Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Rhizus

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(Rizous.)

A titular see of Pontus Polemoniacus suffragan of Neocaesarea, mentioned by Ptolemy (V, 6) as a port on the Black Sea (Euxine); it is referred to also in other ancient geographical documents, but its history is unknown, Procopius ("De bello gothico", IV, 2), tells us that the town was of some importance and that it was fortified by Justinian. He calls it Rhizaion, and it is so styled in the "Notitiæ Episcopatuum". It was originally a suffragan of Neocaesarea, then an "autocephalous" archdiocese, finally a metropolitan see; the dates of these changes are uncertain. With the decrease of the Christian element the suffragan has become a simple exarchate. To-day there are no more than 400 Greeks among the 2000 inhabitants of Rizeh, as the Turks call the town. It is the capital of the Sanjak of Lazistan in the Vilayet of Trebizond, and exports oranges and lemons. Le Quien (Oriens christianus, I, 517), mentions three bishops; Nectarius, present at the Council of Nice, 787; John, at the Council of Constantinople, 879, and Joachim (metropolitan) in 1565.

SMITH, Dict. Greek and Roman Geogr., s. v.; MÜLLER, Notes on Ptolemy, ed. DIDOT, I, 868.

S. Pétridès.