On the site of the late antique cathedral and episcopal complex of the ancient / late antique / medieval coastal city of Paphos (Paphos district) [Papacostas (1995) Gazetteer 12]. The site, extensively excavated but not published yet, is traditionally associated with the flogging of Saint Paul.
Description: A timber roofed cruciform (?) structure was built in the inner north aisle of two successive seven-aisled (late 4th century) and five-aisled (6th century) basilicas, destroyed in the early medieval period, perhaps during the Arab raids [Megaw (1988) 136-39]. The cruciform structure was subsequently vaulted, domed and redecorated after the strengthening of its walls. It is unclear if the excavated narthex with a tomb in its north wall (with marble imitation and a Deesis fresco) belongs to the domed or the earlier timber roofed phase [BCH 97 (1973) 680, 115 (1991) 826-27; ARDA 1990, 31; Megaw (1988) 148; Papacostas (1995) Gazetteer 12.d.II]. The domed cruciform church was replaced by the present late medieval structure.
Dating: The timber roofed phase may belong to the 10th / 11th century. A late 12th-century date for the vaulted / domed phase is suggested by the fresco fragments on ashlar blocks, which were used in the masonry of the present late medieval church. A similar date is perhaps implied by the textual evidence for earthquake destruction in the area in c.1160, reported by Neophytos the Recluse [Delehaye (1907) 211]. An 11th / 12th-century date was proposed already by Gunnis, long before the excavation [Gunnis (1936) 142].
Later additions / alterations: The present domed cruciform church was erected in the late medieval period (c. 1500?) using ashlar blocks from the earlier buildings on the site.
Modern repairs: Excavation of the late antique basilica with annexes and its successors started in the mid-1960s [BCH 89 (1965) 297, 97 (1973) 680, 99 (1975) 844, 100 (1976) 899-900, 101 (1977) 776-79, 102 (1978) 936, 103 (1979) 722, 104 (1980) 801, 105 (1981) 1007, 106 (1982) 737, 107 (1983) 945, 108 (1984) 959-60, 109 (1985) 957-59, 110 (1986) 862, 111 (1987) 691, 112 (1988) 841, 113 (1989) 837, 114 (1990) 982, 115 (1991) 826-27].
Early literature: The church (in its domed phase?) is probably identical with the ‘eastern church’ in an unnamed port town where the Arab author al-Harawi arrived in 1170s from Sicily and saw built into a wall an Arabic funerary inscription of ‘Urwa b. Tabit who died in May 650AD [Sourdel-Thomine (1957) 126 and n.5, where Famagusta is suggested instead as the port of call]. Chrysopolitissa is indeed the easternmost of the town’s late antique and medieval churches [town plan in Megaw (1988) 137] and nine Arabic inscriptions have been discovered on the site during excavations [Megaw (1988) 146 n. 28; BCH 114 (1990) 982]. It was probably the burial place of King Erik the Good of Denmark, who asked to be buried in the town’s main church before dying at Paphos while on pilgrimage in 1103 [Riant (1865) 161-62; Fellman (1938) 167-73; the king’s sepulchre is also reported by the Icelandic abbot, Nikulás Bergsson, in the mid-12th century: Wilkinson (1988) 17 and 215-18; see also Ciggaar (1996) 43 n.61]. The site (thought to be that of an ancient temple) was described by various 18th / 19th-century visitors and archaeologists [Cobham (1908) 263; Hogarth (1889) 8; Enlart/Hunt (1987) 357; see also Jeffery (1918) 400].