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Theotokos Kosmosoteira

The Monastery of Theotokos Kosmosoteira in Bera (modern Pherrai, Greece) was founded before 1152 by the sebastokrator Isaac Komnenos, son of Alexios I. Isaac built the cenobitic monastery as his residence and final resting place; he requested that his tomb be transferred to this new foundation from Chora Monastery in Constantinople, which he had restored earlier. The complex, surrounded by a wall, included a cistern, mill, and library. The monastery also had a gerokomeion with 36 beds and a bathhouse for the use of monks and villagers. The monastery continued in use until the mid-14th century. The typikon, drafted by Isaac starting in 1152, was closely modeled, for its liturgical sections, on the typikon of the Euergetis Monastery in Constantinople. It provided for 74 monks, of whom 50 were to be choir brothers, the rest serving brothers. All the monks were to be over 30 years of age, and no eunuchs were permitted. Isaac emphasized the independent status of the monastery and endowed it with substantial properties in Thrace. The typikon is an important source for local toponyms, especially since it contains numerous Slavic place names and for social and economic relations: as the former estate of a secular owner, the estates of the Kosmosoteira housed certain "vassals" who were given land in exchange for their service to the master. The church at Pherrai, which is presumed to be the katholikon of the Kosmosoteira monastery, is a large modified cross-in-square structure with frescoes of the 12th century. By 1433 it had been transformed into a mosque; it was restored and reconsecrated in 1940.

 Section under construction 


Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

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