of precious value, but also more and more people could participate in the world heritage and the timeless messages it sends.
Professor Dimitrios K. Mavroskoufis
Dean of Faculty of Philosophy of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Around 660 B.C., colonists from Megara, following a prophecy from the Oracle of Delphi, began a journey to settle on the opposite side of the city of the blinds. These were the previous Megarian colonists who, a few years before, chose to found their city, Chalcedona, on the opposite shore. The name of this new city, Byzantion, which was built on the head of the triangular peninsula between the Golden Horn, Bosporus and Propontis (Sea of Marmara), derives, according to the legend, from the Thracian-born king Byzas.
Asia Minor is the westernmost part of Asia and it is surrounded by the Black Sea, Vosporus, the Sea of Marmara and Hellespont on the north, the Aegean Sea on the west and finally by the Mediterranean Sea on the south. Its east border can be defined by an imaginary line starting from the southeast coasts of the Black Sea on the north to the Gulf of Alexandretta on the south.
The term Asia Minor was first used by the ecclesiastical writer Paulus Orosius (4th-5th century) in his work Historiae adversus Paganos. ..
The region of Cappadocia occupies a large part of the Turkish heartland. It is bounded by the Taurus Mountains on the west and the Anti-Taurus Mountains on the east, while both of them extend to the south. The northern natural border is “Halys bend”, the arch formed by the river Halys.
According to legend, the name of the region comes from Cappadocus, son of the legendary Assyrian king Ninyus.
Saint Catherine’s Monastery is built at an altitude of 1600 m. on the Mount Sinai, nowadays called Gebel Musa (Moses’ Mountain), on the south part of the Sinai peninsula.
The settlement of the monks in this hostile and deserted place began probably in the 3rd century. However, the history of the monastery itself begins with the construction of the three-aisled basilica and the fortification walls by Justinian I (527-565). The construction must have been executed between 548 (year of the death of Theodora) and 565 (year of the death of Justinian), as it is assumed by the inscription preserved on beams of the roof. Another inscription on the same spot preserves the name of the basilica’s architect, Stephen from Aila (nowadays Aqaba).
For more information about the Digital Archives of Greek Civilization, you can either contact Prof. Emeritus Theodoros Korres or fill the contact form.