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Olenus

A titular see and suffragan of Patras, in Achaia Quarta

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Olenus, a titular see and suffragan of Patras, in Achaia Quarta, one of the twelve primitive cities of Achaia, on the left bank of the Peirus near Dyme. It is mentioned as early as 280 B.C. Shortly after, its inhabitants retired to the villages of Peirai, Euryteiai, and Dyme. At the time of Strabo (VIII, vii, 4), who locates it forty stadia from Dyme and eighty from Patras, it was in ruins. It must have regained its population, for Honorius III in 1217 appointed its first bishop there. From the occupation of the Morea by the Franks, the Church of Olenus had been governed by the Archdeacon John, chaplain of Villehardouin. The Latin Diocese of Olenus was substituted for the ancient Greek See of Elos, and covered the same territory. In the beginning the Latins formed two dioceses, that of Olenus and that of Andravilla, the residence of the princes of Morea (Fabre, "Le Liber censuum de l'Eglise romaine", Paris, 1905, II, 8); moreover it had only one bishop, that of Olenus, who usually lived at Andravilla or Andravida (Hopf, "Geschichte Griechenlands" in Allg. Encyclop., LXXXV, 235; Buchon, Recherches historiques, I, xxxix). Eubel thinks the same in giving the long list of the Bishops of Olenus and Andravilla in "Hierarchia catholica medii ievi", I, 89, 393; II, 99; III, 280. The Greek See of Olenus was established (Gerland, "Neue Quellen zur Geschichte des lateinischen Erzbistums Patras", Leipzig, 1903, 104) shortly after 1340 with that of Kernitza, at the same time Patras had lost all its suffragans. This diocese is first found in a "Notitia Episcopatuum" of Constantinople after 1453 (Gelzer, "Ungedruckte . Texte der Notitiae episcopatuum", 634). Today Olenus occupies the site of Tsukaleika on the sea, about seven miles from Patras on the way from Olympia. Andravilla, the ancient residence of the bishops of Olenus, about 38 miles from Patras in the same direction, has 2700 inhabitants. The Church of St. Sophia, the ancient cathedral of the Latins, may be seen still, also the church of St. James, belonging to the Templars, in which were interred Geoffroy I, Geoffroy II, and Guillaume of Villehardouin, whose tombs have been restored.

S. VAILHE


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