Nyssa (Cappadocia)

Coordinates: 38°57′15″N 33°57′33″E / 38.954295°N 33.959229°E Nyssa (Ancient Greek: Νύσσα) was a small town and bishopric in Cappadocia, Asia Minor. It is important in the history of Christianity due to being the see of the prominent 4th century bishop Gregory of Nyssa. Today, its name continues to be used as a titular see in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

Site and location

The Antonine Itinerary places it on the road from Ancyra to Caesarea, between Parnassos and Asiana, 24 Roman miles from Parnassus and 32 from Asiana. Ptolemy's Geography places it at 68°20' 38°40 (in his degrees) in the Prefecture of Murimene (Ancient Greek: Στρατηγίας Μουριμηνῆς).[1] The Synecdemus and the Notitiae Episcopatuum indicate that Nyssa was in the Roman province of Cappadocia Prima.[2]

The site of Nyssa has been identified as near the modern town of Harmandalı, Ortaköy district, Aksaray province, in south-central Turkey.[3] The archaeological site consists of two tells, named Büyükkale (big castle) and Küçükkale (little castle), located 2 km to the north of Harmandalı.[1] Another proposed location associates it with the modern city of Nevşehir, but modern scholarship has cast serious doubt on this.[1][4]

William Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography placed the town at a village, not otherwise mentioned, called Nirse or Nissa and said that it was anciently in a district called Muriane, not far from the river Halys.[5]

Ecclesiastical history

Nyssa was important enough in the Roman province of Cappadocia Prima to become a suffragan of it capital's Metropolitan, the Archdiocese of Caesarea in Cappadocia (Kayseri).

The earliest bishop of Nyssa whose name is known is Gregory of Nyssa, bishop of Nyssa from about 372 to 394 and brother of Basil the Great, bishop of Nyssa's metropolitan see, Caesarea in Cappadocia. The bishop at the time of the Council of Ephesus in 431 was Heraclides. Musonius took part in the Robber Council of Ephesus in 449, Ioannes in the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, another Ioannes in the Third Council of Constantinople in 680, Paulus in the Trullan Council in 693, a third Ioannes in the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, and Ignatius in the Photian Council of Constantinople (879). A 10th-century bishop named Germanus is known for his ecclesiastical writings.[6][7]

Titular see

The Eastern Orthodox Church has continued to appoint titular bishops of Nyssa even after the town and its Christian community ceased to exist. In practice, these titular bishops held jurisdiction over Orthodox Christian communities located elsewhere. Since 2012, the title "Bishop of Nyssa" is held by the bishop of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese.[8]

In the 18th century, the Roman Catholic Church also began appointing titular bishops of Nyssa (Latin: Nissa).[9]

The Catholic see is currently vacant, having had the following incumbents:


  1. ^ a b c Pochoshajew, Igor. Nyssa in Kappadokien, (German), p. 6. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  2. ^ Sophrone Pétridès, "Nyssa" in Catholic Encyclopedia (New York 1911)
  3. ^ Talbert, Richard. Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, Princeton University Press, 2000, Map-by-map Directory, p. 980.
  4. ^ Silvas, Anna. The Asketikon of St. Basil the Great, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 41. ISBN 0-19-927351-0
  5. ^ William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854)
  6. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. I, coll. 391-394
  7. ^ Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, p. 440
  8. ^ "Bishop Gregory of Nyssa". Website of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  9. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 941

Sources and external links

Gregory of Nyssa

Gregory of Nyssa, also known as Gregory Nyssen (Greek: Γρηγόριος Νύσσης; c. 335 – c. 395), was bishop of Nyssa from 372 to 376 and from 378 until his death. He is venerated as a saint in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Anglicanism. Gregory, his elder brother Basil of Caesarea, and their friend Gregory of Nazianzus are collectively known as the Cappadocian Fathers.

Gregory lacked the administrative ability of his brother Basil or the contemporary influence of Gregory of Nazianzus, but he was an erudite theologian who made significant contributions to the doctrine of the Trinity and the Nicene Creed. Gregory's philosophical writings were influenced by Origen. Since the mid-twentieth century, there has been a significant increase in interest in Gregory's works from the academic community, particularly involving universal salvation, which has resulted in challenges to many traditional interpretations of his theology.

Harmandalı, Ortaköy

Harmandalı is a village in the District of Ortaköy, Aksaray Province, Turkey.It is the presumed location of Nyssa (Cappadocia), an Ancient city and former bishopric in Cappadocia, which remains a Latin Catholic titular see.

Index of Byzantine Empire-related articles

This is a list of people, places, things, and concepts related to or originating from the Byzantine Empire (AD 330–1453). Feel free to add more, and create missing pages. You can track changes to the articles included in this list from here.

Note: People are listed by first name. Events, monuments and institutions like "Battle/Siege/Council/Church/Duchy/etc. of NNN" are listed by the location/name.

List of archaeological sites by country

This is a list of notable archaeological sites sorted by country and territories.

For one sorted by continent and time period, see the list of archaeological sites by continent and age.


Nevşehir, formerly Neapolis and Muşkara, is a city and the capital district of Nevşehir Province in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey. According to the 2010 census, the population of the district is 117,890 of which 85,634 live in the city of Nevşehir. The district covers an area of 535 km2 (207 sq mi), and the town lies at an elevation of 1,224 m (4,016 ft).

Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.