Outside Maroneia, 10 km east, at the foot of Ag. Georgiou, in the coastal location of Synaxis, a large three-aisled basilica with a transversal nave was discovered, from the time of Justinian, whose eastern part is built with marble from older buildings of the Antonine era (96-112 AD). A vaulted tomb and a sanctuary with a mosaic floor dating back to Roman times were also discovered. According to the geographer Strabo, a sanctuary of Maronus existed nearby, in the Homeric capital of the Kikons, Ismara. It is therefore very likely that the unpaved sanctuary at Synaxis was dedicated to Maronas and was moved there from the inaccessible acropolis of Ismara (Agios Georgios) during the reign of Hadrian (117-138 AD), who we know visited the cities of Thrace.
Synaxis is located directly opposite the sanctuary of the Great Gods of Samothrace. In all probability, the pilgrims for Samothrace boarded and disembarked from the Synaxis. The building with many rooms, which was revealed on the beach of Synaxis, is a guest house that served these pilgrims. It is not strange, therefore, because the sanctuary of Maronos and later the early Christian basilica were also founded in this place.
On top of the basilica, and with building materials taken exclusively from its ruins, monks founded a monastic complex, which constituted the central laura of ascetics, scattered in the surrounding rocky and inaccessible area. This monastic settlement must be associated with the revival and reorganization of the urban centers and the countryside of Byzantium during the 9th - 10th AD. h. The oldest glazed pottery, found in Synaxis, is from the same era.
The monks built their monastic establishment right on the foundations and walls of the early Christian basilica, in such a way that one of its wings was installed in the north aisle of the basilica, the other in the south and the courtyard in the central one. The walls of the basilica were used as an enclosure for the monastery. The monastery lived until the 13th century, when the monks, due to the insecurity and weather conditions, moved to a safer urban center, probably in neighboring Maroneia.
Editor: Niki Kalopaidis