Justinianopolis in Armenia

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The area around Justinianopolis (Erzincan) in 2011.

Justinianopolis in Armenia also known as Iustinianopolis was a Roman and Byzantine era city and bishopric in Lesser Armenia. It has been identified with modern Sivrihisar, Eskişehir Province Central Anatolia, Turkey. It was one of several ancient sites renamed in late Antiquity after Byzantine emperor Justinian I. The city also known as Acilisene and Keltzene.[1]

The town was also known as Acilisene and Keltzene, Eliza and Erzindjan. Acilisene was a province situated between the Euphrates and Antitaurus, where Mithridates VI of Pontus, pursued by Pompey, sought refuge.[2][3][4]


It is hard to tell when Acilisene became a bishopric. The first bishop is attested in the mid-5th century, Le Quien mentions six bishops:[5]

appearing as "bishop of Justinianopolis".

Until the 10th century, the diocese itself appears in none of the Notitiae Episcopatuum. By 980, they present it as an autocephalous archdiocese, and those of the 11th century present it as a metropolitan see with 21 suffragans. This was the time of greatest splendour of Acilisene, which ended with the decisive defeat of the Byzantines by the Seljuq Turks at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 when the Seljuqs invaded.[6] The diocese survived the Islamic invasion and was still extant when Marco Polo visited the town. After the 13th century there is no mention of diocesan bishops of Acilisene and the see no longer appears in Notitiae Episcopatuum.[7]

No longer a residential bishopric, Acilisene is today listed by the Roman Catholic Church as a titular see.[8]


  1. ^ Cuinet, La Turquie d'Asie, I ( Paris , 1892), p210-216.
  2. ^ Strabo XI, iv, 8 XI, xii, 3, V, xi, 6
  3. ^ Procopius Bellum Persia., I, 17
  4. ^ Ptolemy V, xii, 6.
  5. ^ Le Quien, Michel (1740). Oriens Christianus, in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus: quo exhibentur ecclesiæ, patriarchæ, cæterique præsules totius Orientis. Tomus primus: tres magnas complectens diœceses Ponti, Asiæ & Thraciæ, Patriarchatui Constantinopolitano subjectas (in Latin). Paris: Ex Typographia Regia. col. 435. OCLC 955922585.
  6. ^ Justinianopolis at Catholic encyclopedia.
  7. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, (Paris 1740), Vol. I, coll. 435-436
  8. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 823