Abonoteichos (Greek: Ἀβώνου τεῖχος Avónou tíchos, demonym: Ἀβωνοτειχίτης Avonotichítis), later Ionopolis (Ἰωνόπολις Ionópolis; Turkish: İnebolu), was an ancient city in Asia Minor, on the site of modern İnebolu (in Asian Turkey) and remains a Latin Catholic titular see.

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Area around Abonotechos


Abonoteichos was a town on the coast of Paphlagonia, memorable as the birthplace of the impostor Alexander, founder of the cult of Glycon, of whom Lucian has left us an amusing account in the treatise bearing his name.[1] According to Lucian, Alexander petitioned the Roman emperor (probably Antoninus Pius) that the name of his native place should be changed from Abonoteichos to Ionopolis; and whether the emperor granted the request or not, we know that the town was called Ionopolis in later times.[2]

Not only does this name occur in Marcian of Heraclea[3] and Hierocles,[4] but on coins of the time of Antoninus and Lucius Verus we find the legend Ionopoliton (Ἰωνοπολιτῶν, Ionopoliton), as well as Abonoteichiton (Ἀβωνοτειχιτῶν, Avonotichiton). The modern Turkish name İnebolu is evidently only a corruption of Ionopolis.[5][6][7][8]

It was the site of a 2nd-century AD temple of Apollo.[9]

Ecclesiastical history of Ionopolis

It was important enough in the Roman province of Paphlagonia to become a suffragan bishopric of the Metropolitan of its capital Gangra,[10] but faded later. Michael LeQuien[11] mentions eight bishops between 325 and 878 [12]and Ionopolis is mentioned in the later “Notitiae episcopatuum.” [13]

Catholic titular see

The diocese was nominally revived as a Latin Catholic titular bishopric under the name Ionopolis, which was spelled Jonopolis in the Roman Curia (besides Italian Gionopoli) from 1929 to 1971.

It has been vacant for decades, having had the following incumbents, both of the lowest (episcopal) and intermediary (archiepiscopal) ranks :

  • Titular Bishop Wilhelm Hermann Ignaz Ferdinand von Wolf-Metternich zu Gracht (1720.09.16 – 1722.10.28)[23][24]
  • Titular Bishop Joannes Karski (1771.07.29 – 1785)[25][26]
  • Titular Bishop Bishop-elect John Murphy (1815.02.21 – 1815.02.21)
  • Titular Bishop Bishop-elect Ferdinand Corbi (1833.09.30 – ?)
  • Titular Bishop Wincenty Lipski (1856.09.18 – 1875.12.13)[27][28]
  • Titular Archbishop James Gibbons (1877.05.29 – 1877.10.03), previously Titular Bishop of Adramyttium (1868.03.03 – 1872.07.30) & Apostolic Vicar of North Carolina (USA) (1868.03.03 – 1877.05.20), also Bishop of Richmond (USA) (1872.07.30 – 1877.05.29); later Coadjutor Archbishop of Baltimore (USA) (1877.05.29 – 1877.10.03), succeeding as Metropolitan Archbishop of Baltimore (1877.10.03 – 1921.03.24), Cardinal-Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere (1887.03.17 – 1921.03.24), becoming Protopriest of the Sacred College of Cardinals (1920.12.07 – 1921.03.24)
  • Titular Archbishop Francis Xavier Leray (1879.09.30 – 1883.12.28)
  • Titular Bishop Giacomo Daddi (1884.03.24 – 1897?)
  • Titular Bishop Andrea Cassato (1898.03.24 – 1913.05.01)
  • Titular Bishop Henri Doulcet, Passionists (C.P.) (1913.06.03 – 1914.03.17); previously Bishop of Nikopol (Bulgaria) (1895.01.07 – 1913.03.31); later Titular Archbishop of Dioclea (1914.03.17 – 1916.07.27)
  • Titular Bishop Joseph John Fox (1914.11.07 – 1915.03.14)
  • Titular Bishop Nicolás Gonzalez Pérez, Claretians (C.M.F.) (1918.08.24 – 1935.03.23)
  • Titular Bishop Eugène-Louis-Marie Le Fer de la Motte (1935.07.08 – 1936.07.20)
  • Titular Bishop Johann Baptist Dietz (1936.07.25 – 1939.04.10), Coadjutor Bishop of Fulda (Germany) (1936.07.25 – 1939.04.10), succeeding as Bishop of Fulda (1939.04.10 – 1958.10.24), later Titular Archbishop of Cotrada (1958.10.24 – 1959.12.10)
  • Titular Bishop Maurice-Auguste-Eugène Foin (1939.06.10 – 1948.07.10)
  • Titular Bishop Hubert Joseph Paulissen, Society of African Missions (S.M.A.) (1951.11.15 – 1966.08.12)


  1. ^ Smith, William (1857), "Abonoteichos", in Smith, William (ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, 1, London: Walton & Maberly, p. 5
  2. ^ Lucian, Alex § 58
  3. ^ Marcian of Heraclea, Peripl. p. 72
  4. ^ Synecdemus, p. 696
  5. ^ Strabo, p. 545
  6. ^ Arrian, Periplus Ponti Euxini p. 15
  7. ^ Ptol. v. 4 § 2
  8. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s. v. Ἀβώνου τείχος
  9. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ionopolis" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  10. ^ Louis Vivien de Saint-Martin , Historical and geographical description of Asia Minor, including ancient times, the Middle Ages and modern times (A. Bertrand, 1845) p436
  11. ^ Le Quien, Oriens Christ., I, 555
  12. ^ CUINET, La Turquie d'Asie, IV (Paris, 1894), p466-69.
  13. ^ The Catholic Encyclopedia (1908.
  14. ^ Roderic Mullen, The expansion of Christianity (Brill, 2004) p. 123.
  15. ^ Richard Price, Michael Gaddis, The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon, Volume 1 (Liverpool University press, 2005) p88.
  16. ^ Eduard Schwartz, Collectio Novariensis de re Eutychis (Walter de Gruyter, 1 July 1962) p207.
  17. ^ N. bishop of Ionopolis (tenth century) .
  18. ^ Jean-Claude Cheynet, Studies in Byzantine Sigillography, Volume 8 (Walter de Gruyter, 2003)p58.
  19. ^ [http://www.doaks.org/resources/seals/byzantine-seals/BZS.1951.31.5.2092 Niketas bishop of Ionopolis (and chartoularios) of the Great Orphanotropheion (eleventh century).
  20. ^ Elizabeth Jeffreys, John F. Haldon, Robin Cormack, The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies (Oxford University Press, 2008) p154.
  21. ^ John bishop of Ionopolis (eleventh century) .
  22. ^ Dumbarton Oaks, John W. Nesbitt, Eric McGeer, Nicolas Oikonomidès, Catalogue of Byzantine Seals at Dumbarton Oaks and in the Fogg Museum of Art: The East (Dumbarton Oaks, 2001) p49-50.
  23. ^ Hierarchia Catholica, Volume 5, Page 229
  24. ^ Les Ordinations Épiscopales, Year 1721, Number 6.
  25. ^ Hierarchia Catholica, Volume 6, Page 244, and Page 454.
  26. ^ Les Ordinations Épiscopales, Year 1772, Number 34.
  27. ^ Le Petit Episcopologe, Issue 178, Number 14.787
  28. ^ Hierarchia Catholica, Volume 8, Page 323.


External links

Coordinates: 41°58′26″N 33°45′58″E / 41.9740255°N 33.7660475°E

Alexander of Abonoteichus

Alexander of Abonoteichus (Ancient Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Ἀβωνοτειχίτης Aléxandros ho Abōnoteichítēs), also called Alexander the Paphlagonian (c. 105 – c. 170 CE), was a Greek mystic and oracle, and the founder of the Glycon cult that briefly achieved wide popularity in the Roman world. The contemporary writer Lucian reports that he was an utter fraud – the god Glycon was supposedly constructed out of a glove puppet. The vivid narrative of his career given by Lucian might be taken as fictitious but for the corroboration of certain coins of the emperors Lucius Verus and Marcus Aurelius and of a statue of Alexander, said by Athenagoras to have stood in the forum of Parium. There is further evidence from inscriptions.Lucian describes him as having swindled many people and engaged, through his followers, in various forms of thuggery. The strength of Lucian's venom against Alexander is attributed to Alexander's hate of the Epicureans. Lucian admired the works of Epicurus, a eulogy of which concludes the piece, and whether or not Alexander was the master of fraud and deceit as portrayed by Lucian, he may not have been too different from other oracles of the age, when a great deal of dishonest exploitation occurred in some shrines.

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