The Byzantine church at Labraunda
By Jesper Blid
Master’s Thesis, Uppsala University, 2006
Abstract: This thesis examines the Christian context of the former pagan sanctuary of Zeus Labrandeus in Caria during the Early Byzantine period, ca. 325-730 A.D. The focus is on the church, positioned outside the pagan sanctuary’s temenos area. The architecture of the church has been empirically analysed. It is argued that the church shows strong Syrian influences. The Syrian features are a tripartite sanctuary enclosed by a straight back wall, an interior supported by pilasters and a west part with two towers. The study of the architecture has also been used in an attempt to discuss the liturgy at Labraunda.
The finds from the excavations of 1951-2005 have been categorized and examined in order to establish a terminus post quem for the Christian presence at the site of the church. This has been crucial for the dating of the church. Furthermore, the finds illustrate the social and economic conditions that prevailed at Labraunda during the Early Byzantine period. Finally, this study tries to enlighten the process of transition from a pagan sanctuary into a Christian place of worship.