Το παλαιοχριστιανικό κιβώριο της Κατοπολιανής ΠάρουPart of : Δελτίον της Χριστιανικής Αρχαιολογικής Εταιρείας ; Vol.37, 1997, pages 319-334
The Early Christian Ciborium of the Panagia Katopoliani, Paros
The earliest evidence concerning the Early Christianchurch of the Panagia Katapoliani on Paros is in a hagiological source of the 10th century. The Life of Hosia Theoktisti of Lesbos, an ascetic who dwelt and died in the Katapoliani, includes an eloquent description of the thendeserted monument and its very lovely ciborium. The ciborium that evoked the author's admiration had been destroyed by the Arabs in the unsuccessful attempt to transfer it to Crete.Today that ciborium stands restored over the altar tablein the sanctuary of the church, and the original membersare for the most part preserved. It consists of four marblecolumns with fold capitals, upholding four arched marbleslabs, the epistyles, supporting the large hemisphericalouranos with an intervening bevelled cornice. Almost halfthe ouranos (baltachin) is restored in white cement, thoughsections of it have been located and recorded on the siteof the complex.Detailed examination has revealed that the Early Christian ciborium of Katapoliani was constructed of marblesof different provenance, imported -most probably fromProkonnesos- and local - Parian. The fold capitals, thework of experienced Constantinopolitan stone-carvers ofaround 540, may well have been sent already finished fromthe Capital along with the Prokonnesian marble columnshafts. The bases, the epistyles and the ouranos were madelocally of Parian marble in the island workshop as theirexecution belies. It is very likely that the designs also camefrom Justinian's capital, as apparent from the most characteristic example of a ciborium of this type of Constantinopolitan provenance, offered by monumental painting.About a century later Justinian II is depicted dedicating asimilar ciborium, among the mosaics in Sant'Apollinare inClasse, in the port of Ravenna.The Early Christian ciborium of Katapoliani is distinguished from the contemporary Justinian sculptures in thechurch by virtue of its size and the exceptional quality andluxury of its construction. In parallel, study of it couldcontribute substantially to a future reassessment of theJustinian phase of the building complex, since it permitsits dating around 540 and presents individual similaritiesboth with sculpted works of metropolitan provenance andthe remaining architectural members of the monument.