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The Greek Islands and the Sea

Abstracts of Papers

We are grateful to all scholars for their papers, most of which are now published by the Hellenic Institute in a separate volume.

ALEXIS ALEXANDRIS (not included in the volume)

From The Greek Orthodox Imbros to The Turkish Gökçeada: The development of a Singular Bond Between the Aegen Imbros and the Ecumenical Patriarchate Since 1923

The Aegean island of Imbros, together with the neighbouring Tenedos, did not follow the fate of the rest of the islands of the Archipelago which became Greek after 1912. Because of its proximity to the Straits and to the Anatolian coast, Imbros was given to Turkey despite its Greek Orthodox population. Thus the Imbriots formed part of the tiny minority populations allowed to remain in their native lands by the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923. The islanders, even though, they never enjoyed the local self-administration prescribed by the Treaty of Lausanne were allowed to keep their Greek Orthodox identity until the 1960s, when with the outbreak of the Greek-Turkish rivalry over Cyprus they were used as diplomatic pawns in bilateral differences. Paradoxically, as the great exodus of the inhabitants of Imbros took place after 1964, a group of islanders began to rise to prominence as religious leaders in the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Barthalomeos reached the highest rank of the Orthodox Church by becoming the Ecumenical Patriarch and Iakovos emerged as the most successful ecclesiastic to ever govern the prestigious Archbishopric of North and South America. This was the outcome of a traditional link between the island of Imbros and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Theological Seminary of Chalki dating back to the 1860s but revived following the Lausanne Treaty.

 

KIM AYODEJI

A Day in the Life of Cyrton Fisherman

Fishing has played a distinctive and significant role in the history of the Greek islands and provides a unique perspective in which to view many aspects of Hellenic culture. The paper examines the fishing practice of this region during the Classical period with attention focused in particular on the technology of contemporary fishing gear. By drawing on a wide range of sources from ancient literature, art, archaeology, ecology and ethnography, this ancient activity is discussed and reviewed in its natural and cultural context.

 

CHRISTY CONSTANTAKOPOULOU

Placing goats in context: Herakleia and the mini networks of the Aegean

The purpose of this paper is to examine patterns of interaction between the Aegean islands in a small scale. In addition to the larger island networks that existed in classical antiquity, like the Island District in the Athenian Tribute Lists, we also encounter smaller patterns of interaction between neighbouring islands. The island of Heracleia, to the south east of Naxos, produced a unique document in the third century: it is a legislative text which prohibited the entering of goats on the island. It will be argued that this unique document was the result of attempts to use Heracleia as a goat island, that is an island used as pasture land for goats. Goat islands, in fact, will be viewed here as an expression of the theme of connectivity in the Aegean. Uninhabited islands were often used as grazing territory by neighbouring islands, a practice which brings us back to the topic of mini island networks. Mini networks also took the form of a larger island controlling its smaller neighbours, like the incorporation and subjugation of the neighbouring islands of Rhodes to the Rhodian demes, or the incorporation of Calymnos into Cos. Finally, the interesting phenomenon of synteleiai in the Athenian Tribute Lists is examined as another indication of small scale interaction.


CYPRIAN BROODBANK (not included in the volume)

Before "Corruption": The Aegean Islands in Prehistory

Over the last few decades, our understanding of early island societies and seafaring in the Aegean has expanded dramatically. For an increasing number of Aegean islands, the proportion of their total span of human occupation that precedes the advent of written records is now impressive. This emphasises the crucial role played by island archaeology in the investigation of long-term Aegean insular and maritime history. This paper explores several examples of such early island societies and asks through what processes and at what period the attractive model of Mediterranean island dynamics put forward by Horden & Purcell in The Corrupting Sea becomes relevant to understanding the early island history of the Aegean.

 

DAVID JACOBY

The Demographic Evolution of Euboea-Negroponte under Latin Rule (1204-1470)

The imposition of Latin rule over Negroponte in 1204 initiated some short as well as long-term demographic developments in the island. The various ethnic and social segments of the population (Greeks, Latins and Jews; urban and rural) were not always affected in the same way by political, military, social and economic factors.
1. The deterioration in the social and economic status of the Greek archontes following the conquest induced some of them to emigrate, yet the bulk of Greek population remained in Euboea.
2. The replacement of the restrictive Byzantine trade policy by a more flexible one enhanced the role of the city of Negroponte as transit and transhipment station in local, regional and transmediterranean trade. As a result the city increasingly attracted immigrants from the West, neighbouring territories and Aegean islands, as well as indigenous Greeks from Euboea itself.
3. The rural population suffered from the operation of Byzantine forces in Euboea in the 1270s and from the numerous incursions of Turkish pirates since the early fourteenth century. The recurrent bouts of plague since the mid-fourteenth century hit the entire population and accelerated the island's demographic decline.
4. In order to offset this trend Venice, the principal power in Euboea and the only one since 1390, implemented an immigration policy in two ways: it attracted Latins to the city of Negroponte by promising them Venetian status, and resettled groups of Greeks and Albanians in the countryside. Neither of these measures was successful in the long run.
5. Changing political conditions on the mainland, such as the Catalan conquest of the Duchy of Athens in 1311 and the Turkish advance in the late fourteenth century, brought streams of refugees to Negroponte. Yet these did not reverse the negative demographic trend.
6. The last decades of Venetian rule witnessed increasing demographic losses due to Turkish incursions and to emigration from the island, the desertion of coastal areas, and a growing concentration of population in the city of Negroponte, as well as in and around fortified cities and castles.



DEMETRIOS LETSIOS

Jewish Communities in the Aegean in the Middle Ages

Jewish population provides a tradition of a long, flourishing presence on Greek territory. From Hellenistic times to the present day Jewish communities had been established on the continental and the insular part of Greece. Numerous sources bear witness to the Jewish presence and activities. This considerable cultural and economic significance of the Jewish element was only diminished after the catastrophe of World War II. This paper focuses on the medieval history of some Aegean Jewish communities, for example of Chios, Mytilene, Rhodes, etc. Crete or Cyprus will not be our concern here, as other prominent scholars have dealt with them in the past.
The paper is based on material deriving from medieval travellers, reports and documents recording the life of the Mediterranean Jews, as well as the findings of other scholars. It explores questions concerning the size of the Jewish communities, their occupations as well issues relating to their social status.



ÉLISABETH MALAMUT

Travellers in the Aegean Islands from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century

I should like to consider the islands of the Aegean Sea as seen through the eyes of travellers between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries. My purpose here is not to be exhaustive on the subject, but to suggest areas for research, both concerning the modes of travel in the islands and the manner in which the travellers perceived the islands and its inhabitants at different periods. In the first part of this paper we explore chronology, rhythm and typology of voyages. In the second part, we present a new and most valuable source of information the 'ship's diary' which appeared at the end of the fourteenth century. We then proceed exploring the development of Travel Accounts from the twelfth to the sixteenth century, which are more diversified and reveal new interests, of political nature, but also of humanist curiosity. Finally, we conclude by presenting the view of the Aegean Islands by the French in the sixteenth century.

 


NASA PATAPIOU

Relations between Cyprus and the Ionian Islands during the Second Half of the Eighteenth and the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century

According to sources of the Venetian and French consular archives in Cyprus there are references of the settlement of population coming from the Septinsular Republic to Cyprus (mainly Larnaca), in the middle of the eighteenth century. Among these emigres there were merchants, doctors, ship-owners and sailors.In accordance with the treaty of the Septinsular State signed in 1800 in Constantinople, an Ionian consulate was established in Larnaca Cyprus and seems to have begun operating unofficially in 1801 and officially on 28 June 1803. The documents kept by the Consulate archives in Larnaca Cyprus (which derive from the National Greek Archives at Corfu) sketch the personality of the consul Panagis Angelatos of Kephalonia and his relations with other consuls as well as his friendly relationship with John Kapodistrias (as revealed by the correspond-ence between the two men). Other documents testify to the existence of the Septinsular State's vice consulate in Limassol, Cyprus, and the activity of Constantine Logothetis, vice-consul, coming from Zante.
These documents, apart from giving us information on the consular activities and the relations of the Greek population with the Turkish government, cast light on the commercial and economic activity of the citizens of the Septinsular in Cyprus, as well the eminent persons among the Cypriot society during that period.


JOHN PRYOR

The 'Stadiodromikon' of the De Ceremoniis of Constantine VII, Byzantine Warships and the Cretan Expedition of 949

The curious document entitled 'Stadiodromikon' appended to Book II, chapter 45 of the De Ceremoniis attributed to Constantine VII, purports to be a list of places along the route from Constantinople to Crete. It is appended to a collection of inventories in II.45 related to the expedition of 949 led by Constantine Gongyles. The expedition was obviously a failure, but the surviving narrative sources appear to have suppressed details of it and to have attributed the responsibility for the failure to Gongyles, which may or may not be true. The question is whether the list of places in the 'Stadiodromikon' was one of aplekta, staging posts, for the voyage of the fleet or whether it was something else. Analysis of the fleet and its logistical requirements is related to the capacities of various places listed to fulfil the functions of aplekta before drawing conclusions as to the nature of the 'Stadiodromikon' and making suggestions concerning the voyage of the fleet.

 


IAN RUTHERFORD

Panhellenic and Local: Towards an Understanding of Cycladic Religion

This paper sets out to analyse the religion of the Cyclades and the surrounding islands, distinguishing local, regional trends. To judge from the data that survives, different islands had their own traditions, and different deities were important on different islands: Demeter Thesmophoros on Paros, Zeus-Aristaeus on Keos, Dionysos was important on Andros and Naxos; Siphnos, besides having distinctive local traditions, had close links to Delphi, as did Keos. The little island of Seriphos had links to Argos. Minoa on Amorgos had links with Thessaly. There were clearly religious trends in the region: the cult of Apollo Delios on Delos; the cult of Poseidon and Amphitrite on Tenos; the cult of Zeus Bouleus/ Eubouleus, evidenced by the Mykonos calendar (LSCG 108), and found across the region; the practice of theoxenies; mythology related to Minos or the Ionian colonisation. The biggest surprise is that the cult of Delian Apollo is not better represented. It is often assumed that the Cycladic religion is dominated by Delos. In fact, that is not really true. Delian Apollo is found in a broader range of places, including Ionia, the Dorian Dodekanesos and Boeotia. Equally Delian Apollo is not particularly important in the Cyclades; for example the 'deity record', i.e. the deity in whose temple official decrees were set up, was Apollo Delios at Minoa on Amorgos and on Kalymnos, but nowhere in the Cyclades. The conclusion that suggests itself is that, as in other cases, the image we have, based on literary sources, tends to privilege panhellenic religion (Delos) at the expense of local traditions. Delos was nowhere near as important as might have been thought.

 

NICK VELLA

Altering our perceptions: At sea with Hermes and Herakles-Melqart

Since the Renaissance, it has been commonplace for cartographers to use maps to aid readers conceptualise the inhabited earth as the ancient geographers conceived it. Indeed successive editions of Ptolemy's Geography, for example, often include maps that reveal the shape of the world and its continents based on a system of latitude and longitude that Ptolemy computed. The modern reader, however, might still find it difficult to recognise tracts of coastline on these maps that have changed little since antiquity. This paper will examine how perceptions are altered when a narrative arising from a circumnavigation of the known world is transformed into cartographic space. To illustrate the argument two case studies are presented. Both deal with the relationship between topographic features in the maritime landscape and Greek and Phoenician gods who offered protection to intrepid seafarers.

 


SPEROS VRYONIS

The Greeks and the Sea: Kephallenias Abroad

The purpose of this paper is to examine the maritime manifestation in Kephallenian poetry, as reflected in the work of the poet Nikos Kavvadias. Born in Manchuria of an affluent merchant Kephallenian family Kavvadias returned to Greece after the Bolshevik Revolution to experience the difficulties with other Greek refugees, as a result of the upheavals of the First World War. In his poems he shows considerable concern for the details of life on board a ship. The contents and emotions of his poems, it has been observed, relate closely to the thematology and emotions of the rebetika: pessimism, sadness, the unjust nature of life, drugs, prostitution, emigration and life among the poor. In his poetry he manifests a healthy curiosity for and admiration of different peoples. Perhaps this was a consequence of his early childhood environment in Manchuria where he was exposed to Chinese, western Europeans, Japanese, Greeks and Russians. The multi-ethic panorama of his poem the 'Prayer of the Sailor' gives us in a sense an all-comprehensive ethnography of ships, a microcosm as it were of the larger macrocosm. Kavvadias unfolds this microcosm, piece by piece, as his sailing vessels and their crew prowl worlwide throughout his poetry.


ELIZABETH ZACHARIADOU

Changing Masters in the Archipelago

Despite continuous harsh conditions in the Aegean Sea the inhabitants of the islands not only survived but also strove to preserve their old social economic and cultural traditions under both the Latin and the Turkish rule. Latins and Turks needed their services or at least their occasional help and especially the latter who had limited experience in seafaring.

 

For orders of copies of the volume The Greek Islands and the Sea: Proceedings of the International Colloquium held at The Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London, 21-22 September 2001, eds. Julian Chrysostomides, Charalambos Dendrinos and Jonathan Harris (Porphyrogenitus: Camberley, 2004), ISBN 1 871 328 14 4, please contact Porphyrogenitus Publishers Ltd, 27 Upper Gordon Road, Camberley, Surrey GU15 2HJ, UK; Tel./Fax: +44-1276-683697, or through Miss Julian Chrysostomides, Director, The Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, Tel.: +44-1784-443086, Fax: +44-1784-433032


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