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Camuliana, Camulia, Kamoulianai, or Kamoulia was an ancient town or perhaps a village in ancient Cappadocia, located northwest of Caesarea, today Kayseri in Turkey. It is mostly mentioned in connection with the Image of Camuliana, an acheiropoieton or "icon not made by hands" of the face of Christ, which was one of the earliest of this class of miraculously created icons to be recorded; this is also sometimes referred to simply as the "Camouliana".[1] During Byzantine times, the town was also called Iustinianoupolis Nova.[2][3]


The episcopal see of Camuliana is of relatively late origin, since it did not yet exist in the time of Basil the Great 329–379. However, four of its bishops are named in the acts of various councils: Basil in the Second Council of Constantinople (553); a George in the Third Council of Constantinople (680); another George in the Second Council of Nicaea (787); and a third George in the Photian Council of Constantinople (879).[4][5] A seal indicates that there was also a bishop named Michael in the 10th or 11th century.

No longer a residential bishopric, Camuliana is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[6]

Image of Camuliana[edit]

The image of Christ that appears in Camuliana is mentioned in the early 6th century by Zacharias Rhetor, his account surviving in a fragmentary Syriac version, and is probably the earliest image to be said to be a miraculous imprint on cloth in the style of the Veil of Veronica (a much later legend) or Shroud of Turin. In the version recorded in Zacharias's chronicle, a pagan lady called Hypatia was undergoing Christian instruction, and asking her instructor "How can I worship him, when He is not visible, and I cannot see Him?" She later found in her garden a painted image of Christ floating on water. When placed inside her head-dress for safekeeping it then created a second image onto the cloth, and then a third was painted. Hypatia duly converted and founded a church for the version of the image that remained in Camuliana.

In the reign of Justinian I (527-565) the image is said to have been processed around cities in the region to protect them from barbarian attacks.[7] This account differs from others but would be the earliest if it has not suffered from iconodule additions, as may be the case.[8]

One of the images (if there was more than one) probably arrived in Constantinople in 574,[9] and is assumed to be the image of Christ used as a palladium in subsequent decades, being paraded before the troops before battles by Philippikos, Priscus and Heraclius, and in the Avar Siege of Constantinople in 626, and praised as the cause of victory in poetry by George Pisida, again very early mentions of this use of icons.[10]

It was probably destroyed during the Byzantine Iconoclasm,[11] after which mentions of an existing image cease (however Heinrich Pfeiffer identifies it with the Veil of Veronica and Manoppello Image [12]), and in later centuries its place was taken by the Image of Edessa, which apparently arrived in Constantinople in 944, and icons of the Theotokos such as the Hodegetria. The Image of Edessa was very probably later, but had what apparently seemed to the Byzantines an even more impressive provenance, as it was thought to have been an authentic non-miraculous portrait painted from life during the lifetime of Jesus.


Its site is tentatively located near Emmiler, Asiatic Turkey.[2][3]


  1. ^ Beckwith, 88; Mango, 114-115
  2. ^ a b Richard Talbert, ed. (2000). Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Princeton University Press. p. 63, and directory notes accompanying.
  3. ^ a b Lund University. Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire.
  4. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. I, coll. 393-394
  5. ^ Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, p. 440
  6. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 857
  7. ^ Start of Book 12 of "Chronicle", pp. 425-427; Mango, 114-115
  8. ^ Chronicle, 425-427, various notes
  9. ^ The date is von Dobschütz's conclusion, and the subject of long discussion at Chronicle, 425, note, as some have disagreed.
  10. ^ Kitzinger, 111-112; Emerick, 356-357
  11. ^ Beckwith, 88
  12. ^ Heinrich Pfeiffer, The concept of “acheiropoietos”, the iconography of the face of Christ and the veil of Manoppello, Proceedings of the International Workshop on the Scientific approach to the Acheiropoietos Images, ENEA Frascati, Italy, 4‐6 May 2010 [1]


Further reading[edit]

The fullest account of the image and its history is in: Ernst von Dobschütz, Christusbilder. Untersuchungen zur christlichen Legende. Texte u. Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur, Leipzig 1899, online in German, access date 2012-09-05

Coordinates: 38°54′15″N 35°14′39″E / 38.904207°N 35.244039°E / 38.904207; 35.244039