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Das Haus des Manns aus Amastris

ZU einem Gebäudekomplex im byzantinischen Konstantinopel

Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Albrecht Berger

Chapter 12 of the 8th-century Parastaseis syntomoi chronikai claims that two brazen hands on spears and a bushel (modion) were set up on an arched doorway near a granary in Constantinople under the emperor Valentinian (364–375) after the hands of a treacherous grain merchant had been cut, in remembrance of this event. However, hands on spears are a well-known type of Roman military signs, while the bushel should be explained as an altar for burnt offerings. Both objects may well have been depicted together on a votive relief which decorated the arch in Constantinople, but this has nothing to do with the grain trade in the city. The relief can have been fixed on the arch only long after Valentinian’s time, for the building to which it belonged must be identified with a 5th-century palace complex known in later times as ta Amastrianou, the “house of the man from Amastris”, of which remains do still survive.

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