David W. Rupp
2004 Grant Recipient
The Polychrome Floor Mosaics, Opus Sectile Floors and Architecture of the Eustolios Complex at Kourion, Cyprus
Near the southeastern end of the akropolis of the Early Hellenistic through Early Byzantine city of Kourion, on the south coast of Cyprus, a monumental peristyle courtyard complex with associated bath suite was built in the late 360s A.D., during the reign of the Emperor Valens. This building was erected over the ruins of an earlier late Hellenistic period palatial private residence after the great earthquake of A.D. 365 that struck the entire eastern Mediterranean. Severe earthquakes in the late 4th century A.D. caused extensive damage to the new complex and its mosaic floors. Fragments from these floors were recovered in the fill in the course of the excavation. Late in the reign of the Emperor Theodosius II (A.D. 408-450) the complex was rebuilt in a major reconstruction effort and new mosaic and opus sectile floors were laid. The complex, donated by a certain Eustolios, may have served as a public guesthouse for the city rather than as a private residence. A limited amount of remodeling of the complex and its floors was executed during or immediately after the reign of the Emperor Leo I (A.D. 457-474). The destructive Arab raids in the mid-7th century A.D. forced the abandonment of the city along with the Eustolios Complex.