Universitatea „Lucian Blaga” din Sibiu, Facultatea de Științe Socio-Umane
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4 / 2018
Proofs Of The 10th Century Byzantine Mission In Alba Iulia
The article focuses on the first and most clear Christian proofs discovered in Transylvania at the turn of the millennia. The reliquary crosses identified in the necropolis in Alba Iulia, at the site King’s Spring / Izvorul Împăratului(M. 10, M. 24 și M. 81), are in strong connection with the Byzantine mission led by Hierotheus, who came to this area after the year 953, immediately after Gylas’ Christianization in Constantinople. In this site, where we have recently reconstructed the military suite of the mentioned leader, the passage from paganism to Christianity can be most conveniently noticed. Even if certain traditions – like the sepulchral pits dressed with lithic material, the presence of coal remains that make proof of thee purification of the dead, egg, hen, horse and ceramic offerings – are rather of pagan origin, the Christian customs and traditions are also present (the position of the bodies, the position of the arms), or pieces bearing such valences (pentagram rings and rings with vegetal motifs). The uniqueness of this cemetery consists in the fact that it was used both by native and allogenic communities in the area (Romanic, Slavic, and Hungarian population) who embraced Christianism in its Byzantine form. The worship objects from the King’s Spring site can most probably be dated between the second half of the 10th century and at the latest in the first decades of the 11th century.
Keywords: history of Transylvania, Gylas, Alba Iulia necropolis, Christianity, Hierotheus, reliquary, cemetery