St. Nicholas Church, Brick Decorations of Northern Annex: Rosette Motif or Invincible Sun

Ebru Fatma FINDIK

Arkhaia Anatolika 4. Sayı

Arrival Date : 05.01.2021 | Acceptance Date : 25.01.2021

DOI : 10.32949/Arkhaia.2021.26 | Release Date : 18.2.2021 16:41:56


In this article, brick rosettes on the façade of northern and north-eastern annex of St Nicholas Church are discussed in terms of origin, chronology and symbolic meaning. Northern and north-eastern annex of St Nicholas Church were revealed completely during the excavations led by Prof. Dr. S. Y. Ötüken between 1989-2009. In the article “A New Review on Northern Additional Structure of Demre-Myra St Nicholas Church”, architecture of the northern annex, architectural plastic stone pieces, ceramic and coin finds were evaluated. In this article, brick rosette on the K5 place façade of the northern additional structure was mentioned, but the pattern was not subject to a detailed study. Brick rosettes are especially found on the façade of the capital Constantinople (İstanbul), Anatolia, Balkans, Greece and Aegean Islands in the Middle and Late Byzantine Period. This type of brick rosettes is seen on structures with various functions such as palace, church, episkopeion, tower, Castle and fountain. The fact that a similar pattern is common among Emirates Period and Early Ottoman Period structures causes a discussion that it was made by Byzantine masters as well as pointing out to continuity of the pattern. Similar brick ornaments were named in various ways by researchers such as ‘rosette, sun pattern, symbol of light, sun disk, disk and round patterns’. In publications, it stands out that there is no consensus on the symbolic meaning, origin and chronology of the pattern.

In this study, brick rosettes on the façade of northern and north- annexes of St Nicholas Church are compared in detail with examples from different geographies. The brick rosette on the façade of north-eastern annexes of the church is important in that it is a unique example which is painted and in which the original pattern can be identified. In this regard, rosettes on the northern and north-eastern annexes present interesting conclusions. Our goal is to identify the origin and chronology of the pattern and present how the symbolic meaning of the motive that is thought to be originating from pagan beliefs was transformed in the Early Christianity Period with examples. In this regard, impacts of the Unconquered Sun/Sol belief, which has become popular in Rome as of 3rd century, on Christianity was discussed within the framework of researchers’ views. We hope that the results would constitute a significant reference for similar studies on this subject that may be conducted in the future.

Ancient Literature

Eus. vita Const.: Eusebius, Vita Constantini; Kullanılan Metin ve Çeviriler: Eusebius of Caesarea, Life of Constantine. A. Cameron ve S. G. Hall. Oxford 1999.

Lact. mort. pers.: Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum. Kullanılan Metin ve Çeviriler Lactantius, On the Deaths of the Persecutors. J. L. Creed. Oxford 1984.

Modern Literature

Akyürek, E. (2015). A Recently Discovered Thirteenth Century Church at Myra. S. Fazlullin ve M. M. Antika (Eds.), Proceedings of the 17th Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology (SOMA): Moscow, 25-27 April 2013 (ss. 14-23). Oxford: Archaeopress Access Archaeology

Athanassiou, F., Malama, V., Miza, M. ve Sarandidou, M. (2006). The Construction Phases of The Octagon of the Galerius Palace Complex in Thessaloniki. Archaiologiko Ergo Stē Makedonia Kai Thrakē, 18, 239-255.

Ayverdi, E. H. (1966). İstanbul Mimarî Çağının Menşei Osmanlı Mimarisinin İlk Devri Ertuğrul, Osman, Orhan Gaziler, Hüdâvendigâr ve Yıldırım Bayezid 630-805 (1230-1402). İstanbul: İstanbul Fetih Cemiyeti Yayınları.

Bahar, B. (2013). İzmit Körfezi Bizans Dönemi Savunma Yapıları Bağlamında Gebze, Eskihisar Kalesi. [Yayımlanmamış Yüksek Lisans Tezi]. Hacettepe Üniversitesi.

Bardill, J. (2011). Constantine, Divine Emperor of the Christian Golden Age. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Bassett, S. (2004). The Urban Image of Late Antique Constantinople. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Buchwald, H. (1979). Lascarid Architecture. JÖB, 28, 261-296.

Buchwald, H. (1984). Western Asia Minor as a Generator of Architectural Forms in the Byzantine Period, Provincial Back-wash or Dynamic Center of Production. JÖB, 34, 198-234.

Buchwald, H. (1999). Form, Style and Meaning in Byzantine Church Architecture. Variorum Collected Studies. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing.

Ćirić, J. S. (2016). As the Byzantines Saw It: Sensoria, Sources, Apse and Brickwork at the end of 13th-Century. M. Rakocija (Ed.), Nıš and Byzantium, Fourteenth International Symposium, Nıš, 3-5 June 2015 (ss. 305-314). Nıš.

Coulston, J. C. N. (2013). Late Roman Military Equipment Culture. A. Sarantis ve N. Christie (Eds.), War and Warfare in Late Antiquity (ss. 463-492). Leiden-Boston: Koninklijke Brill NV.

Ćurčić, S. (2012). Divine Light: Constructing the Immaterial in Byzantine Art and Architecture. B. D. Wescoat ve R. G. Ousterhout (Eds.), Architecture of the Sacred, Space, Ritual and Experience from Classical Greece to Byzantium (ss. 307-337). Newyork: Cambridge University Press.

Çalık-Ross, A. (2017). Hoşgörü Başkenti Nikomedia ve Galerius’un Hoşgörü Fermanının Çeviri Denemesi. Kocaeli Üniversitesi Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi Sosyal Bilimler Araştırma Dergisi- KOUSBAD, 6, 135-145.

Danık, E. (1997). Konya, Sille’deki Aya Elena Kilisesi. Türk Etnoğrafya Dergisi, 20, 177-193.

Demiriz, Y. (1979). Osmanlı Mimarisinde Süsleme I, Erken Devir (1300-1453). Kültür Bakanlığı Yayınları 263, Türk Sanat Eserleri Serisi 2. İstanbul: Kültür Bakanlığı Yayınları.

Dey, H. (2010). Art, Ceremony, and City Walls: The Aesthetics of Imperial Resurgence in the Late Roman West. Journal of Late Antiquity, 3(1), 3-37.

Dirven, L. (1999). The Palmyrenes of Dura-Europos: A Study of Religious Interction in Roman Syria. Leiden: Brill.

Doğan, S., Fındık, E. F. ve Bulgurlu, V. (2013). Myra (Demre) Aziz Nikolaos Kilisesi Koruma ve Onarım Çalışmaları 2012. Kazı Sonuçları Toplantısı, 35(3), 292-301.

Doğan, S., Fındık, E. F. ve Bulgurlu, V. (2019). Myra (Demre) Aziz Nikolaos Kilisesi Koruma ve Onarım Çalışmaları - 2017. Kazı Sonuçları Toplantısı, 40(3), 365-380.

Doğancı, K. (2017). Constantinus’un Hristiyanlığı Meselesi ve Ölümü Hakkındaki Tartışmalar. Uludağ Üniversitesi Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 18(33), 493-517.

Drake, H. (2016). The emperor as a ‘Man of God’: The impact of Constantine the great’s: Conversion on roman ideas of kingship, Historia, 35(1), 1-17.

Epstein, A. W. (1980). Middle Byzantine Churches of Kastoria: Dates and Implications. ArtB, 62(2), 190-207.

Eyice, S. (1963). Son Devir Bizans Mimarisi İstanbul’da Palaiologoslar Devri Anıtları. İstanbul: İstanbul Üniversitesi Edebiyat Fakültesi Yayınları.

Eyice, S. (1966). Konya ile Sille Arasındaki Akmanastır, Menâkib al‐ârifîn’deki Deyr‐i Eflatun. Şarkiyat Mecmuası, 6, 135‐160.

Eyice, S. (1969). “Trakya’da Bizans Devrine Ait Eserler,” Belleten, 131, 325-358.

Fındık, E. F. (2019). Kandiller. N. Tekdemir ve D. Hadzibegoviç (Eds.), Bir Koleksiyonerin Tutkusu, Rahmi M. Koç Koleksiyonundan Seçmeler (ss. 171-201). İstanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları.

Freely, J. ve Çakmak, A. S. (2005). İstanbul’un Bizans Anıtları. (Çev. G. Tanman). İstanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları.

Friedheim, E. (2009). Sol Invictus in the Severus Synagogue at Hammath Tiberias, the Rabbis, and Jewish Society: A Different Approach. Review of Rabbinic Judaism. 12(1), 89-128.

Grabar, A. (1968). Early Christian Art from the Rise of Christianity to the Death of Theodosius. New York: Odyssey Press.

Guarducci, M. (1957/1959). Sol invictus Augustus. RendPontAcc, 3(30/31), 161-169.

Halsberghe, G. (1972). The cult of Sol Invictus. Leiden: Brill.

Hargrove, E. N. (2015). The Roman Sun: Symbolic Variation in Ancient Solar Warship [Unpublished master’s thesis]. Universiteit Van Amsterdam.

Hijmans, S. E. (1996). The Sun which did not rise in the East; the Cult of Sol Invictus in the Light of Non-Literary Evidence. BABesch, 71, 115-150.

Hijmans, S. E. (2003). Sol Invictus, The Winter Solstice, and the Origins of Christmas. Mouseion: Journal of the Classical Association of Canada, 3(3), 377-398.

Hijmans, S. E. (2006). Metaphor, Symbol and Reality: the Polysemy of the Imperial Radiate Crown. C. C. Mattusch (Ed.), Common ground. Archaeology, art, science, and humanities. Proceedings of the XVIth International Congress of Classical Archaeology Boston, August 23-26, 2003 (ss. 440-443). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hijmans, S. E. (2009). Sol: the sun in the art and religions of Rome [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of Groningen.

Hijmans, S. E. (2011). Usener’s Christmas: A Contribution to the Modern Construct of Late Antique Solar Syncretism. M. Espagne ve P. Rabault-Feuerhahn (Eds.), Hermann Usener und die Metamorphosen der Philologie (ss. 139-152). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Hobbs, L. M. (2014). The Religion of Constantine I: An Analysis of the Modern Scholarly Hypotheses and Interpretations of the Contemporary Evidence [Unpublished master’s thesis]. University of Ottawa.

Hoddinott, R. F. (1963). Early Byzantine Churches of Macedonia and Southern Serbia: A Study of the Origins and the Initial Development of East Christian Art. London: Macmillan.

Jevtić, I. (2019). Painted Church Facades in Byzantine and “Post-Byzantine” Art and Their Aesthetics. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of articles, 9, 318–325.

Kaçar, T. (2013). Roma İmparatorluğu, Hıristiyanlar ve Milano Fermanı’nın 1700. Yılı. Toplumsal Tarih Dergisi, 230, 46-50.

Kalfazade, S. (1987). Erken Osmanlı Mimarisinde Tuğla Rozetler Hakkında. Sanat Tarihi Araştırmaları Dergisi, 1, 12-17.

Kaymaz, Y. (2014). Büyük Constantinus’un Hıristiyanlığı Meselesi. Sakarya Üniversitesi İlahiyat Fakültesi Dergisi, 26(29), 213-235.

Kırıkçı, E. (2004). 12 ve 13. Yüzyılların Anadolu Türk Süsleme Sanatında Güneş, Ay ve Yıldız Simgelerinin Değerlendirilmesi [Yayınlanmamış Yüksek Lisans Tezi] İstanbul Üniversitesi.

Klose, C. (2015). A Farewell to Methods? Imperial ‘adventus-scenes’ and Interpretations of Roman Historical Reliefs. C. Klose, L. C. Bossert ve W. Leveritt (Eds.), Fresh Perspectives on Graeco-Roman Visual Culture. Proceedings of an International Conference at Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, 2nd-3rd September 2013 (ss. 99-116). DOI: 10.18452/17865

Kolay, E. ve Erdoğan, O. (2019). Zikzak: Bir Ortaçağ Motifinin Anadolu Yansımaları. Mediterranean Journal of Humanities. 9(1), 241-256.

Kourkoutidou-Nikolaidou, E. ve Tourta, A. (1997). Wandering in Byzantine Thessaloniki. Athens: Kapon Editions.

Kuban, D. (2016). Osmanlı Mimarisi. İstanbul: YEM Yayınları.

Kατηφóρη, M. (2010). Aνασκαφή στo ναó των Aγίων Aπoστóλων στην Kάτω Eπισκoπή Σητείας: Eπίσκεψη σε ε ́να Bυζαντινó Λoυτρó (Excavation in the church of Hagioi Apostoloi in Kato Episkopi Siteias: Visiting a Byzantine bath-house). M. Andrianakis ve I. Tzachili (Eds.), In Archaeological Works in Crete 1 (ss. 211-222). Publications of the School of Philosophy of the University of Crete: Rethymno.

Laughlin, T. Y. (2007). The Controversy of Constantine’s Conversion to Christianity. Student Theses, Papers and Projects (History). 172.

Lossky, V. (1997). The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church. Cambridge: Lutterworth Press.

Macridy, T. (1964). The Monastery of Lips, the Burials of the Palaeologi. DOP, 18(23), 253-277.

Makaronas, Ch. (1969). Hē kamara, to thriambiko toxo tou Galeriou stē Thessalonikē (No.107). Thessalonikē: Hetaireia Makedonikōn Spudōn.

Marlowe, E. (2006). Framing the Sun: The Arch of Constantine and the Roman Cityscape. ArtB, 88(2), 223-242.

Matern, P. (2002). Helios und Sol: Kulte und Ikonographie des griechischen und römischen Sonnengottes. İstanbul: Ege Yayınları.

Mathews, T. (1976). The Byzantine Churches of Istanbul: A Photographic Survey. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press.

Mercangöz, Z. (1990). Bafa Gölü Kirselik’teki Manastır Kilisesi. Arkeoloji ve Sanat Tarihi Dergisi, 5, 117-138.

Mercangöz, Z. (1992). Kapıkırı Adası’ndaki Manastır Kilisesi Üzerine Düşünceler. Arkeoloji ve Sanat Tarihi Dergisi, 6, 73-90.

Mercangöz, Z. (1995). Batı Anadolu’daki Türk Yapılarının Duvar Tekniği ve Tuğla Süslemelerin Kaynağı Üzerine Düşünceler. 9. Milletlerarası Türk Sanatları Kongresi, Cilt 2 (ss. 485-495). Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu.

Miljkoviḱ-Pepek, P. (1981). Veljusa: manastir Sv. Bogorodica Milostiva vo seloto Veljusa kraj Strumica. Skopje: Fakultet za filozofsko-istoriski nauki na univerzitetot “Kiril i Metodij”.

Mimiroğlu, İ. M. (2013). A Building Dedicated to Archangel Michael: The Hagia Eleni Church in Sille. İ. M. Mimiroğlu (Ed.) Sille Hagia Eleni Museum (ss. 174-219). Konya: Selçuklu Belediyesi Yayınevi.

Mimiroğlu, İ. M. (2018). Aya Elena Kilisesi. M. Birekul (Ed.) Konya Ansiklopedisi (ss. 353-354) Konya: Konya Büyükşehir Belediyesi Kültür Yayınları.

Moss, R. L. (2000). Romanesque Chevron Ornament. [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of Dublin.

Nixon, C. E. V. ve Rodgers, B. S. (1994). In Praise of Later Roman Emperors: The Panegyrici Latini. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Odahl, C. M. (2004). Constantine and the Christian Empire. Newyork: Routledge Publisher.

Ousterhaout, R. (1985). The Byzantine Church at Enez: Problems in Twelfth-Century Architecture. JÖB, 35, 261-280.

Ousterhaut, R. (1987). The Architecture of the Kariye Camii in Istanbul. Washington: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Ousterhout, R. (1991). Constantinople, Bithynia, and Regional Developments in Later Palaeologan Architecture. Ćurčić, S. ve Mouriki, D. (Eds.), The Twilight of Byzantium (ss. 75-110). Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Ousterhout, R. (2014). The life and afterlife of Constantine’s Column. JRA, 27, 304-326.

Ötüken, S. Y. (1978). İstanbul Son Devir Bizans Mimarisinde Cephe Süslemeleri. Vakıflar Dergisi, 12, 213-233.

Ötüken, S. Y. (1990). Bizans Duvar Tekniğinde Tektonik ve Estetik Çözümler. Vakıflar Dergisi, 22, 395-403.

Ötüken, S. Y. (1997a). Likya Ortaçağ Araştırmaları ve Demre Aziz Nikolaos Kilisesi Kazısı. Adalya, 1, 73-85.

Ötüken, S. Y. (1997b). 1995 Yılı Demre Aziz Nikolaos Kilisesi Kazısı. Kazı Sonuçları Toplantısı, 18(2), 471-487.

Ötüken, S. Y. (2002). Demre-Myra Aziz Nikolaos Kilisesi Kazısında Yeni Sonuçlar. M. Denktaş, Ö. Yıldıray ve A. Sağıroğlu-Arslan (Eds.), VI. Ortaçağ Türk Dönemi Kazıları ve Araştırmaları Sempozyumu (ss. 585-599). Kayseri.

Ötüken, S. Y. (2005). 2002 Yılı Demre-Myra Aziz Nikolaos Kilisesi Kazısı ve Duvar Resimlerini Koruma-Onarım ve Belgeleme Çalışmaları. Adalya, 8, 261-285.

Ötüken, S. Y. (2007). Işık Yaşam PWC -ZHW. C. Işık, Z. Çizmeli-Öğün, ve B. Varkıvanç (Eds.), Calbis: Baki Öğün’e Armağan (ss. 131-136). Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu.

Ötüken, S. Y., Alpaslan, S. ve Acara, M. (1999/2000). Demre-Myra Aziz Nikolaos Kilisesi Kuzey Ek Yapısının Yeni Bir Değerlendirilmesi. Adalya, 4, 221-242.

Ötüken, S. Y. ve Ousterhout, R. (1995). The Byzantine Church at Çeltikdere. B. Borkopp, B. Schellewald ve L. Thiess (Eds.), Studien Zur Byzantinischen Kunstgeschichte Festschrift Für Horst Hallensleben Zum 65. Geburtstag (ss. 85-92). Amsterdam: Hakkert.

Öztaşkın, G. K. (2015). Olympos Episkopeionu Tuğla Süslemeleri. T. Kahya, A. Özdizbay, N. Tüner-Önen ve M. Wilson (Eds.) Uluslararası Genç Bilimciler Buluşması II: Anadolu Akdenizi Sempozyumu (ss. 615-627). Antalya: AKMED/Koç Üniversitesi Suna & İnan Kıraç Akdeniz Medeniyetleri Araştırma Merkezi.

Pekak, S. (2009). Trilye (Zeytinbağı) Fatih Camisi, Bizans Kapalı Yunan Haçı Planı, İstanbul: Arkeoloji ve Sanat Yayınları.

Peña, I. (1997). The Christian art of Byzantine Syria. England: Garnet Publications.

Peschlow, U. (1975). Die Arkhitektur der Nikolaoskirche in Myra. J. Borchardt (Ed.), Myra: Eine lykische Metropole in antiker und byzantinischer Zeit, IstForsch, 30, 303-359.

Peschlow, U. (1990). Materialien zur Kirche des H. Nikolaos in Myra im Mittelalter. IstMitt, 40, 207-258.

Peschlow, U. (2000). Die byzantinische Kaiserinschrift aus Myra-Wiedergefunden. Lykia, 3, 75–78.

Poulou, N. ve Tantsis, A. (2018). From Town to Countryside: Middle-Byzantine Bath-Houses in Eastern Crete and Their Changing Functions. Land, 7(3), 1-15.

Radojčić, S. (1971). Mileševa. Beograd: Srpska Književna Zadruga.

Schwartz, E. (1977). The Whirling Disc: A Possible Connection between Medieval Balkan Frescoes and Byzantine Icons. Zograf, 8, 24-29.

Schweiger-Lerchenfeld, A. (Freiherr von) (1887). Griechenland in Wort und Bild. Eine Schilderung des hellenischen Königreiches. Leipzig: Heinrich Schmidt & Carl Günther.

Serin, U. (2014). Bizans Ankarası ve Kaybolan Bir Kültür Mirası: “St. Clement” Kilisesi. METU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, 31(2), 65-92.

Şen, E. ve Gürpınar, F. (2019). Farklı Kültürlerde Güneş Sembolü. Ulakbilge Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 43, 985-1008.

Texier, C. ve Pullan, R. P. (1864). Byzantine Architecture illustrated by a series of the earliest Christian edifices in the East. London: Day and Son.

Tomoioagă, F. T. (2015). The Vision of Divine Light in Saint Gregory Palamas’s Theology. Acta Theologica, 35(2), 142-153.

Trkulja, J. (2011). Divine Revelation Performed: Symbolic and Spatial Aspects in the Decoration of Byzantine Churches. A. Lidov (Ed.), Spatial Icons: Performativity in Byzantium and Russia (ss. 213-246). Moscow: Indrick.

Trkulja, J. (2012). The rose window: a feature of Byzantine architecture?. M. J. Johnson, R. Ousterhout ve A. Papalexandrou (Eds.), Approaches to Byzantine Architecture and its Decoration Studies in Honor of Slobodan Ćurčić (ss. 143-161). Farnham: Ashgate Publishing.

Üçer-Karababa, İ. Ü. (2020). Roma Dönemi Tören Alaylarının Kent Dokusuna Etkileri: Roma ve İstanbul’daki Zafer Alayları. Olba, 14, 127-148.

Verim, E. (2017). Çeltikdere’de Kapalı Yunan Haçı Planlı Bir Kilise. History Studies International Journal of History, 9(2), 235-256.

Vickers, M. (1973). Observations on the Octagon at Thessaloniki. JRS, 63, 111-120.

Watson, A. (2004). Aurelian and the Third Century. Oxford: Routledge Publisher.

Webb, M. (2001). The Churches and Catacombs of Early Christian Rome. Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press.

Yoncacı-Arslan, P. (2016). Towards A New Honorıfic Column: The Column of Constantine in Early Byzantine Urban Landscape. METU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, 33(1), 121-145.


 Online Literature

Aziz Apostoli Kilisesi. (2020, Ekim 15).

İmrahor İlyas Bey Camii. (2020, Ekim 01).

Eski İmaret Mosque. (2020, Ekim 15).

Monastery of Christ Philanthropos. (2020, Ekim 20).

Monastery of Lips. (2020, Eylül 07).

Nea Moni – Chios. (2020, Eylül 15).

Saint Panteleimon church. (2021, Ocak 02).

Grande Flânerie. (2020, Eylül 27).

Church of the Holy Apostles. (2020, Ekim 25).

Church of the Holy Apostles. (2020, Kasım 24).

Sakız Adası Manastırları. (2021, Ocak 21).

Quora. (2020, Eylül 20).

Terracotta Lamp. (2020, Eylül 23).

Imperial Panegyrics. (2020, Aralık 25).

Constantine the Great Sol Bronzes. (2020, Eylül 19).

The god Sol in quadriga. (2020, Eylül 19).

Sol Invictus. (2020, Eylül 19).

Nea Moni (2021, Şubat 06).

Gamalı Haçın Tarihi (2021, Şubat 05).

Oktagon North Niche. (2020, Ekim 15).

Probus, Antoninianus. (2021, Ocak 9).

Jasper intaglio. (2021, Ocak 16).

Emperor Iustinianus. (2021, Ocak 02).

The Battle of Milvian Bridge. (2020, Ekim 15).,_1520-24.jpg.

Vision of the Cross. (2020, Ekim 15).

Fındık, E. F. (2021). Aziz Nikolaos Kilisesi, Kuzey Ek Yapısı Tuğla Süslemeleri: Rozet Motifi ya da Yenilmez Güneş “Sol Invictus”. Arkhaia Anatolika, 4, 41-82. DOI: 10.32949/Arkhaia.2021.26