Στοιχεία για την παλαιοχριστιανική και βυζαντινή ΊμβροPart of : Δελτίον της Χριστιανικής Αρχαιολογικής Εταιρείας ; Vol.37, 1997, pages 351-368
Evidence concerning Early Christian and Byzantine Imbros
The geographical location of Imbros at the entrance tothe Hellespont and on the ancient sea lane from southernGreece to the Euxine Pontus, was decisive for its fortunefrom antiquity to modern times. It is no accident that theAthenians established a colony of cleruchs here in theearly 5th century BC, nor that it was ceded to Turkey bythe Treaty of Lausanne, in 1923, so giving that countrycontrol of the Hellespont.The evidence presented here concerns sites of mainlyEarly Christian monuments that have been noted both onthe coast and in the hinterland, by archaeologists whovisited and toured Imbros in the late 19th and the early20th century, as well as in my own fieldwork. Unfortunately we know nothing about the form of these monumentssince no systematic excavation or archaeological surveyhas been conducted on the island. However the sculptedarchitectural members collected indicate that there wereorganized Christian communities on Imbros in the 5th and6th centuries, with notable buildings for worship.We learn from the Synekdemos of Hierokles that in thisperiod the island belonged to the province of Greece orAchaea, capital of which was Corinth. However, nothingis known about the ecclesiastical situation on the islandbefore the 11th century, when it was declared a patriarchal exarchate, to be promoted to an independent bishopric, in 1397.Information about the island during the Middle Byzantine period is scant; mention in the sources is rare and thearchaeological data are negligible. There are howevertestimonies that Imbros —part of the thema of theAegean Sea — continued to be inhabited and was one ofthe bases of the Byzantine navy.The situation is clearer for the final centuries of theEmpire. We learn from texts that before the middle of the14th century there were three monasteries on the island,dependencies (metochia) of the Great Lavra on MountAthos, while 15th-century sources mention three fortifiedtowns, which certainly existed before, in the north, southand centre of the island. The first two are confidentlyidentified as the settlement of Kastro, at the homonymous village, and Paliokastro, south of Schoinoudi, sincetheir impressive ruins still stand.