Yıl 2020, Cilt 2 , Sayı , Sayfalar 179 - 183 2020-12-22

Binlerce Dilin Sesi: Altıncı Yüzyılda Konstantinopolis'in Doğu Eyaletlerden Ziyaretçileri
The Sound of a Thousand Tongues: Visitors to Constantinople from the Eastern Provinces in the Sixth Century


The second thematic dossier in Meclis, edited by Brigitte Pitarakis, marks Hagia Sophia’s recent reconversion to a mosque, probably the most consequential event in 2020 concerning Istanbul’s historical heritage. It deals with experiencing Hagia Sophia in the past, and the diverse encounters with it. This piece by Arietta Papaconstantinou discusses visitors to Constantinople and Hagia Sophia from Byzantium's eastern provinces in the sixth century, and their contributions to the monument's soundscape.
  • 1 James G. Keenan, “A Constantinople Loan, A.D. 541,” The Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 29, no. 3/4 (1992): 177, quoting Glanville Downey, Constantinople in the Age of Justinian (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1960), 3;
  • Ross E. Dunn, The Adventures of Ibn Battuta, a Muslim Traveler of the 14th Century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), 171–172.
  • 2 P.Cair.Masp. 67126, written in Constantinople. The sum would have bought them several houses back in their village of Aphrodito, but much less in the larger city of Arsinoe—and Egyptian prices were certainly much lower than those of the capital. Keenan suggests it would have covered the rest of their stay and their return fare to Alexandria.
  • 3 To the point that Justinian felt the need to legislate on the subject: Nov. 80 of 539, translation in David Miller and Peter Sarris, The Novels of Justinian, v. 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 551–557.
  • 4 On Dioskoros’s stays in Constantinople, see Jean-Luc Fournet, “Des villageois en quête de lettres officielles: le cas des pétitionnaires d’Aphrodité (Égypte, VIe s. apr. J.‑C.),” in Official Epistolography and the Language(s) of Power: Proceedings of the First International Conference of the Research Network Imperium & Officium, ed. Stefan Procházka, Lucian Reinfandt, and Sven Tost (Vienna: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2015), 255–266;
  • Fournet, “Les tribulations d’un pétitionnaire égyptien à Constantinople: révision de P.Cair.Masp. III 67352,” in Proceedings of the 25th International Congress of Papyrology, ed. Traianos Gagos (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2010), 243–252;
  • Fournet, “Les Égyptiens à la capitale ou Quand la papyrologie s’invite à Constantinople: édition comparée des P.Cair.Masp. I 67024-67025,” in Constantinople réelle et imaginaire: autour de l’oeuvre de Gilbert Dagron, Travaux et mémoires 22/1, ed. Cécile Morrisson and Jean-Pierre Sodini (Paris: ACHCByz, 2018), 595–633.
  • 5 See Jakub Urbanik, “P.Oxy. LXIII 4397: The Monastery Comes First, or Pious Reasons before Earthly Securities,” in Monastic Estates in Late Antique and Early Islamic Egypt: Ostraca, Papyri, and Essays in Memory of Sarah Clackson (P. Clackson), ed. Anne Boud’hors, James Clackson, Catherine Louis, and Petra Sijpestein (Cincinnati, OH: American Society of Papyrologists, 2009), 225–235.
  • 6 PSI I 76 (Alexandria, 572/73); translated in Jane Rowlandson, Women and Society in Greek and Roman Egypt: A Sourcebook (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), no. 151; see James G. Keenan, “The Case of Flavia Christodote: Observations on PSI I 76,” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 29 (1978): 191–209.
  • 7 Nov. 80, prelude and par. 1, translation in Miller and Sarris, The Novels, 1:551–552.
  • 8 This multicultural presence in the sixth century is described as a given by Glanville Downey, Constantinople, 21–23; for the high and late medieval periods, see Claudia Rapp, “A Medieval Cosmopolis: Constantinople and Its Foreign Inhabitants,” in Alexander’s Revenge: Hellenistic Culture Through the Centuries, ed. Jon Asgeirsson and Nancy Van Deusen (Reykjavik: University of Iceland Press, 2002), 153–171;
  • see also Gilbert Dagron, “Formes et fonctions du pluralisme linguistique à Byzance (VIIe-XIIe siècle),” in Idées byzantines, v. 1 (Paris: ACHCByz, 2012): 233–264 (a synthesis of two earlier articles of his).
  • 9 On this council and its aftermath see Richard Price and Mary Whitby, eds., Chalcedon in Context: Church Councils, 400–700 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2009).
  • 10 Jonathan Bardill, “The Church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople and the Monophysite Refugees,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 54 (2000): 1–11, with a systematic review of previous bibliography.
  • 11 Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Asceticism and Society in Crisis: John of Ephesus and the Lives of the Eastern Saints (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), 28–30 and passim.
  • 12 On the context of the synod, see Fergus Millar, “Rome, Constantinople and the Near Eastern Church under Justinian: Two Synods of C.E. 536,” Journal of Roman Studies 98 (2008): 62–82; Millar, “Linguistic Co-existence in Constantinople: Greek and Latin (and Syriac) in the Acts of the Synod of 536 C.E.,” Journal of Roman Studies 99 (2009): 92–103;
  • on Zooras and the broader context, see Millar, “The Evolution of the Syrian Orthodox Church in the Pre- Islamic Period: From Greek to Syriac?,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 21 (2013): 43–92.
  • 13 Pauline Allen and C. T. R. Hayward, Severus of Antioch (London: Routledge, 2004), 16.
  • 14 Johannes Koder, Das Eparchenbuch Leons des Weisen (Vienna: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1991).
  • 18 Millar, “Linguistic Co-existence in Constantinople,” 101–102; Peter Hatlie, The Monks and Monasteries of Constantinople, ca. 350-850 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 458–470.
  • 20 Even if the story that Jabala ibn al-Ayham, the last Ghassanid king, fled to Constantinople after the Muslim conquest is only a later legend, it highlights the existence, since at least the sixth century, of a Christianized Arab population in the Levant, who could have come with grievances to Constantinople like everyone else.
  • On the traditions about Jabala, see Julia Bray, “Christian King, Muslim Apostate: Depictions of Jabala ibn al-Ayham in Early Arabic Sources,” in Writing ‘True Stories’: Historians and Hagiographers in the Late Antique and Medieval Near East, ed. Arietta Papaconstantinou, Muriel Debié, and Hugh Kennedy (Turnhout: Brepols, 2010), 175–203.
  • 21 Cyril Mango, “The Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus at Constantinople and the Alleged Tradition of Octagonal Palatine Churches,” Jahrbuch der österreichischen Byzantinistik 21 (1972): 189–193; on the debate around that suggestion, see Bardill, “The Church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus.”
  • 22 Attention has been paid mostly to Slavic and Scandinavian graffiti. For Scandinavian, see James E. Knirk, “Runer i Hagia Sofia i Istanbul,” Nytt om runer 14 (1999): 26–27; Elena A. Mel’nikova, “A New Runic Inscription from Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul,” Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies 7 (2016): 101–110;
  • Thomas Thomov, “Drekar from Hagia Sophia,” in Scandinavia and the Balkans: Cultural Interactions with Byzantium and Eastern Europe in the First Millennium A.D., ed. Oksana Minaeva and Lena Holmquist (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2015), 123–137; Thomov, “Four Scandinavian Ship Graffiti from Hagia Sophia,” Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 38 (2014): 168–184.
  • For Slavic, see Cyril Mango, “A Russian Graffito in St Sophia, Constantinople,” Word 10 (1954): 436–438; Ioli Kalavrezou-Maxeiner and Dimitri Obolensky, “A Church Slavonic Graffito in Hagia Sophia, Istanbul,” Harvard Ukrainian Studies 5/1 (1981): 5–10; Savva M. Mikheev, “Two Short Glagolitic Graffiti in St. Naum’s Monastery near Ohrid and in Hagia Sophia in Istanbul,” Slověne = Словѣне. International Journal of Slavic Studies 2 (2013): 52–63;
  • Thomas Thomov, “Един графит за престъпление и покаяние от „Св. София“ в Константинопол,” Palaeobulgarica / Старобългаристика 38 (2014) 61–72; Thomov, “‘In the year of 6905’: A Graffito from Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.” Bulgaria Mediaevalis 6 (2015): 171–181; Thomov, “Три надписа-графити от храма „Св. София“ в Константинопол,” Palaeobulgarica / Старобългаристика 39 (2015): 94–109.
  • 23 Between the fourth and the seventh century, there are on average twenty occurrences of the name each century, except for the sixth, when there are fifty-one.
  • 25 See Max Küchler, “Moschee und Kalifenpaläste Jerusalems nach den Aphrodito-Papyri,” Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins 107 (1991): 120–143.
  • 26 See Bissera V. Pentcheva, Hagia Sophia: Sound, Space, and Spirit in Byzantium (College Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2017), which caught the attention of the international press.
  • 27 Pentcheva, “Performing the Sacred in Byzantium: Image, Breath and Sound,” Performance Research 19 (2014): 120–128.
  • 28 Spyridon Antonopoulos, Sharon E. J. Gerstel, Chris Kyriakakis, Konstantinos T. Raptis, and James Donahue, “Soundscapes of Byzantium,” Speculum 92, no. S1 (2017): S321–S335; Gerstel, Kyriakakis, Raptis, Antonopoulos, and Donahue, “Soundscapes of Byzantium: The Acheiropoietos Basilica and the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Thessaloniki,” Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens 87 (2018): 177–213;
  • see also Sharon E. J. Gerstel, “Images in Churches in Late Byzantium: Reflections and Directions,” in Visibilité et présence de l’image dans l’espace ecclésial, Byzance et Moyen Âge occidental, ed. Sulamith Brodbeck and Anne-Orange Poilpré (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2019).
  • 29 For Hagia Sophia, see “Hagia Sophia: Sound, Space, and Spirit in Byzantium,” accessed October 14, 2020, https://hagiasophia.stanford.edu/; for churches of Thessaloniki, see “Speculum: Soundscapes of Byzantium”, accessed October 14, 2020, https://soundcloud.com/chris-kyriakakis/sets/speculum-soundscapes-of-1.
  • 30 During the coronavirus-related lockdown in spring 2020 in Oxford, the Bodleian Libraries tried to console their frustrated readers by offering them online the recordings of four different reading rooms: “Sounds of the Bodleian,” accessed October 14, 2020, https://www.ox.ac.uk/soundsofthebodleian/#radcam.
  • The difference is striking and the rooms quite recognizable from their background noise alone—even though in principle what reigns in the Bodleian Libraries is “silence.”
Birincil Dil en
Konular Tarih
Bölüm Meclis

Orcid: 0000-0003-2307-9607
Kurum: University of Reading
Ülke: United Kingdom


Yayımlanma Tarihi : 22 Aralık 2020

Chicago Papaconstantınou, A . "The Sound of a Thousand Tongues: Visitors to Constantinople from the Eastern Provinces in the Sixth Century". YILLIK: Annual of Istanbul Studies 2 (2020 ): 179-183