The Episcopal District of Side


Contact: A. Pülz

The Pamphylian city of Side has been at the center of scientific interest already since the 1940s. Most of the monuments visible today were uncovered and published by Arif Müfid Mansel between 1947 and 1975. A number of early Christian churches and the spacious Episcopal Palace are a highlight amid the preserved colonnaded streets, fountains, houses, bath complexes, squares as well as fortification walls and gates. All of these numerous monuments and artefacts confirm that Side was a flourishing city up to the Late Antique-early Byzantine period.

According to the current state of knowledge, the bishop’s complex consisted not only of a basilica, a baptistry and the Palace. Rather, there are also three buildings interpreted as Martyria and other, hitherto not yet clearly identified structures. Also worth a mention is a garden area within the fenced-in perimeter of the complex.

The investigations started in 2015 will focus on a variety of themes in the future, such as: Investigating the function and architectural history (dating, duration of use, construction style, etc.) of the basilica and residence; Moreover, the issue as to whether a structural and functional relationship existed between this ensemble and the area adjoining it to the west will be studied. In case of a functional connection the entire area with ist remarkable size could be interpreted as an episcopal district rather (and not only as an episcopal palace). Furthermore, the issue of urban integration throughout the entire Early and Middle Byzantine periods on the urban structure and the city’s sacral topography is a major priority of the project. Finally, a special focus will be on comparative studies related to the episcopal installations located in the Balkans and in Greece (Salona, Justiniana Prima, Philippi), and particularly those in Asia Minor (Aphrodisias, Ephesus and Miletus). 

fig. 1: Basilica and Episcopeion – groundplan (after A. Mansel 1978)
fig. 4: Little church in the Episkopeion (Photo: © excavation Side)
fig. 2: Overview: cathedral and baptistry (Photo: © excavation Side)
fig. 3: Trikonchos, Northern apse (Photo: © IKAnt)

Literature

A. M. Mansel, Die Ruinen von Side (Berlin 1963), 166-168.

A. M. Mansel, Bericht über die Ausgrabungen und Untersuchungen in Pamphylien in den Jahren 1957 bis 1972, AA 1975, 52-57.

W. Müller-Wiener, Riflessioni sulle charatteristice di pallazi episcopali, in: Felix Ravenna IV 1/2, 1983, 120-23.

W. Müller-Wiener, Bischofsresidenzen des 4.-7. Jhs. im östlichen Mittelmeerraum, in: Actes du 11e Congrès International d’archéologie chrétienne 1986 (Rom 1989) 680-683.

J.-P. Sodini, Les groupes épiscopeaux en Turquie (à l’exception des la Cilicie), in: Actes du 11e Congrès International d’archéologie chrétienne 1986 (Rom 1989) 415. 417.

B. Ceylan, Episkopeia in Asia Minor, in: L. Lavan, L. Özgenel, A. Sarantis (Hrsg.), Housing in Late Antiquity. From palaces to shops, LAA 3.2 (2007) 174-176.

A. Pülz, Side Piskoposluk Yerleşimi/Bishop’s Settlement, in: H. S. Alanyalı, Side 2015 Yılı Kazı Araştırmaları, ANMED 2016-14,141−143.

A. Pülz, Ausgewählte Beispiele byzantinischer Wandmalereien in Side, in: J. Drauschke, K. Kühtreiber, T. Kühtreiber, G. Scharrer-Liska, T. Via (Hrsg.), Lebenswelten zwischen Archäologie und Geschichte (FS F. Daim), Monographien des RGZM 150 (2018), 773–781.