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Hagia Sophia

The first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία (Megálē Ekklēsíā, "Great Church"), or in Latin "Magna Ecclesia",[10] because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.[3] Inaugurated on 15 February 360 (during the reign of Constantius II) by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch,[11] it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene ("Holy Peace") church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Hagia Sophia was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire. Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, who was working on it in 346.[11] A tradition which is not older than the 7th – 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great.[11] Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed.[11] Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, and Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter.[11] The edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with galleries and a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium. It was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time. The Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom came into a conflict with Empress Aelia Eudoxia, wife of the emperor Arcadius, and was sent into exile on 20 June 404. During the subsequent riots, this first church was largely burned down.[11] Nothing remains of the first church today.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 14, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Cemil özkan
    • Camera: NIKON CORPORATION NIKON D50
    • Taken on 2012/04/13 14:23:53
    • Exposure: 0.006s (1/160)
    • Focal Length: 35.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/14.000
    • Exposure Bias: -0.67 EV
    • No flash