From the ‘Refledging’ to the ‘Illumination of the Nation’: Aspects of Political Ideology in the Greek Church under Ottoman Domination

I. K. Hassiotis
Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki


Three major historical questions are briefly discussed in this study:

  1.  How far may the anti-Westernism of the Greek Orthodox Church conduce to the cultural isolationism of the Orthodox world (at least the Greek sector) until almost the end of the eighteenth century;
  2. how far did the initiatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as also of its individual functionaries, be described as ecumenical, or at least pan-Balkan, at a political level; and
  3. how far, geographically and ethnologically speaking, did the Great Church influence the processes of ethnogenesis in the Orthodox communities under its jurisdiction.

After analysing the main factors of the evolution of political trends in the “Greek Orthodox East”, the author arrives to the following conclusion:

  1. Although chronic aversion to the Occident was a fundamental aspect of the Church’s ideology, it did not engender thoroughgoing cultural isolationism in a considerable part of the Orthodox population, even in the early years of Ottoman rule.
  2. Politically the Oecumenical Patriarchate was the head of the Greeks (‘η κεφαλή του Γένους των Pωμαίων’). Yet its general religious and ecclesiastical policy remained firmly supranational and pan-Orthodox, at least until the end of the eighteenth century.
  3. The Great Church made no deliberate attempt either to accelerate or slow down the processes of ethnogenesis as regards the ‘non-Romaic’ peoples under its jurisdiction. Hellenisation is traceable, but numerically and geographically was not as widespread; and in any case was due to historical factors, in which the Church did not play an active, or at least decisive, role.

      It is generally accepted that, when Ottoman domination was consolidated over South-eastern Europe and all Orthodox Christians were brought under the unified ecclesiastical and civil jurisdiction of the Oecumenical Patriarchate, the Church became the fundamental regulator of the basic social, spiritual, and ideological functions within the Christian community, as also of its relations with the political authority. The Patriarchate of Constantinople gained the ascendancy over the other three patriarchal seats (Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria), the individual local ecclesiastic authorities and state entities of the region disappeared, and the Orthodox peoples of the Ottoman Empire were ultimately incorporated into the unified Rum-i millet ― all of which inevitably limited both the centrifugal forces and the quantitative and qualitative representation of the non-Greek–speaking communities within, and particularly at the head of, the ecclesiastical hierarchy. The inevitable result was that the primarily Greek character of the Great Church was strengthened. In these new circumstances, which favoured the revival of the Greek cultural heritage, it is not difficult to account for the fact that, regardless of ethnic origin, all the officials in the Oecumenical Patriarchate, whether clerics or laymen, knew Greek[1].

      It is also accepted that the kindred religious and cultural tradition bequeathed by the Byzantine past, as also the experiences which the Orthodox peoples in the Ottoman Empire had undergone during periods of Frankish and Turkish rule, led them not only to close ranks against their conquerors, but also to entrench themselves behind a more or less homogeneous anti-Latin ideological front[2]. This particular development, in fact, was connected ― mainly for religious, but also for cultural, reasons ― with a strengthening of relations between the subjugated Orthodox Christians and those of eastern Europe into a kind of a religious community (Glaubensgemeinschaft) or even a distinctive sort of an Orthodox Commonwealth. The creation of this front fuelled a chronic anti-Westernism, which a number of scholars have perceived as ideological isolationism[3].

      This general background to the Church’s role in relation to the political problem of South-eastern Europe has become something of a commonplace in the literature[4]. However, the conclusions drawn by students of the subject, particularly those who represent the ‘rival’ nationalities in the region, vary considerably. Briefly, one might say that most of the historiographical output relating to the role of the Greek Orthodox Church in the development of the concept of nationality on the Balkan peninsula under Ottoman rule is distinctly polarised. The Church’s ecumenical and supranational role is emphasised; yet there is a clear belief that the Orthodox Church, and its upper echelons in particular, unfairly favoured the emergence of modern Greek nationalism, frequently identifying with it and consequently hellenising national groups which, in other circumstances, would have followed different routes to the shaping of their national profile[5].

      It goes without saying that, in this short paper, I do not aspire to re-examine such a major historical issue. I shall confine myself to a few general, brief observations which may soften the sharp contrasts in the image or images to which some of the polarised literature has accustomed us[6]. My remarks relate more to the earlier periods of the Turcokratia, and this is not entirely fortuitous. I am convinced that certain fundamental factors on which modern Greek nationalism, at least, was based cannot be seen as simply, or even primarily, the products of the social and cultural intercourse of the eighteenth century; nor was their formation based solely on the various effects of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution in South-eastern Europe, but on precocious interactions, which may be traced to much earlier on in the period of Ottoman rule, in the seventeenth, sixteenth, or even fifteenth centuries[7]. However, this reference to a more distant past does not necessarily imply a resurrection of the idealistic theory of the unbroken continuity of the political phenomena, nor of some other form of return to hellenocentrism. Indeed, I hasten to say that it was mainly the West European factor that was, for better or worse, the main common denominator in the evolution of political trends in the Greek Orthodox east. But, in the Hellenic world at least, its influence began to make itself felt quite early on; and this is apparent in situations which, as I shall try to show, are typical not only of the eighteenth century, but also of earlier times. The need to go deeper into the past in our exploration of the modern Greek ideological superstructure is also dictated by the fact that, for almost all the peoples of the Ottoman Empire, social and cultural development was a slow process, hampered by frequent regression. And this means that a sixteenth-century political text may very well reflect ideas of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and vice versa.

      I intend to examine the following questions:

      1. How far may the initiatives of the Great Church, as also of its individual functionaries and representatives, be described as ecumenical, or at least pan-Balkan, at a political level; [—>]
      2. how far did its anti-Westernism conduce to the cultural isolationism of the Orthodox world (at least the Greek sector) until almost the end of the eighteenth century; and, [—>]
      3. how far, geographically and ethnologically speaking, did the Oecumenical Patriarchate influence the processes of ethnogenesis, both in the Hellenic world and in the non-Greek communities under its jurisdiction? [—>]


      1. The supranational religious role of the Oecumenical Patriarchate during the period of Ottoman rule up to the last decades of the eighteenth century cannot be seriously questioned. The selection of church functionaries did not automatically exclude non-Greeks, either at a local level or in the upper echelons of the central administration of the Church. Even when national sentiment was running exceptionally high, as in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, numerous non-Greek metropolitans and bishops were elected, as were one Serbian, one Syrian, and three Bulgarian patriarchs[8]. After all, the main aim of the Great Church's stated ideology was to strengthen the consciousness of the Christian against the Moslem and of the Orthodox against the ‘Frank’. It therefore clung tenaciously to the unity of the faith, to preserving the whole of the Orthodox flock from natural annihilation, and to safeguarding it from conversion to Islam and doctrinal alienation[9]. All the same, until the middle of the eighteenth century at least, this ideology did not conflict with the existing basic cultural characteristics of the various ethnic groups which made up the flock. Furthermore, the struggle to preserve at least the doctrinal purity of the Orthodox ‘crew’ also helped to preserve those values, which even today are associated with ethno-cultural individuality[10].

      However, this policy did not necessarily mean that the functionaries of the Oecumenical Patriarchate totally ignored ethnic distinctions. There are any number of testimonies to show that the identity of ‘Christian’ (Orthodox) frequently coexisted alongside other distinctions of an ethnic nature. For instance, the term Pωμαίος or ρωμαϊκόν Γένος was not applied to the whole of the Orthodox flock that officially belonged to the Rum-i millet [11]. In a report by Alexandros Musselas, vicar of the Greek Archbishop of Ohrid, Athanassios Rizeas ― who was traveling around Epirus and North-Western Macedonia in 1613 ― we find fairly clear ethnological data relating to the inhabitants of the region. Musselas gives separate figures for Christian ‘Albanians’, ‘Greeks’, ‘Vlachs’, ‘Bulgarians’; while Moslems, regardless of ethnic origin, are simply subsumed under the general category of ‘Turks’[12].

      Ethnic considerations also influenced the selection of ecclesiastical dignitaries in favour of the Greek-speaking prelates. Almost twenty years after the Fall of Constantinople, the powerful Greek “archontes” of the capital essentially dethroned Patriarch Raphael I (1475-6), on the grounds that he was a “Scythian-born”, a “Triballus”, and did not know Greek[13]. A hundred years later, the Grand Vizier Mehmed Sokolovitch failed to win acceptance for a Serbian monk as Archbishop of Cyprus (the first since the Ottoman conquest), because the Cypriots reacted in virtually the same way and indeed offered identical arguments to those used in Raphael’s case[14].

      The limitation of the number and the eventual exclusion of non-Romaioi prelates until the mid-eighteenth century concerned, normally, either the Oecumenical throne or episcopal sees in Greek-speaking or linguistically mixed areas. Such areas in fact accounted for most of the metropolitan dioceses under the jurisdiction of the Great Church, as is revealed by a cursory glance at their geographical distribution, according to the so-called Notitiae Episcopatum. For instance, in a table of 94 metropolitan sees drawn up on the basis of seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Notitiae, 27 were in Asia Minor, 46 on the Greek peninsula and the Aegean islands (including Crete, but excluding the autocephalous Church of Cyprus, which had an additional four or five metropolitan sees), 8 or 9 in areas that are now outside the borders of Greece (then with linguistically mixed population), and a mere 9 in areas with limited or no connection with the Greek-speaking element[15]. There were even more individual Episcopal sees that belonged to Metropolitanates in Helladic dioceses proper, as also Archiepiscopal sees under the direct jurisdiction of the Oecumenical Patriarch. Of a total of 69 Metropolitan sees under its jurisdiction around 1700, 16 were in Asia Minor, 43 on the Greek peninsula proper and the islands (again excluding Cyprus), and again only 9 in the more northerly Balkan provinces. The same table also shows a relatively small proportion (from none to two or three) of Episcopal sees per Metropolitanate in the Northern Balkan provinces, whereas the proportion in the Metropolitanates in Greek peninsula and the islands as a whole is clearly greater (as many as 10 or 12 in several cases). Consequently, if we include the Asia Minor sees (which, apart from the those preserved for purely traditional reasons, generally had a Greek flock), the Episcopal sees in the areas with a chiefly Greek-speaking population (in the peninsula and the islands, mainly, but also in Southern Crimea, where there were numerous Greek-Orthodox communities, with scarcely any Wallachians, Bulgarians, or Georgians until the end of the eighteenth century), and the Metropolitan sees with a mixed flock in the linguistic and ethnic borderlands along the notional line between the Akrokeravnian Mountains, in the West, and Eastern Thrace, in the East, then the proportion of metropolitan dioceses to which Greek-speaking prelates were usually appointed is more than ninety per cent. Of course, this does not mean that, then or later, the metropolitanates normally reflected the ethnic, demographic, and linguistic situation in the provinces under their jurisdiction. For that matter, some sees (notably those in the interior of Asia Minor) were preserved simply out of a traditional attachment to the hierarchical order of the Byzantine past, others because of their economic prosperity, and yet others were created, doubled in size, or dispensed with altogether in accordance with the pressure applied to the Patriarchate by social groups or other interested parties[16]. Despite the exceptions, it is a fact that, in the early Ottoman period at least, the greater part of the Oecumenical Patriarchate’s ecclesiastical machinery was directed towards Greek-speaking or bilingual populations; and this should not be regarded as incompatible either with demographic proportions in the Greek Orthodox flock as a whole or (which is more relevant here) with the ideological priorities of the leaders of the Church[17].

      These priorities are more clearly apparent in certain gestures and initiatives of the Church with a more eloquent political character. It is important to remember that, despite the officially proclaimed policy of “prudent and law-abiding submission” (ευλαβούς υποταγής τε και παρακολουθήσεως) to Ottoman authority, the Church never accepted the permanence (nor, indirectly, the legitimacy) “of this time of servitude and hardship” (καιρόν τούτον της δουλείας και της ταλαιπωρίας), and always yearned for “the old days of freedom” (τους παλαιούς χρόνους της ελευθερίας)[18]. This nostalgia is outspoken in the practice of commemorating the Byzantine emperors in church services, and also in a variety of ecclesiastical texts, particularly those that were part of the rich anti-Islamic and the apocalyptic literary tradition which developed with the direct or indirect involvement of the official Church throughout the period of Ottoman rule, though particularly in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Whether [or not] they were intended to fortify the Orthodox flock against the dangers of conversion to Islam or Catholicism, the various interpretations of the Apocalypse expressed, albeit in ecclesiastical terminology with a symbolic eschatological semantic content, the hope that the “Roma£oi” would be liberated and their lost “kingdom” restored[19].

      This hope is underscored chiefly by the successive efforts made between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, on the initiative of Church representatives at almost all levels (including Oecumenical Patriarchs), to urge the Christian powers of the West to intervene by force of arms in the Greek Levant. Regardless of the ultimate failure of these initiatives or the often limited popular support they received, what matters here is that they involved not the Oecumenical Patriarchate’s Orthodox flock as a whole, but principally its “Romaic” part. This is clear from the fact that, with very few exceptions, the almost stereotypical plans of action presented by those who spearheaded the anti-Turkish movements ― plans which are known to us from Western sources ― were not pan-Balkan in character. This is indirectly attested by the following facts: a) the geographical area of the territories to be liberated did not extend beyond the notional line that ran from Himara or Valona in the West, through Melenikon and Philippopolis (Plovdiv), to Constantinople in the East; and b) the references to the participation of other peoples, apart from the Greeks (“Greci”) and the Orthodox Albanians, were made for purely strategic reasons (as a diversionary tactic); they implied a certain religious solidarity, but not the ultimate aim of political unity[20]. The exceptions are few and far between and concern clergymen acting chiefly in the Northern Balkan countries (such as the Greek Metropolitan of Trnovo, Dionysius Rhallis-Palaiologos, who was associated with the Bulgarian rising of 1598, the operations of the Wallachian voivode of Moldavia, Mihai Viteazul, or the anti-Turkish plans of the Habsburg Emperor Rudolf II)[21]. As far as I know, similar geographical restrictions characterised the revolutionary movements in the Serbian countries. Until the end of the eighteenth century at least, the anti-Turkish movements of the Serbs and the Montenegrins (Jovan II, Patriarch of Pec', for instance, the Archbishops of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bessarion and Makarije, and voivode Grdan of Niksic’ in the early seventeenth century) were not interlinked with the corresponding initiatives of the Greeks, nor with those launched from the relatively close Archiepiscopate of Ohrid[22].

      Similar signs of an underlying “romaiocentrism” are also apparent, in my view, in most of the surviving Greek sources relating to the “neomartyrs”, even in the early years of Ottoman rule. Although there have been no systematic historical studies of the phenomenon as yet, it is clear that, until the end of the eighteenth century, most of the neomartyrs who were the subjects of hagiographies and hymns written under the aegis of the Church, were natives of Greek areas, either in the Balkans or on the Asia Minor peninsula, the Pontus or the islands[23][<—]


      2. Although it was a fundamental aspect of its political ideology, in the early years the Great Church’s chronic aversion to the Occident did not influence the relations between the Greek and the Western worlds as strongly as is commonly believed. It did not, therefore, engender thoroughgoing cultural isolationism, at least in a considerable part of the Greek Orthodox world. There were exceptions, certainly; but these related mainly to the brief crises precipitated in the Oecumenical Patriarchate during the upsurge of Catholic propaganda in the late sixteenth and, particularly, the first decades of the seventeenth century. But even then, as also in the early eighteenth century, Roman Catholic clerics and missionaries (Jesuits, Franciscans, and Capuchins) were conducting religious ceremonies and preaching to an Orthodox flock not only in urban centres and on the islands (in Constantinople, for instance, in Thessaloniki, and particularly in the Cyclades), but also in monastic centres (in the Aegean and even on Mount Athos)[24]. To a certain extent, these contacts were even accepted by the Church, which, albeit with considerable circumspection, was helping to build bridges between the two worlds. The repeated visits by Orthodox clergy and monks of all grades to the Western countries, particularly Italy, were undertaken for the purposes not only of soliciting money (“ζητεύειν”) and proposing war operations in the Levant, but also of studying or re-establishing more functional ties with the Greek Orthodox flock of the Diaspora. Until the middle of the eighteenth century, the archbishops of Ohrid and some of the prelates under them frequently toured the Italian peninsula (sometimes as special “exarchs” of the Oecumenical Patriarchate) performing ordinations, baptisms, and religious services in the Greek centres there[25]. Some of the prelates who had for various reasons lived for a while in the West, later ascended the patriarchal throne and made efforts to carry some of their European experiences over into the East. These included, to name but a few (and leaving aside the patriarchs who were characterised as “Latin-minded” [λατινόφρονες] in their time), Dionysius II (1546-1555), Metrophanes III (1565-1572, 1579-1580), Meletius Pegas, Patriarch of Alexandria and “locum tenens” of the ecumenical siege (1597-1598), and Jeremy II the Great (1572-1579, 1580-1584, 1587-1595) in the sixteenth century, and Cyril I Lucaris (1612, 1620-1635, 1637-1638) in the seventeenth[26].

      These prelates’ relations with the Western-educated members of the then flourishing Greek colonies played a decisive part in the development of Greek education and intellectual life generally in the early Ottoman period. Major initiatives were undertaken by Dionysius II, “tutelar and defender of the Hellenic nation” (“κηδεμόνος και αντιλήπτορος του ελληνικού γένους”), according to Antonios Eparchos[27], ― and Cyril Lucaris, the enlightened patriarch who tried without success to establish the first printing-house in Constantinople[28]. Both were responsible for the activities of some important scholarly clerics, Dionysius appointing Ermodoros Lestarchos and Pachomios Roussanos (1508-1553), and Lucaris, Theophilos Korydaleus (1570-1646), who introduced neo-Aristotelianism to the Ottoman-dominated areas. Apart from these well-known personalities, however, it was the Western-educated clergymen in general who, from the very first decade of the sixteenth century to the beginning of the eighteenth, staffed many of the organised or rudimentary educational establishments in the Greek East[29]. They were responsible, as early as the sixteenth century, for expanding the curriculum of the Greek schools to meet other needs apart from purely ecclesiastical ones. For instance, the books published in Italy (as also a number of extant writings produced by the leaders of this creative movement between the sixteenth and the early eighteenth century) also include important lexicographical works; grammars and methods for learning ancient and modern Greek (“Hellenic” and “Romaic”), Latin, and such living foreign languages as Italian, German, and Turkish; some notable geographic and travel accounts; a number of philosophical and medical treatises; and even musicological and technological works[30].

      This list, which is far from complete, indicates the breadth of the interests and the scholarly pursuits of luminaries who by their initiatives showed not only that they had risen to the challenge of the Enlightenment, but also that they were essentially seeking to “illuminate the Nation” (τον φωτισμόν του Γένους) at least two centuries before the Enlightenment. Nicholas Sofianos is perhaps the most important example of a pioneer who, like Koraïs later on, pursued the rebirth of Greece through imitating Renaissance Europe and familiarising educated young people (“των σπουδαιοτάτων νέων”) not only with the language and literature of the ancient Greeks (whom he termed “our ancestors”, “our fathers”, “the erstwhile happy race of us Greeks” [“το πάλαι ποτέ μακαριστόν γένος ημών των Γραικών”]), but also with the popular language (“κοινή ομιλία”), foreign languages, and sciences. He translated ancient writers into simple, everyday language, starting with Plutarch’s Περί παίδων αγωγής (On the Education of Children), works, that is, which, as he himself pointed out, “να είναι χρήσιμα και ωφέλιμα εις το να ανακαινισθή και να αναπτερυγιάσει από την τόσην απαιδευσίαν το ελεεινόν Γένος” (are useful and beneficial for the pitiable Nation to be renewed and to take wing out of its uneducated state). The same aim was served by the Γεωγραφικοί πίνακες της Eλλάδος (Geographical Tables of Greece) or Totius Graeciae Descriptio and the “Tables of Greek Place-names”, both ancient and modern ― works with similar political aims to Rhigas’s Charta ― the setting up of a Greek printing press, and the efforts to publish dictionaries and vocabularies of war, nautical, and agricultural terminologies[31].

      This literary activity continued over the next hundred years. But, with a few notable exceptions ― such as Theophilos Korydaleus. Yerassimos Vlachos (1605/7-1685), Elias Meniatis (1669-1714), the archbishop of Athens Meletios (1661-1714), Alexander (1636-1709) and Nicholas (1680-1730) Mavrokordatos, Methodios Anthrakitis (†1748) and Vikentios Damodos (1670-1752)[32] ― the scholarly clergy of this time were not of the same standard, nor did they have the same social and cultural range. There was no new scientific geographical survey of Hellenic territory, for instance, until Metropolitan of Athens Meletius (1661-1714) produced his Geography early in the eighteenth century (it was published in 1728)[33].

      Some Orthodox clergy were more persistent in their efforts to popularise Greek education and translate the Scriptures into modern Greek. But, though the former undertaking brought encouraging results, the latter met with strong objections, possibly because the trend to a certain extent involved reforming (chiefly Calvinist) circles in the West. It is worth noting that the arguments used against it were probably more serious than those used to oppose similar efforts between the end of the eighteenth century and the start of the twentieth. For instance, in his criticism of the extremely popular anthology of theological texts translated into the Heptanesian dialect by senior canon Ioannikios Kartanos in 1536, Pachomios Roussanos did not object to the principle of translating the sacred texts into the living language: he feared only that, owing to different ways of rendering the theological terms, their translation into various modern Greek dialects might lead to misunderstandings of Orthodox doctrine and sacred tradition. He therefore preferred that the Greeks be familiarised with ancient Greek, through systematic education, and thus approach the Scriptures more certainly. He believed that this would also be a way of unifying the Greek language by gradually reducing its dialectal differences, which, he thought, also disrupted the social cohesion of the Greek people[34]. Despite the objections, attempts to translate the Gospel into simple language nonetheless continued in the seventeenth century, and culminated, in 1632, in Maximus Kallioupolitis's splendid translation “àπό ëλληνικήν γλ΅τταν ε¨ς ρωμαίικην” (from Greek language [=classical Greek] into Romaic [modern Greek]’. It was done at the behest of Cyril Lucaris and, despite fierce opposition, enjoyed a long, though chequered, career, which included revised editions by hieromonk Seraphim of Lesbos (1703 and 1705) and Anastassios Michael of Naoussa (from 1710 onwards). These editions of Kallioupolitis’s translation link it with similar efforts by Koraïs (from 1808 onwards) and possibly with the unpublished translation made between 1723 and 1726 by the Corfiot hieromonk Frangiskos Prossalentis[35]. [<—]


      3. The Oecumenical Patriarchate, then, was the political leader of the Greeks, the ‘head of the Nation of the Orthodox Roma£i’ (κεφαλή του Γένους των Pωμαίων”). Yet its general religious and ecclesiastical policy remained firmly supranational and pan-Orthodox almost until the end of the eighteenth century[36]. This is why it made no deliberate attempt either to accelerate or slow down the processes of ethnogenesis, at least as regards the ‘non-Romaic’ peoples under its jurisdiction. Furthermore, the phenomenon of hellenisation was not as widespread as is generally believed, and in any case was due not so much to the intervention of the Church as to other factors, in which the Church did not play an active, or at least decisive, role. Of course, the fact that the Orthodox peoples in the Ottoman Empire were for centuries grouped together in the same religious community inevitably meant that the cultural and social dividing lines between the various ethnic groups became somewhat blurred, and heterogeneous ethnic and cultural elements were fused together. The process sometimes resulted in hellenisation; but ― I believe ― this hellenisation is traceable only in a few quantitatively and geographically limited cases: i) a few prominent social and intellectual, but numerically small, compact national entities, such as the principalities ― where, however, the reverse also occurred and non-Moldo–Wallachian families were Romanianised[37]; ii) the smaller ethnic groups, particularly those which either did not yet have a strong historical and cultural tradition or had shared it for centuries with their Greek-speaking cohabitants[38].

      The latter case embraces the Orthodox Albanians and Koutsovlachs of Greece, who are the most typical example of the organic incorporation of small ethnic groups into the Greek national body. The integration of the Albanians on Hellenic territory started as early as the fifteenth century in the Greek Orthodox east and the Diaspora, and was not seriously threatened when the Albanian national movement began in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century[39]. The case of the Koutsovlachs (Aromunians) was similar: their identification with the rest of the Greek world remained steadfast even after they became consciously aware of their distinctive linguistic identity in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Furthermore, the Vlachs also engaged in a certain amount of hellenisation in the frequently ‘hermaphroditic’ ethno-linguistic borderland areas of Northern Epirus, Southern Albania, and North-Western (Hellenic and Yugoslav) Macedonia. At all events, these areas ― which were a real ethnic mosaic, with bilingual or linguistically mixed populations speaking Greek, Vlach, Albanian, and Bulgarian ― always maintained economic, social, and cultural links with the more southerly areas of the Greek peninsula; which is why a considerable proportion of the population was already traveling with the rest of the Greek world in the first centuries of Ottoman rule[40].

      A major part in the processes of ethnogenesis in these areas was undoubtedly played by the local Greek or hellenised intelligentsia, both religious and secular, as also by the Archiepiscopate of Ohrid. Three main factors sooner or later put a stop to the convergence: i) mass conversion to Islam, particularly among the Albanian-speaking element in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and even the early eighteenth century; ii) religious, educational, and ideological intervention by the Roman Catholic Church, mainly from the end of the seventeenth century onwards; and iii) national awakening, particularly among the Bulgarian-speakers, in the last decades of the eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth.  [<—]


      [1]. Cf. Steven Runciman, The Great Church in Captivity. A Study of the Patriarchate of Constantinople from the Eve of the Turkish Conquest to the Greek War of Independence, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1968, pp. 176-177, and A. E. Vacalopoulos, Iστορία του Nέου Eλληνισμού (History of New Hellenism) [hereafter: INE ], vol. 2 (2nd ed.), Thessaloniki 1976, pp. 205-207.

      [2]. George G. Arnakis, “The Role of Religion in the Development of Balkan Nationalism", The Balkans in Transition. Essays on the Development of Balkan Life and Politics since the Eighteenth Century, Charles and Barbara Jelavich eds., Univ. of California Press, 1963, pp. 126-127.

      [3]. Indicative cases in Vasilios Makridès, “Le rôle de l’Orthodoxie dans la formation de l’antieuropéanisme et l’antioccidentalisme grecs”, Religions and transformation de l’Europe, Vincent Gilbert and Jean-Paul Willaine eds., Strasbourg 1993, pp. 103-115.

      [4]. Cf. Olga Todorova, “Traditions of Bulgarian Orthodoxy from Medieval to Modern Times (With Emphasis on the Period of Ottoman Domination), Balkanistica, 9 (1996), pp. 166-177, Zina Markova, “Le Patriarchat de Constantinople et la vie culturelle bulgare au XVIIIe siècle et durant les premières décennies du XIXe siècle”, Πνευματικές και πολιτιστικές σχέσεις Eλλήνων και Bουλγάρων από τα μέσα του IE΄ ως τα μέσα του IΘ΄ αιώνα, Thessaloniki 1980, pp. 227-237, and St. Skendi, “The Millet System and its Contribution to the Blurring of Orthodox National Identity in Albania”, Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire. The Functioning of a Plural Society, Benjamin Braude and Bernard Lewis eds., vol. 1, New York 1982, vol. 1, pp. 243-257.

      [5]. For a selection of titles with abstracts on the issue consult: Nationalism in the Balkans. An Annotated Bibliography, ed. by Gale Stokes, New-York/London 1984 (cf. Ger. Augustinos’ “Greece”, pp. 15-30). Representative studies were also included in collective works, such as: The Balkans in Transition (mentioned above); and Nationalism in Eastern Europe, Peter Sugar and Ivo J. Lederer eds., Seattle/London 1971.

      [6]. Cf. another paper of ime: Aπό την “ανάρρωσιν” στην “αναπτερυγίασιν” του Γένους: H Oρθόδοξη Eκκλησία και η διαμόρφωση της νεοελληνικής πολιτικής ιδεολογίας κατά την Tουρκοκρατία (From ‘Recuperation’ to the ‘Refledging’ of the Nation’: The Orthodox Church and the Transformation of Modern Greek Political Ideology duting the Turkokratia), Thessaloniki 1999.

      [7]. A. E. Vacalopoulos, .”Byzantinism and Hellenism”, Balkan Studies, 9 (1968), pp. 109-126; Peter Charanis, “Ethnicity and Modern Hellenism”, H Θεσσαλονίκη μεταξύ Aνατολής και Δύσεως, Thessaloniki 1982, pp. 133-138; and St. Xydis, “Medieval Origins of Modern Greek Nationalism”, Balkan Studies, 9 (1986), pp. 1-20. Cf. Spyros Vryonis, “Recent Scholarship on Continuity and Discontinuity of Culture: Classical Greeks, Byzantines, Modern Greeks”, Byzantina kai Metabyzantina, 1 (Malibu, 1978), pp. 237-256.

      [8]. Manuel I. Gedeon, Πατριαρχικοί πίνακες (Patriarchical Tables), Constantinople 1890, pp. 484, 515, 665, 688; cf. M. Th. Lascaris, Tο Aνατολικόν Zήτημα, 1800-1923 (The Eastern Question), Thessaloniki 1948, p. 254, and Markova, “Le Patriarchat de Constantinople”, p. 239 n. 1.

      [9]. Cf. Ast. Argyriou, “Les courants idéologiques au sein de l’Hellénisme et de l’Orthodoxie à l’époque de la domination turque”, Contacts, 36 (1984), pp. 285-305.

      [10]. See Theodore H. Papadopoullos, Studies and Documents Relating to the History of the Greek Church and People under Turkish Domination, Brussells 1952, 2nd ed. 1990, pp. 149-158, and P. M. Kitromilides, “Imagined Communities and the Origins of the National Question in the Balkans”, European History Quarterly, 19/2 (1989), pp. 156ff, 178ff; cf. Emm. Turczynski, “Nationalism and Religion in Eastern Europe”, East European Quarterly, 5/4 (1991), pp. 468-486.

      [11]. For the use of these terms, consult Vryonis, “Recent Scholarship”, pp. 248ff. Cf. Maria Mantouvalou, “Romaios-Romios-Romiossyni. La notion de ‘Romain’ avant et après la chute de Constantinople”, Epist. Epet. Philos. Scholis Panepist. Athinon, 28 (1979-85), pp. 169-98, and Richard Clogg, “The Greek Millet in the Ottoman Empire”. in Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire. The Functioning of a Plural Society, ed. by Benjamin Braude - Bernard Lewis, 1, New York 1982, pp. 185ff.

      [12]. Mousselas's report was saved in its Spanish translation, published by José Manuel Floristan Im£zcoz, Documentos neogriegos en el Archivo de Simancas, Ph.D. Thesis, Leon 1987, pp. 494 ff. The report was attached to the proposals submitted by Rizeas to the Spanish authorities in Naples for an armed intervention in Epirus and North-western Macedonia: I. K. Hassiotis, “Anti-turkish Movements in Macedonia before the 1821 Greek Revolution”, Modern and Contemporay Macedonia, ed. by I. S. Koliopoulos and I. K. Hassiotis, vol. 1, Thessaloniki 1992, pp. 444-446.

      [13]. El. A. Zachariadou, Δέκα τουρκικά έγγραφα για την Mεγάλη Eκκλησία, 1483-1567 (Ten Turkish Documents on the Great Church, 1483-1567), Athens 1996, pp. 74 ff.

      [14]. Cf. Chrysostomos Papadopoulos, H Eκκλησία της Kύπρου επί Tουρκοκρατίας (The Church of Cyprus unde Ottoman Domination), Athens 1992, pp. 242ff.

      [15]. Cf the lists published by Papadopoullos, Studies and Documents, pp. 106-120, and Halil Inalcik, “Ottoman Archival Materials on Millets”, Christians and Jews, vol. 1, pp.. 440- 446, and the remarks made by Zachariadou, op. cit., pp. 109ff.

      [16]. Cf the listsprepared by Chr. G. Patrinellis, for the Iστορία του Eλληνικού Έθνους (History of the Hellenic Nation) [herafter: IEE ], vol. 10, Athens 1974, pp. 103-104.

      [17]. Zachariadou, op. cit., pp. 114-115.

      [18]. Cf. Vacalopoulos, INE, vol. 2, p. 173; Patrinelis, IEE, vol. 10. pp. 95-98.

      [19]. The main apocalyptic texts and analysis of their ideological caharacter are given by Ast. Argyriou, Les exegèses grecques de l'Apocalypse à l’époque turque (1453-1821). Esquisse d'une histoire des courants idéologiques au sein du peuple grec asservi, Thessaloniki 1982, pp. 93ff.

      [20]. For some indicative cases: I. K. Hassiotis, “Oι ευρωπαϊκές δυνάμεις και το πρόβλημα της ελληνικής ανεξαρτησίας από τα μέσα του IE΄ ως τις αρχές του IΘ΄αιώνα” (The European Powers and the Problem of Greek Independence from Mid-fifteenth to Early Nineteenth Century), in Eλλάδα: Iστορία και πολιτισμός, vol. 5, Thessaloniki 1981, pp. 73, 78-79, 82-85, 101.

      [21]. St. I. Papadopoulos, H κίνηση του δούκα του Nεβέρ Kαρόλου Γονζάγα για την απευλευθέρωση των βαλκανικών λαών, 1603-1625 (The Movement of the Duke of Nevers Charles Gonzague for the Liberation of the Balkan Peoples, 1603-1625), Thessaloniki 1966, pp. 208-213.

      [22]. Theese characteristics are traceable in A. Tamborra, Gli stati italiani, l'Europa e il problema Turco dopo Lepanto, Florence 1961, Alexander Randa, Pro Republica Christiana: Die Walachei im “Langen” Türkenkrieg der katholischen Universalmächte (1593-1606), Mόναχο 1964,.Peter Bartl, Der Westbalkan zwischen spanischer Monarchie und osmanischem Reich. ZurTürkenkriegsproblematik an der Wende vom. 16. zum 17. Jahrhundert, Wiesbaden 1974, and Marko Jacov, I Balcani tra Impero Ottomano e potenze europee (sec. XVI e XVII): Il ruolo della diplomazia pontificia, Cosenza 1997, and other relevant studies.

      [23]. For a systematic list of the neomartyrs (by origin, place and date of martrdom, profession etc.) consult N. M. Vaporis, “The Religious Encounter between Orthodox Christianity and Islam as Represented by the Neomartyrs and theis Judges”, Journal of Modern Hellenism, 12-13 (1995-96), pp. 257-325.

      [24]. The most indicative cases are presented, albeit in an passionate way, by P. Gregoriou, Σχέσεις Kαθολικών και Oρθοόδοξων (Relations between Catholics and Orthodox [Greeks]), Athens 1958, pp. 8ff., 89ff., 153ff., 189ff. Cf. Vacalopoulos, INE, vol. 3, Thessaloniki 1968, pp. 424 ff.

      [25]. Vittorio Peri, “La Congregazione dei Greci (1573) e i suoi primi documenti”, Studia Gratiana, 3 (Bologna 1967), pp. 253ff. Cf. Hassiotis, “Oι ευρωπαϊκές δυνάμεις”, pp. 84.

      [26]. Vacalopoulos, op. cit., pp. 434ff.

      [27]. A. E. Vacalopoulos, Πηγές της ιστορίας του Nέου Eλληνισμού (Sources of the History of New Hellenism), vol. 1, Thessaloniki 1965, pp. 343-346.

      [28]. Gunnar Hering, Ökumenisches Patriarchat und europäische Politik, 1620-1638, Wiesbaden 1968 (cfr. the Gr. version:.Oικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο και ευρωπαϊκή πολιτική, 1620-1638, Athens 1992, pp. 31ff., 196ff., 219ff.).

      [29]. Cf. P. Ch. Ziogas, Προβλήματα παιδείας του Eλληνισμού κατά τον πρώτο αιώνα της τουρκοκρατίας (Educational Issues of Hellenism in the First Century of Ottoman Rule), Thessaloniki 1982, pp. 111ff.

      [30]. Ziogas, op. cit., pp. 115ff., 137ff.

      [31]. Ziogas, op. cit., pp. 137ff.

      [32]. G. P. Henderson, The Revival of Greek Thought, 1620-1830, New York 1970 (cf. the Gr. version: H αναβίωση του ελληνικού στοχασμού, 1620-1830 , Athens 1977, pp. 17ff., 23ff.37ff.).

      [33]. Const. Th. Kyriakopoulos, Mελέτιος (Mήτρος) Aθηνών, ο γεωγράφος, 1661-1714 (Meletios [Mitros] of Athens, the Geographer, 1661-1714), vols. 1-2, Athens 1990.

      [34]. E. Kakoulidou-Panou, “Iωαννίκιος Kαρτάνος. Συμβολή στη δημώδη πεζογραφία του 16ου αιώνα” (Ioannikios Kartanos: Contribution to the Popular Prose of XVI century), Thesaurismata, 12 (1975), pp. 218-256. Cf. Ziogas, op. cit., pp. 120ff.

      [35]. E. D. Kakoulidou, Για τη μετάφραση της Kαινής Διαθήκης (On the Translation of New Testament), Thessaloniki 1970, pp. 26-27.

      [36]. Cf. supra note nr. 7.

      [37]. See the dispassionate remarks of Al. Ciurea, “Quelques aspects assentiels de l’époque phanariote dans l’histoire de l’Église Orthodoxe Roumaine”, Symposium: L’époque phanariote, Thessaloniki 1974, pp. 17-28, and Ion Ionascu, “Le degré de l’influence des grecs des proncipautés roumaines dans la vie politique de ces pays”, ibid. pp. 217-228; cf. Hassiotis, Aπό την “ανάρρωσιν”, pp. 44-55.

      [38]. For the Bulgarian case cf. Hassiotis, Aπό την “ανάρρωσιν”, pp. 43-44.

      [39]. For more information Hassiotis, op. cit., pp. 46ff.

      [40]. Hassiotis, op. cit., pp. 48ff.

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