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Tomi

A titular metropolitan see in the Province of Scythia, on the Black Sea

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Tomi, a titular metropolitan see in the Province of Scythia, on the Black Sea. It was a Greek colony from Miletus. In 29 B.C. the Romans captured the country from the Odryses, and annexed it as far as the Danube, under the name of Limes Scythicus. The city was afterwards included in the Province of Moesia, and, from the time of Diocletian, in Scythia Minor, of which it was the metropolis. In A.D. 10 Ovid was exiled thither by Augustus, and died there eight years later, celebrating the town of Tomi in his poems. Few places had so many Christian memories as this town, in the barbarous country of the Getae; e.g. Sts. Macrobius, Gordianus, and their companions, exiled to Scythia and slain in 319, venerated on September 13; Sts. Argeus, Narcissus, and Marcellinus, also slain under Licinius and venerated January 2; a great many others whose names only are known, and who are mentioned in the Roman Martyrology for April 3, June 20, July 5, and October 1. The first bishop may have been Evangelicus, mentioned in the Acts of Sts. Epictetus and Action (July 8), and who must have lived at the end of the third century. Eusebius (De Vita Constantini, III, 7) mentions a Scythian bishop at Nicaea who may have belonged to Tomi. Mention should be made of St. Bretanion, martyred under Valens, and whose feast is observed January 25; Gerontius, at the Council of Constantinople, in 381; St. Theotimus, writer and friend of St. John Chrysostom, venerated April 20; Timotheus, at Ephesus in 431; John, ecclesiastical writer, d. about 448; Alexander, at Chalcedon in 451; Theotimus II, in 458; Paternus, in 519; and Valentinian, in 550. The Province of Scythia formed a single diocese, that of Tomi, an autocephalous archdiocese, subject to the Patriarch of Constantinople. It is mentioned in 640 in the Ecthesis of Pseudo-Epiphanius (Gelzer, "Ungedruckte ...Texte der Notitiae episcopatuum", 535). Shortly afterwards the Bulgarians invaded the region and the Archdiocese of Tomi was suppressed. The city subsequently belonged to the Byzantines, again to the Bulgarians, then to the Turks, and finally to the Rumanians since the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. The town of Tomi is near Constantza, the capital of Dobroudja and a port on the Black Sea, which has about 15,000 inhabitants. There is a Catholic parish. A statue of the poet Ovid stands in the chief square.

S. VAILHÉ.


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