See of Sardis (or Sardes,
Italian Sardi) was
an episcopal see in Sardis.
Map of Sardis and other cities within
the Lydian Empire
was one of the Seven Churches of
, held by metropolitan bishops
since the middle to
late 1st century, with jurisdiction over the province of Lydia
(formed in 295). Since 1369 it was
intermittently occupied by both Eastern
metropolitan bishops (until 1986) and Roman Catholic archbishops
consecrated in partibus infidelium
archbishops (until 1976).
reorganized the region
in 295, Sardis became the capital of the district of Lydia, the
seat of the governor and metropolitan archbishop.
There is only one known epigraphic
reference to the see of Sardis, published in the 5th or 6th
century. A 1959 landslide revealed several ecclesiastical artifacts
and a throne that archaeologists postulated may have been used by
the bishops of Sardis. The first systemic investigation of the ruins
of Sardis came in 1910 with an expedition from Princeton
University. Excavations in 1912 revealed a small "Church
M", containing coins which were dated to the
5th century and an apse overhanging one of the
earliest known Christian altars, near the
north eastern corner of the Temple of Artemis.
According to the Menologion
Clement, a disciple of Paul of Tarsus
and one of the Seventy (Philippians 4:3
), was the first
bishop of Sardis. Little is known about the ancient episcopacy
of Sardis, with the notable
exception of Saint Melito
contemporary of Marcus Aurelius
the 2nd century, whom some sources refer to as the second bishop of
Sardis—citing the "improbability of seventy years in the
episcopate"—making him the successor to the "angel of the church of Sardis
referenced in the New Testament
), while other sources regard Melito
himself as the "apostle" or "angel of the church of Sardis." In the
Book of Revelation
, Saint John
writes a letter to the church of
Sardis, reproaching it and its bishop.
The Council of Rimini
Bishop Hortasius of Sardis in 359 because he had been ordained
without the saction of the bishops of Lydia. The See had 27
suffragan bishops (including the
bishop of Thyatira and Philadelphia) in the 7th century, and approximately that number
until the end of the 10th century.
Arabs sacked Sardis in 716, but the city remained a
part of a resurgent Roman (Byzantine) Empire until the aftermath of
the battle of
Manzikert in 1071.
Euthymius, a Metropolitan Bishop of
Sardis, was martyred in 824 in relation to iconoclasm
In 1118, Byzantine general Philocales recaptured Sardis from the
Seljuk Sultanate of Rum
, a Eastern Orthodox Bishop of Sardis
circa 1283, made several attempts at East-West reunification
. Ottoman Turks
captured Sardis in 1306; the
city was destroyed by Timur
The Metropolitan of Sardis
which had once ranked sixth in precedence in the Eastern church,
continued to be appointed into the 13th century, long after Sardis
had shrunk into a village which was no longer a regional locus of
1369, Philadelphia replaced Sardis as the site of the metropolitan bishop, Sardis having been
suppressed by the Patriarch of
Constantinople, and Roman
Catholic archbishops of Sardis began to be consecrated
infidelium (in a diocese which had fallen into the power
of infidels) until 1882, when the were instead called titular archbishops.
Dionysius, the Metropolitan of Sardis in 1438, died during the
Council of Florence
and thus was
not made to sign its decree.
One of the first scholarly listings of the bishops of Sardis is
given by Michel Le Quien
Oriens christianus in quatuor patriarchatus digestus, in quo
exhibentur Ecclesiae patriarchae caeterique praesules totius
(abbreviated Oriens Christ.
posthumously in 1740.
Eastern Orthodox Metropolitans
- Carlo Rossetti, circa 1641
- Invitti, circa 1726
- Binkentios Coressi (October
12, 1814 — March 7, 1835)
- Jean-Marie Mioland (April 2,
1849 — September 29, 1851)
- Pietro Gianelli (April 5, 1858 —
March 15, 1875)
- Bernardino del Vago, circa
- Vicenzo Vannutelli (January
23, 1880 — June 23, 1890)
- Salvatore Palmieri (December
14, 1891 — October 1, 1892)
- Giulio Tonti (July 15, 1893 —
October 1, 1894)
- Benedetto Lorenzelli
(November 30, 1896 — November 14, 1904)
- Giuseppe Aversa (May 25, 1906 —
April 12, 1917)
- Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni
Pacelli (April 20, 1917 — March 16, 1929)
- Arthur Hinsley (January 9, 1930 —
April 1, 1935)
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Churches of the Apocalypse." The Biblical Acheaologist.
Vol. 37, No. 3. p. 78–80.
- Christian Churches of God. " The Pillars of Philadelphia." No. 283.
- W.H. Buckler and David M. Robinson (eds.). 1932.
Sardis, Vol. VII, Part 1, Greek and Latin
Inscriptions. Publications of the American Society for the
Excavation of Sardis. p. 190.
- The New York Times. 1859, October 26. "Landslide
yields Lydian artifacts." p. 3.
- Philip Schaff. 1890. NPNF2-01. Eusebius Pamphilius: Church History, Life of
Constantine, Oration in Praise of Constantine. New York:
Christian Literature Publishing Co.
- Steve Smith, 2005. " Saint Melito of Sardis: Early Church Father,
Bishop, and Martyr."
- Ernest Cushing Richardson et al. 1886. The Ante-Nicene
Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D.
325. C. Scribner's Sons, p. 750.
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the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D. Lord Bishop of Down, Connor, and
Dromore: with A Life of the Author, and a critical examination of
his writings by the Right Rev. Reginald Heber, D.D. late Lord
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Cambridge University Press. p. 34.
- Crane, Howard. 1987. "Some Archaeological Notes on Turkish
Sardis." Muqarnas, 4: p. 43-58.
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Florence. J. Masters. p. 154.
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Philippians, 1903. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 0766175146. p.
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Press. Four Book Edition.
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Longmans, Green. p. 447.
- von Hefele, Karl
Joseph. 1883. A History of the Councils of the Church: From
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- John Meyendorff. 1983. Byzantine Theology: Historical
Trends and Doctrinal Themes. Fordham Univ Press. p. 86.
- Finlay, George. 1877. A History of Greece: From Its
Conquest by the Romans to the Present Time, B.C. 146 to A.D.
1864. Clarendon Press. p. 377-378.
- Alexander Hugh Hore. 1899. Eighteen Centuries of the
Orthodox Church. E. & J.B. Young & co. p. 451.
- Henry Robinson Luce and Briton Hadden, 1923. "National
- E. J. Stormon, 1987. Towards the Healing of Schism.
Paulist Press, p. 38.
- Orthodox Archdiocese of Belgium. 2007. " Deceased Hierarchs of the Ecumenical
- The American Historical Review, 1907. "The Catholic
Mission in Maryland, 1641." Vol. 12, No. 3. p. 584–587.
- The Redemptoris. " This Month in Redemptoris History."
- St. Joseph's Industrial School Press, 1977. St. Thomas
Christians and the Archdiocese of Verapoly: A Short Historical
Study . p. 255.
- " Sardes."
- Marchione, Sr. Margherita, 2004. Man of Peace: An Abridged Life
of Pope Pius XII. Paulist Press. ISBN 0-8091-4245-7. p. 11.