Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Soli

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Soli, a titular see in Cyprus, suffragan of Salamis. Soli was an important port on the Clarius, on the southern side of the western portion of Cyprus. It was an Athenian colony founded by Demophon, son of Theseus, or, according to another tradition, by Phalerus and Acamas. At first called Œpea, it was transferred to a better site by Philocyprus, King of Œpea, on the suggestion of Solon, from whom it got its new name, becoming the capital of one of the nine kingdoms in the island. It possessed temples of Aphrodite and Isis. The rest of its history is unknown, though it is mentioned by many ancient geographers. Its ruins, called Palœa Chora, or old town, are near the village of Karavostasi, about two miles north-west of Lefka. Its first bishop was St. Auxibius, whose name occurs in the "Roman Martyrology" on 19 February; he is said to have been baptized by John Mark, the companion of St. Barnabus, and to have had for successors another Auxibius, his disciple, and his brother Themistagoras. The feasts of two other bishops of Soli, St. Marcellus and St. Eutychius, are celebrated in the Greek Church. Another, Peter, probably a legendary character, is mentioned in the calendar of the Abyssinian Church on 2 January. We find later: Evagrius, 431; Epiphanius, 451; Stratonicus, 680; Eustathius, 787; Leontius, 1222; Nibo, 1260; Neophytus, died in 1301; Leo, his successor; Theophanes, towards the close of the Venetian occupation. During this occupation Soli was the residence of the Bishop of Leucosia. We hear also of a Benjamin, Bishop of Soli in 1660, owing doubtless to a temporary restoration of the see by the Greeks.

SMITH, Dict. of Greek and Roman Geog. (London, 1870), s. v.; LE QUIEN, Oriens christianus, II (Paris, 1740), 1071; EUBEL, Hierarchia catholica medii œvi, I, 481; HACKETT, A History of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus (London, 1901), 240 sq., 323 sq.

S. Pétridès.