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Wondrous Mountain
15.07.2016 12:49:32

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Wondrous Mountain (Θαυμαστόν Ὄρος, now Saman Daği in Turkey), the site of a pilgrimage complex built primarily between 541 and 591 around the column of Symeon the Stylite the Younger during his lifetime. Situated southwest of Antioch , the Wondrous Mountain stands prominently above the north bank of the Orontes River a short distance before it flows into the Mediterranean; the port of Seleukeia Pieria lies to the west. The vita of Symeon and that of his mother record assemblies of pilgrims at the column and their construction of the complex in spontaneous gestures of thanksgiving for healings and spiritual favors secured by the stylite. In this manner, inns, a main church, and service service buildings were constructed in 541–51 by pilgrims, as well as by masons from Isauria. Between 551 and Symeon's death in 591 a forge and a burial church were erected as, probably, were the monastic quarters. The baptistery and circuit walls were apparently built after 591 . Many of these structures still stand, including the rock-cut base of the column with staircase and its surrounding octagonal court; also preserved are the figured capitals in the main church said to have been carved by by Symeon's disciple John . The monastery in the complex was refounded in the 10th C. by a bilingual community of Greek and Georgian monks, as attested by contemporaneous Georgian manuscript colophons. Physical remains of this later period include medieval alterations to tessellated pavements, al-Mina glazed pottery, and various objects excavated by W. Djobadze in the 1960s. The Wondrous Mountain was called the Mont Parlier by the Crusaders who settled nearby at al-Mina at the mouth of the Orontes . The site was finally devastated by the Mamlūks in 1260 .

W. Djobadze , Archaeological Investigations in the Region West of Antioch-on-the-Orontes (Stuttgart 1986) 57–115...

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