Μαρμάρινοι παλαιοχριστιανικού άμβωνες από την ΚωPart of : Δελτίον της Χριστιανικής Αρχαιολογικής Εταιρείας ; Vol.37, 1997, pages 341-350
Early Christian Marble Ambones from Kos
Christianity spread on Kos, the third largest island in theDodecanese, from at least the beginning of the 4thcentury. During the 5th and 6th centuries a large numberof Early Christian basilicas with lavish mosaics andmarble decoration were built in the countryside. Themarble ambos (pulpits) presented here belong to the typewith two axial staircases supporting a balcony.The first staircase, Ar(x) 1, is low, monolithic, with a semicircular niche on all three sides and adorned with schematic leaves and birds in low relief on the two lateral sides. Itcomes from the ambo in the basilica at Mesaria and isdated to the second half of the 6th century.The next two staircases, Ar(x)2 and Ar(x)3, are of thesame type as the preceding one. Both are of equal sizeand decorated with an identical subject — rope ornamentand rinceau with fruits of the vine — and very possibly belonged to the same ambo, that of the basilica at Limenos,very near which they were found by A. Orlandos. Theycan be dated to the early 6th century.Since the marble used in all three staircase is recognizedas local, it is assumed that they were made in a Koanworkshop. However, their form recalls a type mainly encountered in the ambos of Asia Minor (Didyma, Priene,Halicarnassus etc.).Lastly, the balcony of the ambo of basilica Β of the western thermae of the city of Kos is presented. Circular withoblong wings and made of Prokonnesian marble, the concave underside of its floor is decorated with the monogram of Christ. The concavity in conjunction with the peculiar form of the monogram, which includes the wordsΦΩΟ and ΖΩΗ, emphasizes the special significance ofthe area beneath the ambo.