Mt. Auxentios

Mt. Auxentios was a holy mountain dotted with hermitages and monasteries, present-day Kayışdağı, located near Constantinople, 12 km southeast of Chalcedon. Called Skopa or Skopos in antiquity, the mountain took its name from the 5th-century Syrian St. Auxentios, who spent the last 20 years of his life in a cave near the summit. Both men and women flocked to the mountain to live as solitaries under the spiritual leadership of St. Auxentios. Around 460 a certain Eleuthera built the convent of Trichinarea at the base of the mountain for 70 of these pious women. It survived until at least the end of the 12th century. No male monastery was built until the 8th century, when Stephen the Younger constructed a complex for about 20 monks. Shortly thereafter he and his companions were exiled and the monastery destroyed during the Iconoclastic persecution of Constantine V. Sources of the 11th-13th centuries, report a number of monasteries under different names, including St. Stephen, Holy Apostles, the Archangel Michael, and the Holy Five (five Armenian martyrs of the early 4th century ), where Maximos Planoudes was hegoumenos. Some of these names may refer to the same institution, restored with a new dedication. The monastery of the Archangel Michael was renovated by Michael VIII, who composed a typikon limiting the number of monks to 40.

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Sources

Belke, Klaus. Bithynien und Hellespont (TIB 13) 

Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Resources

Suburbs of Constantinople Album (Byzantine Legacy Flickr)

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