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Margins and MetropolisAuthority across the Byzantine Empire$
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Judith Herrin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153018

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153018.001.0001

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Byzantine Kythera

Byzantine Kythera

(p.130) 6 Byzantine Kythera
Margins and Metropolis

Judith Herrin

Princeton University Press

This chapter offers a historical background on the island of Kythera during the Byzantine period. During the early Christian and Byzantine era, Kythera maintained the same close connection to the mainland that had existed from the time of the Argive–Spartan rivalry. The introduction of Christianity in the fourth century AD was allegedly due to Hosia Elesse, and its tenth-century revival was almost certainly the responsibility of Hosios Theodoros. Settlers from the mainland repopulated Kythera after its devastation or abandonment. The chapter describes the status of Kythera, first between the fourth and seventh centuries, and then from the mid-tenth century to 1205. It also examines how Kythera came under Venetian rule following the signing of the Partition Treaty of 1204 that divided the Byzantine Empire between the Venetians, the Franks, and the pilgrims of the Fourth Crusade. Kythera remained a stronghold of Byzantine Orthodoxy long after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Keywords:   Kythera, Christianity, Hosia Elesse, Hosios Theodoros, Partition Treaty, Byzantine Empire, Venetians, Franks, Fourth Crusade, Constantinople

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