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In the Karpas peninsula at the ancient / late antique coastal city of Carpasia, 2.2 miles (3.5 km) north of Rizokarpaso (Famagusta district). Carpasia was an episcopal see since the 5th century, presumably transferred to Rizokarpaso following the abandonment of the ancient site after the 7th century [Papacostas (1995) Gazetteer 4].

Description: The now ruinous domed pier cross-in-square structure with three polygonal apses was built in good ashlar masonry over the nave and the south aisle of a 5th-century (probably episcopal) basilica which was abandoned after the 7th century (numismatic and ceramic evidence). The missing dome perhaps resembled that of the contemporary (?) church at Trikomo, of similar size and masonry with twelve windows under recessed arches. The articulation of the façades is unusually elaborate, with recessed blind arches marking the cross arm gables and compartments, and recessed niches over the string course flanking the apse windows [Papacostas (1995) 27-28 and Gazetteer 4.d; Papageorgiou (1966a) 224; MKE 13, 252-53].

Dating: An 11th / early 12th century date [Megaw (1974) 64: 12th century; Papageorgiou (1982a) 470: 11th century] is suggested by the unique façade articulation which is related to examples in Asia Minor. The combination of polygonal apses is found only at the (contemporaneous?) church of Saint Lazarus. The façades with their large blind arches are reminiscent of those at the Archangel Gialousa, the Archangel at Phrenaros, Saint George of Chortakia and Saint Synesios. The flat recessed niches of the apse walls are identical to those of the extension at the Archangel of Gialousa, the façades of the church at Fisandon in Lykaonia (10th century?), the church of Saint Gregory of Nazianzus at Gelvere, and Karagedik kilise in Cappadocia (10th century?), and the apses of the church of Saint John at Lindos on Rhodes (late 11th / early 12th century) [see Papacostas (1999a) 179, and Papacostas (1995) 27-28; on Gelvere, see Ramsay and Bell (1909) fig. 347]. A 10th / 11th-century date was proposed by Soteriou [Soteriou (1942) 443, where the church is called ‘St Tryphon’].

Later additions / alterations: The arches under the dome were reinforced in good ashlar, perhaps in the late medieval period.

Modern repairs: In the late 1930s the bema vault was consolidated, the missing parts of the apse, the east compartments, the south and east dome arches as well as the south cross arm façade were reconstructed, and the surviving lower courses of the north and west walls were raised. In the 1960s the structure was consolidated once more, and the north and west walls were raised further [RDAC 1937-39, 178; ARDA 1967, 11; AJA 72 (1968) 379; Papageorgiou (1969) 153-55].

Early literature: Pococke in 1738 speaks of a ‘very good church in the Greek style, which belonged to a monastery near called Ainsphilosé’ and describes the site. According to the archimandrite Kyprianos, writing in the late 18th century, the church was already in ruins at that time. Duthoit in 1865 merely mentions the ruinous structure but also notes that it was erected over a larger church. Hogarth also describes a ruined church perhaps belonging to a monastery, while Enlart mentions an ‘elegant and beautiful ruined church’ [Cobham (1908) 257; Kyprianos (1788) 349; Bonato (2001) 230; Hogarth (1889) 90; Enlart/Hunt (1987) 28, n.41; see also Jeffery (1918) 254 and Gunnis (1936) 413]. The mention of a monastery on the site was presumably prompted by the late antique ruins surrounding the church; no monastic establishment is ever recorded on the site.

Views: Soteriou (1935) pl. 10b and 14 [before the partial reconstruction of the 1930s]; RDAC 1937-39, pl. XXXIV.1; Papageorgiou (1965b) pl. LI.2 [after the partial reconstruction of the 1930s but before the repairs of the 1960s], Papageorgiou (1969) 155 and ARDA 1967, figs. 28-29 [views comparing the shell before and after the repairs of the 1960s]; du Plat Taylor and Megaw (1981) pl. XLII.4 [view before the reconstruction of the south gable in the 1930s].

Plan / section: Soteriou (1935) 9 [showing the surviving parts of the cross-in-square with the later masonry strengthening the dome piers, before the partial reconstruction]; Megaw (1974) 66; du Plat Taylor and Megaw (1981) 210-11; Papageorgiou (1985b) 323, Papageorgiou (1986) 500 [identical plans of the excavated area with the sketch plan of the cross-in-square church over the earlier basilica next to the episcopal complex, not showing the recessed blind arches on the façades].