Preveza Archeology and the Albanian Pope

Preveza Archeology and the Albanian Pope
By Gëzim Llojdia

 Albanians have 'produced' such sacred characters as St. Eleutherius, Pope Clement XI, Saint Dardan, St. Jerome, St. Ashtin etc. Nikopolis is located on the peninsula of Preveza. Some archaeologists claim that this is the present city in Preveza. 

Was founded by Octavianus Augustus after the Actio martial battle in 31 BC. The city had its own mint every four years Actia in the ancient Roman religious tradition, ACTIA (Greek: Ἄκτια) was an Apollo festival, celebrated in Nicopols, with activities such as wrestling, musical competitions, horse racing, including athletic festivals etc. 

Intellectuals of this period recognized the development and gathered in Nicopolis, such as Epictetus (was a Greek philosopher born in Hierapolis, Phrygia, and lived in Rome until his expulsion when he went to Nicopolis to the northwestern part for the rest Of his life). The city continued to be inhabited during the Byzantine period. The first systematic excavations in the country were conducted in the period 1913-1926 by the Archaeological Society, under the leadership of Al Philadelpheus, and continued by Professors G. Soteriou and A.Orlandos until 1938. In 1938 they returned to the restricted area Of excavation, but stopped by World War II.

The excavation site was restarted in 1956 under the auspices of the Archaeological Society of A. Orlandos and lasted until 1965. Since then, rescue excavations have been carried out in this area. Some of the monuments of the Roman period have been restored. We find a fact about the spread of Christianity in Illyria. A fact at the same time is a fortunate one because the records speak plainly: that the Illyrians are part of the group of peoples who in their time have embraced Christianity. Durres and Nicopoy were the main coastal centers, from where the new religion spread to the depths of four Illyrian provinces: Preval, Dardania, New Epirus and Old Epirus. The data on Christianity in Illyria are factual and brought to light as the Sun. In the center of each province there was a metropolitan Church, it is said in the material for the spread of Christianity in Albania, and there was the headquarters of the Archbishop. Under the jurisdiction of the latter were bishops of the dioceses. Thus, in the four main ecclesiastical centers in the Albanian territories were the archbishopric of Shkodra (Prevali), Justiniana (Dardania), Durrës (New Epirus), Nikopoja (Old Epirus). The Archbishop of Shkodra has under rule 3 subordinate bishops (those of Skopje, Durres and Nikopoje). Among those saints, of which little is mentioned, is Saint Eleutherius, one of the ancestors of other Albanian popes, and one of those prominent figures who contributed to the spread of Christianity, not only among the Albanians but Across the European continent. Hundreds of bishops from Illyria participated in the first Synod of Rome founded in 130 of the new era. This fact proves the existence of a well-organized Church administration in Illyria during the 2nd century. The first elements of the Church that make up the foundations of Christian doctrine, the seven ecumenical codes, are from the Illyrian territories (llyria was once called "The Isle of Saints "). This is the best evidence of the contributions that Albanians have made to European civilization. St. Eleutherius was born a hundred years after Christ in the city of Nicopoy. He was educated in Rome under the influence of Pope St. Acity (who stayed 11 years in papacy, from 157 to 168), where he received the Holy Ordination. In 177 AD, Saint Eleutherius became Pope and received the Holy Order in St. Peter.

During his papacy, Saint Eleutherius worked to spread the Bible to many places in the Roman Empire. Based on existing records, after Lucas's supplication, who was king of England, Saint Eleutherius sent missionaries of Christianity to preach for the European civilized nations and which remain dominant nowadays. In 192 AD, after 15 years of his papacy, Saint Eleutherius was martyred by the idolaters of Rome. Are to many the attempts from others to seek St. Elutherius and St. Jerome as theirs. Indeed Saint Eleutherius is neither Greek nor Roman as some historians claim. He is clearly an Illyrian ancestor of Albanians, born and raised in Epirus, a territory set by King Pirros in 277 BC. Among the most important monuments of Roman Nicopolis are: 1. Odeon. It lies on the west side of the wall and includes (auditorium) thesite of orchestra and stage. Since the ground is the auditorium naturally sloping and supported by three semi-circular galleries. It was built in the 1st century and remained in use until the half of the 3rd century. 2. The Roman public building located on the north of the Roman walls. Includes rectangular spaces that are interconnected with many openings and are enriched with semi-circular niche between the rows of columns. The Augustus monument was raised by Octavian Augustus in 31 BC, after his victory in the Battle of Actium and was dedicated to (Mars), Poseidon and Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the majestic deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and the Greek and Roman mythology.

It has a stones in podium shape, in which the bronze beads appeared and the rest of the battlefield trophies were placed in a stand, table on the podium. The Theater is located near the monument of Augustus. The scene should have been extremely high, maybe with two floors.

The three underground corridors allowed audiences to enter the auditorium, which actually supports three semi-circular galleries. Dated in the first century the Nymphaeum is located West of the Roman walls and consists of two rectangular buildings with fancy facades, and interior kitchens. Here the waterworks are completed, carrying drinking water and descending from the sources of the village of St. Georgios of Nicopolis. It is not certain whether the two buildings existed at the same time. One of these, the North, must have been built at the beginning of the 3rd century AD. Nicopolis's Roman water supply is 50 km long, which conveys water from St. Georgios with two cisterns in Nymphaeum and Nikopolis. Currently it consists of three parts, each part constructed in a different way.

A channel with a roof and ventilation shafts. The Roman waterworks was built after the establishment of Nicopolis from Augustus for the water supply of the new city. The blossoming of the capital and the seat of the Roman Archbishop in the districts of ancient Epirus were very prosperous until an economic and political crisis collapsed, combined with catastrophic earthquakes and the galleys invasions in the other period marked a gradual decline. The city had felt three major conquests and subsequent robberies: - by Alarichus in 395, - by Vandals in 475, - by Goths and Totila in 551. By the end of the 9th or the beginning of the 10th century this country ceased and the city was abandoned. Among the most important monuments of the early Christian Nicopolis are: Basilica (Doumetios) dedicated to St. Demetrios, founded by Doumetios I, Archbishop of Nicopolis, and by his successor, Doumetios II. It has an atrium, a narthex with a sacristy and a baptismal. The floors are covered with mosaics./Oculus News

Preveza Archeology and the Albanian Pope Preveza Archeology and the Albanian Pope Monday, May 01, 2017 Rating: 5
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