Аҧсны Амитрополиа Ҧшьа аофициалтә саит > Астатиақәа > A LITTLE KNOWN EVENT FROM THE ANCIENT HISTORY OF PITSUNDA




Archimandrite Dorotheos (Dbar)




Message at the scientific-practical conference

Faculty of History of ASU. Sukhum, 24 March, 2022.


«Pitsunda fills you with an amazing and deep feeling.

Wandering the land saturated with mysterious antiquity

great and rich Pitius…»

V. I. Strazhev (1879–1950)



It is known that in ancient times in Pitsunda[1] they exiled Christian martyrs-soldiers, bishops, state and military dignitaries of various ranks who fell out of favor with powerful Roman emperors. Researchers Anthony Bryer and David Winfield called Pitsunda (in the 20th century Pitsunda was one of the best resorts in the Soviet Union) “a fashionable place of exile for saints” [2].

During the reign and co-reign of Diocletian and Maximian (284–305) in the Roman Empire, Roman soldiers were exiled to Pitsunda, who became Christian martyrs: Eugene with his three allies – Canidius (or Candide), Valerian and Aquila[3], Orentius with his six brothers – Eros, Pharnacius, Firminus, Firmus, Cyriacus and Longinus (although regarding Orentius with his six brothers, there is no indication in the source that they were exiled precisely to Pitius) [4].

During the reign of Emperor Arcadius (395-408), the great hierarch of the Church, St. John Chrysostom was exiled in Pitsunda [5]. In the second half of the 5th c. Patriarch of Antioch Monophysite Peter Fullo, at that time head of the Non-Chalcedonian church, was exiled. On the road to Pitius (476/477), Peter Fullo deceived the guides and fled to St. Theodore of Euchaita [6].

Later, the Byzantine (Roman) emperor Justinian the Great (527-565) issue a decree: «Οἱ πρὸς τὸ δημόσιον ἀγνωμονήσαντες καὶ τὴν τοιαύτην ἀνάγκην ἀναμείναντες δήμευσίν τε καὶ ἐξορίαν ὑποστήσονται διηνεκῆ, τὴν Σεβαστουπολιτῶν καὶ Πιτυούντων, αἵπερ εἰσὶν ἐπ’ἐσχάτου τῆς [Ἀβασγίας καὶ] τοῦ Εὐξείνου Πόντου κατοικήσοντες (who have caused damage to the state, will be deprived of property and exiled to Sebastopolis (Sukhum – f.Dorotheos) and Pitiund (Pitsunda – Dorotheos), located in [Abasgia (Abkhazia – f.Dorotheos) and] on the Pontos Euxenos coast (the Black Sea – f.Dorotheos ))»[7].

In 2012, during my work on my dissertation at the Aristotelian University in Thessaloniki (Greece), I found out that another famous figure in ancient times was sent to the Black Sea coast of Abkhazia “on vacation”.

At the very end of the 4th c. Flavius Abundantius (Flavius Abundantius), a well-known politician of the Eastern Roman Empire, was exiled to Pitsunda. This man was from “Thracian Scythia”. In 392, he received the title of “magister utriusque militiae” at the court of Emperor Theodosius I the Great (379-395). In 393, Flavius Abundantius became a consul in the East, and in 396, pursued by the “almighty” eunuch Eutropius, he was exiled to Pitius (Pitsunda), where he remained until the death of Eutropius (until 399), after that he achieved a transfer to less a dangerous place for exile to Sidon, one of the most ancient cities of Phoenicia (modern Lebanon)[8].



[1] Греч. Πιτυοῦς, в род. п. τοῦ Πιτυοῦντος и т. д. Этимология: от др.-греч. ἡ πίτυς (πίτυος), лат. pinus — сосна. См.: Liddell H. G., Scott R. A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford University Press, 1996. — P. 1409; Μπαμπινιώτη Γ. Δ., Λεξικό της Νέας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας. 4η έκδοση. Αθήνα, 2012. — Σ. 1563.

[2] Bryer A., Winfield D. The Byzantine monuments and topography of the Pontos. Vol. 1. Washington, 1985.  —  P. 168–169. (Dumbarton Oaks Studies, 20).

[3] Λαμψίδη Ο., Άγιος Ευγένιος ο Τραπεζούντιος. Μαρτύριο του αγίου Ευγενίου και Κανών εις άγιο Ευγένιο υπό Ιωάννου Ξιφιλίνου // Αρχείο Πόντου, 18 (1953), σ. 129–201; Άγιος Ευγένιος ο πολιούχος της Τραπεζούντος. I. Τα αρχαιότερα πεζά κείμενα. II. Τα υμνογραφικά κείμενα. Εκδ. Ο. Λαμψίδης. Αθήνα, 1984. — Σ. 24, 57, 77, 80, 82; Rosenquist J., O. Some remarks on the Passions of St. Eugenios of Trebizond and their sources // Analecta Bollandiana, 107 (1989), p. 39–64; Synaxarium Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae, e Codice Sirmondiano nung Berolinensi. Adiectis Synaxariis selectis. Opera et studio H. Delehaye. Bruxellis, 1902. — Col. 406–407. (Acta Sanctorum, Propylaeum ad Acta SS. Novembris).

[4] Synaxarium Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae. — Col. 767–768; Bryer A., Winfield D. Указ. соч. Vol. 1.  —  P. 325–326; Garitte G. La notice du Synaxaire géorgien sur S. Orentius // Le Muséon, 67 (1954), p. 283–289; Peeters P. La légende de S. Orentius et de ses six frères martyrs // Analecta Bollandiana, 56 (1938), p. 241–264.

[5] Δωροθέου Dbar, αρχιμανδρίτη. Ο τόπος θανάτου και ενταφιασμού του αγ. Ιωάννου του Χρυσοστόμου. Νέος Άθως: Εκδ. Ι. Μητροπόλεως της Αμπχαζίας, 2016. — Σ. 271–276, 297–301.

[6] Θεοφάνους, ηγουμένου του Αγρού και Ομολογητού. Χρονογραφία. Μετάφραση: αρχιμανδρίτη Ανανίας Κουστένης. Τ. 3. Αθήνα: Εκδ. «Αρμός», 2007. — Σ. 338–339; Летопись византийца Феофана от Диоклетиана до царей Михаила и сына его Феофилакта. В пер. с греч. В. И. Оболенского и Ф. А. Терновского. М., 1884. — С. 99.

[7] A. A. F. Ἀβασγία, Ἀβασγοὶ, Ἄβασκος // Glossar zur frühmittelalterlichen Geschichte im östlichen Europa. Herausgegeben von Jadran Ferluga, Manfred Hellmann, Herbert Ludat, Klaus Zernack. Redaktion Athanasios A. Fourlas, Anastasios A. Katsanakis. Serie B: Griechische Namen bis 1025. Band I: Ἀαρων (1) — Ἀδριανούπολις (1). Franz Steiner Verlag GmbH Wiesbaden, 1980. — S. 209.

[8] Tiersch Cl. Johannes Chrysostomos in Konstantinopel (398–404): Weltsicht und Wirken eines Bischofs in der Hauptstadt des Oströmischen Reiches. Tübingen, 2002. — P. 412–413; Gibbon E. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Ed. D. Womersley. Vol. 2. London, 2005. — P. 242; Γίββων Ε. Ιστορία της πτώσεως και παρακμής της Ρωμαϊκής αυτοκρατορίας. Τ. Γ΄ (363 μ.Χ. – 455 μ.Χ.). Από τον θάνατο του Ιουλιανού και τους διωγμούς των τελευταίων Εθνικών μέχρι τις εισβολές των βαρβαρικών φυλών και τον θάνατο του Βαλεντινιανού Γ΄. Μετάφραση Α. Παπαβασιλείου. Αθήνα: «Ελεύθερη Σκέψις», 2005. — Σ. 538; Кулаковский Ю. А. История Византии. Т. 1. СПб.: Изд. «Алетейя», 1996. — С. 141. См. также: Ζώσιμος. Νέα Ιστορία. 306–410 μ.Χ. Μετάφραση Γ. Αβραμίδης, Θ. Καλαϊτζάκης. Πρόλογος Α. Σαββίδης. Εισαγωγή – Σχόλια Θ. Καλαϊτζάκης. Θεσσαλονίκη, 2007. — Σ. 310–311. (Οι Τελευταίοι Έλληνες Εθνικοί, 9).