Where the Heck is Mopsuestia?

by Jimmy Akin

in Books

Often times reading about the Church Fathers you run into strange place names. You run into them just in the names of the people who lived back then: Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyr, Epiphanius of Salamis. Whew!

Where were these places?

The matter is complicated by the fact that many of them don't even exist any more. They are just ruins (if that).

For The Fathers Know Best, I wanted to clarify all of this, and so part of the project was looking up where all the places mentioned in the book are (or were) and then composing a set of maps–a process in which I had the very able assistance of my colleague Jon Sorensen, who is a photoshop wiz!

Below is one of the maps used in the book (click to enlarge). It's the one that covers the modern territory of Turkey or–as it's sometimes called–"the Second Holy Land." (Look at the number of important Christian sites on the map! And that's not even all of them!)

You might spend a few moments with the map, seeing how many of the sites you can identify. Two of St. Paul's surviving epistles were written to the Christian communities of cities on this map (as well as one of his lost epistles). The island where St. John saw the Revelation is here, as are the famed "seven churches of Asia." Several ecumenical councils occurred on this map, and many saints came from these different cities.

How many can you identify?



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BillyHW October 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm

End the brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine!

JohnE October 6, 2010 at 2:01 pm

That’s pretty cool. Is Nazianz the same as Nazianzus or Nazianzen where St. Gregory was from?

Sharon October 6, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I am planning a Jimmy Akin spend up when your Mass Revision comes out. I wish to save on postage to Australia and so will be purchasing The Fathers Know Best, Jack Chick and Mass Revision together.
Mass Confusion was one of the first books I purchased when I returned to the practise of the Faith after many years away. Because I had received a solid orthodox formation and never blamed the Church for my sins it was so easy to return by simply going to confession.

Tim October 7, 2010 at 5:57 am

Teddy the Mop, as we lovingly referred to him in my Patristics class!

James October 7, 2010 at 6:14 am

Thanks Jimmy. I LOVE maps! I can never make sense of things unless I can map them out. It makes things much more clear.

Bill B (AKA Theocoid) October 7, 2010 at 10:14 am

Just remember the classic song, “Mopseustia is Cilicia Capestis…”
Isn’t that how it went?

Maureen October 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Nazianzen and Nazianzus both mean “from Nazianz”, if I recall correctly.

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