chapter  3
32 Pages

Haghia Sophia (Aya Sofya)

The present edifice of Haghia Sophia is the third of that name to stand upon this site. The first church of Haghia Sophia was dedicated on February 15 in the year A.D. 360, during the reign of Constantius, son and successor of Constantine the Great. This church was destroyed by fire on 20 June 404, during a riot by mobs protesting the exile of the Patriarch John Chrysostom by the Empress Eudoxia, wife of the Emperor Arcadius. Reconstruction of the church did not begin until the reign of Theodosius II, who succeeded his father Arcadius in the year 408. This second church of Haghia Sophia was completed in 415 and was dedicated by Theodosius on October 10 of that year. The church of Theodosius eventually suffered the same fate as its predecessor, for it was burned down during the Nika Revolt on 15 January 532.