The Network of Ecclesiastical Administration (15th-19th century)

Panagiotis D. Michailaris

The part of Krepis that refers to ecclesiastical administration from the 15th to the 19th century registers the spatial network of administrative ecclesiastical institutions (metropolis and bishoprics, archbishoprics, patriarchal exarchates) during the Turkish rule. This network played a decisive role in the administration of the orthodox populations that lived for more than four centuries, within the Ottoman Empire. At the same time, the registration of the agents of these institutions and their ties allow us to draw valuable conclusions about the status they held as junctions of power in the local social networks.

All the information is exclusively drawn from the Acts of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, published and unpublished material collected by the research program “Institutions and Ideology in Greek Society (15th-19th century)” that has been carried out for years and is still in progress at the Institute of Historical Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation. This has to be highly emphasized, since the definite demonstration of ecclesiastical provinces and the exhaustive registration of the individuals who served them requires further research and systematic processing —the first phase of which is depicted in Krepis.

Based on this rationale, the interactive atlas marks not the entirety of the ecclesiastical administration —that would be impossible to do within the limited time frame of a project such as Krepis— but provinces have been chosen in order to show the breadth of the geographical expanse where ecclesiastical administration was exercised within the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In what concerns specifically the patriarchal exarchates, see the map on p. 281 of the monograph: Machi Paizi – Apostolopoulou, Ο θεσμός της πατριαρχικής εξαρχίας, 14ος-19ος αιώνας, (The Institution of Patriarchal Exarchate) Athens 1995 (helios-eie.ekt.gr/EIE/bitstream/10442/4101/1/N01.054.0.pdf).

Consequently, the user will locate ecclesiastical provinces in Greek territories (the Peloponnese, Epirus, Macedonia, Crete), Asia Minor, areas of the Balkan Peninsula, and some in Russia, that were subject to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

The Atlas registers the places that were the seats of ecclesiastical provinces by their historical name which occasionally differs from the name currently used (e.g. metropolis of New Patras, now Ypate). Any changes of the name of the seat, or its transfer, but also fluctuations of institutions (e.g. the upgrading of a bishopric to an archbishopric, the merging of bishoprics, the attachment of an exarchate to a bishopric, and the restoration of an exarchate) are all registered. Finally, the individuals-agents of institutions are recorded as mentioned in the Acts of the Patriarchate: a) when they assume the administration of an ecclesiastical province (act of election or transfer), b) when they hold the specific office, according to the earliest available source that mentions their name (in office) and c) when they leave their province due to some reason (rise in the hierarchy, resignation, transfer, defrocking, death).

* Transcription of the Atlas data in the Latin alphabet and translation into the English language and terminology are available.

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