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Christian Feasts in Epiros and Albania as Urban Social Events And Their Manifestations Displayed in Ecclesiastical Painting of the 16th-17th Century. Dr. Konstantinos Giakoumis
UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK / TIRANA Summary The coupling of 16th-17th century historical and demographic evidence from Epiros and Albania presents a totally different view of what consists the “urban” and what the “provincial” than what has hitherto been thought. In the light of such findings this paper argues that Christian fairs previously considered being social events of a provincial character need to be perceived as urban experiences. Festivities represented in 16 th and 17th century ecclesiastical paintings along with posterior accounts of western travellers can illuminate the character of those feasts.
“Dipalitsa, along with Messarea [Map 1], both consisting one and the same city, are the capital of [Pogoniani’s] region. This city thrived especially after the 14 th century and, together with its suburbs Avaritsa (Avaricë) and Hypsilotera and the two villages to the city’s North, was populated by 12,000 families and was home to 74 churches and 43 fountains. While Messarea was inhabited by noblemen and land-holders, in Dipalitsa lived migrant merchants and workers, where numerous tanneries existed”.1 According to the account’s author I. Lampridis, “the development of the city was owed to “the installation of high-rank civil authorities and a rumoured promotion of the local Diocese to an Archdiocese, as well as to the establishment of a commercial – religious fair by Andronicus III Palaeologus (1335-6). This trade-fair started on August 15 … and lasted … for about a month and persisted … until 1792, when it moved to Ioannina … where it was still called “Pogonian” trade-fair”.2 On this trade-fair’s early history Emmanuel Becker records that it started in the reign of Justinian I who sponsored the construction of a church at ‘Ypsili Petra’ (modern Cepo) to accommodate 12 sketes of Mount Dryinon granting them several gifts, among which a fair at Pelakon, where it was held for 500 years before it was transferred to Dryinoupolis (Dropull) 3. Lampridis further mentions that this trade-fair was transferred nearby the Molyvdoskepaston Monastery in 1235-6.4 The trade-fair in question was very important in that it gathered people not only from the nearby regions, but also from distant areas of Epiros and from as far as Europe; the products were exhibited in a quarter situated half an hour off Dipalitsa, 5 while, besides commercial dealings, the trade-fair strengthened trading ties, intercultural relations and promoted migrating tendencies, which became vitally important in the following centuries. Travelling in the same region, François Pouqueville attended a similar religious fair at the chapel of Prophet Elias in Delvinaki on May 15, 1806 [Map 1], at the feast of the Third Finding of Saint John the Forerunner’s Holy Head. Pouqueville was impressed by the common participation of both farmers and stock-breeders. The dancing of the well-dressed young boys and girls and the friendly and cheerful atmosphere reminded him of his compatriots in France, when that country ‘lived in the purity of her gentle and cheerful customs’. Traditional theatrical acts and marriage customs (weddings often took place during festivals) stopped only with the coming of the following day which summoned the people back to work. Pouqueville also writes that these ecclesiastical festivals took place once or twice annually at each village and were always public and popular, while often connected with trade and cattle fairs.6 Pertaining to two different time periods notwithstanding, both sources describe the most important religious trade-fair of the same region. The first source, a 19th century account of a thriving 14th-18th century trade-fair in Dipalitsa / Molyvdoskepaston, clearly indicates the existence of a
Lampridis Io. (1993), part 7, p. 34; cited in Ziangos N. (1974), p. 290. Lampridis Io. (1993), part 7, pp. 52-53; cited in Ziangos N. (1974), p. 290. 3 Immanuel Beccerus, Historia Politica et Patristica, p. 276; cited in Ziangos N. (1974), p. 290. I am not convinced of the historical accuracy of this account. 4 Lampridis Io. (1993), part 7, pp. 52; cited in Ziangos N. (1974), p. 290. 5 Aravantinos P. (1856), v. 2, p. 138. 6 Pouqueville P. W. (1994), pp. 57-61 and note on pp. 73-74.
1. 52-53. local and regional fairs. 109i-112. 55-67. taking advantage of pictorial evidence in religious painting.powerful middle class of merchants and artisans next to the civil nobility and the nearby peasantry. v. 47/3. It worth mentioning that in today’s city of Konitsa there is a tradition that links the fair.Έθιμα . KY. However. 16. pp. there is little doubt that the trade and cattle-fair held in Dipalitsa should be considered as an urban event of a typically late medieval character. (1975). p. 10 On the monastic festivals of Epiros and Albania see Gatsopoulos St (1960). pp. USA: Routledge. The application of quantitative sociological methods of historical enquiry through historical demography of the regions in question in the 16th and 17th century was conditioned by the absence of solid archaeological. pp.Τραγούδια. 9. (2000). Athens-Ioannina. urbanised plains at minimal cost’. Πωγώνι .9 Consequently. Institutional Innovation. Δελτίον της Χριστιανικής Αρχαιολογικής Εταιρείας . pp. pp. ‘Η εμποροπανήγυρις της Πωγωνιανής’. Occasionally. v. Epstein (Aug. pp. Göttingen. Lambridis I. pp. these stereotypical arguments regarding the 16th century demographic situation are also subjected to variation by contemporary Greek scholars [Patrinelis Ch.. such diversities in the character of religious fairs of the same region denote profound changes in the history of settled areas of the Epirote hinterland that culminated in the 18th century with the development of urban centres known as such until today (e. 142-149. a first-hand account of an early 19th century fair. As is evident. 431. pp. v. ‘Ζαγοριακά’. (1963). I shall try to grope some of the manifestations of those fairs. in Schlesinger W. this paper aims at showing that several of those highly-reputed late medieval religious trade and cattle fairs described or not in later sources should be considered as urban socioeconomic events. thereby providing clear evidence of the subsistence of a late medieval urban centre 7 in the Epirote hinterland. 220-228. v. 1970). ‘provided the organizational backbone to an emerging continental trading system’ which functioned as a node connecting local. S. 2/2. Beiträge zur deuschen Verfassungsgeschichte . pp. and Economic Growth in Late Medieval Europe’. Ioannina. the second source. . 135-137. ‘Ηπειρωτικαί θρησκευτικαί πανηγύρεις’. Ήπειρος.Δερόπολη. Florence. v. part 3. p. Mammopoulos A. Delving into the nebulous process of the “provincialization” of former late medieval urban centres by the 18th century by applying quantitative sociological methods of historical enquiry. 2. etc. trade. contrary to their character from the ends of the 18 th century thereafter. 16th and 17th Century Demographic History in Epiros / Albania: The case of Gjirokastër’s City and Region. commerce. 1994). 21-33. (Oct. thereby making his account virtually befitting a typical post-Byzantine. pp. Gjirokastër. pp. v. manifestations of a pre-modern economy. 430-431 and note 4 on p. 57 and part 7. In contrast. Pouqueville must have chosen the most prominent festival of the region. Vryonis S. whose abstractive description showed that Pouqueville was unimpressed by the fair that traditionally accompanies such religious festivities. Gizelis Gr. The Economic History Review. Historical demography data from the 16 th and 17th century consists only one indicator of the habitation types of those populated centres. 115-127. 1. 459-482 and Epstein. Definitions and Approaches to the Study of the Medieval Town in Northern Europe’. pp.10 of the type that can still be observed in various religious festivals in Greece and Albania. provincial fair of a rustic character.g. were intended to show that the 16th century was a period of serious demographic decline11. in the Schlesinger’s sense of existence of a market.R. Thessaloniki. 36a]. 31-36. 8 Schlesinger W. organized there at the end of September with the one of Dipalitsa. (1997). Kamaroulias D. Freedom & Growth : Markets & States in Pre-modern Europe . in Πρακτικά Α΄ Συμποσίου Λαογραφίας. (1988). who describe the demographic situation of the Greek provinces. v. topographical and historical evidence that can cast light on the history of the populated centres of the Epirote hinterland. 11 See the critique by Machiel Kiel in Kiel M. World Archaeology. ‘Ο Ελληνισμός κατά την πρώιμη Τουρκοκρατία (1453-1600). As is known. see Schledermann H. called “Pazaropoulo”. 73-88. 159-160. 9 For local. presents a seeming differentiation in the fair’s character: in his freedom to travel freely throughout Epiros with his diplomatic immunity. ‘Regional Fairs. (1961). Athens. 20-27. Its preservation up to the 18th century indicates the need for specialized exchange fora in areas where ‘uplands and lowlands overlapped so as to channel pastoral products from the mountains towards the grain-growing. A. In addition. (1993). (1971). ‘The Idea of the Town: Typology. ‘Disaster’ theories advanced by early Greek historians. pp. 7 For the different uses of the term. R. (1992). Matsias Ch. regional and continental fairs see the classic studies of S. ibid. (1991).). regional and continental markets. Ηπειρωτική Εστία. probably walls and officials8. all of the available evidence leads one to the opposite view. Γενικές παρατηρήσεις και συσχετισμοί με την ιστορική εξέλιξη της μεταβυζαντινής τέχνης’. ‘Über mitteleuropäischen Stadt’. Ήθη . (1985).
London: M. This situation was not limited geographically. and on a “village”-to-“village” basis [Appendix 3]. which was generally recorded as a single demographic unit (kaza of Gjirokastër) [Appendix 5] and specifically on a “village” for “village” basis [ Appendix 6]. What is impressive is that many of the places today identified as villages saw such a rapid demographic development in the 16 th century that their populations could easily be compared with that of the administrative urban centres [ Appendix 8]. These sixteenth-century population rises are comparable with contemporary data from other regions of Epiros and Albania [Appendix 719]. Appendix I. pp. 514. 421. 25b-27b. which may be partly due to the non-recording of certain population groups in the census). 403. L. Vithkuq 478. (1996). Kamenicë 550. p. There. pp. des XVIe et XVIIe siècles (Some comments on the economic and social organization of Ottoman cities during the 16th and 17th Centuries)’.D. the “rural” population in Epiros and Albania increased at a greater pace than in the cities. For different case-studies I could cite: for city populations see: Barkan Ö. reprint. (1999). For an opposing view on the existence of a demographic crisis in the Ottoman Empire in the 17th century. reached the conclusion that the rise of population in the territory of the Sublime Porte was even more impressive. ‘Quelques observations sur l’ organisation économique et sociale des villes ottomanes. did not continue at the same rate after the end of the 16 th century14. pp. pp. (1970).N. (1996). but also in areas today being province both as a whole [Appendix 2]. pp.20 Here it is apparent that. 14 Zachariadou E. Following Braudel’s conclusions. 110-111. whereas in 1431/32 they numbered 104 and 13 houses respectively. L. pp. L. in 1583. 111 and note 7.. (1987). See also Giakoumis K. 3-4]. To cite but two examples: in 1583 Labovë e Madhe numbered 473 households and Goranxhi 172 households. 27]. thesis submitted at the Centre for Byzantine. Within the frame of this expansion Epiros and Albania were not exceptions. After experiencing a slight decrease in its number of households in 1506/07 (143 households from 163 in 1431/2. Population growth. (2002). A. (1992/1993)] compared with the population of the same district in 1431/32 [Inalcik H. 111114. Finiq 359. 44-46. Studies by Braudel have demonstrated that in the 16th century the population of the Mediterranean rose remarkably in a few decades12. 3. L. table in p. the case of the rise of population in the districts of the sancak of Dukagjin in the 16th century. 501-502. the city of Gjirokastër in 1583 numbered 302 households and by the century’s end 380 households [Appendix 4]. (1988).. Birmingham. (1978). (1958). . for example. but extended equally from the Albanian North17 to the Epirote South18. maps 10-11. ‘Research on the Ottoman Fiscal Surveys’. Barkan Ö. 15 Inalcik H. The population growth in Gjirokastër city coincided with a similar demographic expansion in its province. maps 10-11. (1958). 20 Ibid. pp. pp. The University of Birmingham. (1973). pp. the population rose not only in places today are considered to be cities 16 [Appendix 1]. 16 Pulaha S. Appendix I. 501-502. p. (1954). the development of the population on a per village basis in the district of Delvinë in 1583 [Buhara V. contrary to Barkan. pp. ‘Impact of the Annales School on Ottoman Studies and New Findings’. (1955). For example. v. ‘Krahinat e sanxhakut të Dukagjinit gjatë shekullit XVI (Les contrées du sancak de Dukagjine durant le XVIe siècle)’. 408-409. Barkan. at the end of 16 th century the city of 12 13 Braudel P. 284293. Grammos 326 and Aydonat 669. For the province of Preveza see: Komis K. Athens. Giakoumis K. in Studies in the Economic History of the Middle East from the Rise of Islam to the Present Day . Voskopojë 330. XVII. See also Zachariadou E. pp. Barkan Ö. 289-296.namely that the 16th century was a period of intense demographic development. particularly in the cities. 23-26. 55-63. This has recently been confirmed by scholars who have examined specific case-studies from different Ottoman provinces15. pp. Barkan Ö. For the provinces of the Peloponnese see: Panagiotopoulos V. 74-75. 17 See. 418-419. Recueil de la Societé Jean Bodin. pp. facing the first signs of the Ottoman crisis. [Appendix I. 508-509. Cook ed. (1993). It is evident that the city and the province of Gjirokastër was part of this demographic reality. Studime Historike. 167-170. v. pp. 19 Cf. By comparison. (1990) . Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies. For the province of Karahisar see: Acun P. v. who has examined the demographic problems of the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman Administration in the Sancak of Karahisar-i Sarki (1485-1569): An analysis based on tahrir defters . v. (1993). 2. whose urban population increased at a higher rate than that of the rural population 13. (1989). (1984). (2002). Pulaha S. A further notable detail is the extraordinary rise in the nowadays considered as rural population of Epiros and Albania. in Pulaha S. 18 See for example. Πληθυσμός και Οικισμοί της Πελοποννήσου: 13ος-18ος αιώνας. pp. Review. Poliçan numbered 325 households. 13. For the provinces of central Greece see: Kiel M. p. 397-400. see Todorova M. 47. pp. 406. 1. Ph.
the rate of demographic development in the regions of Epiros and Albania (31. 27. 26 Thëngjilli P. Vithkuq) next to the better-known administrative urban centres. thanks to the research of Petrika Thëngjilli26. the growth of the city and province of Gjirokastër contributed to its financial prosperity and.227 households. Moreover. Therefore. v. the general conclusion that population growth in Epiros and Albania moved at a slower pace than in the rest of the Empire must be accurate 24. Sofia.000 as a working number. pressure on the population resulted and this. Assuming a count of 2. the author does not identify their kind. 27]. however. Jh.094 and Vlorë 878 [Appendix 8]. pp. Serajevo. etc.000 households. The only piece of demographic information for 17 th-century Gjirokastër city. however. in turn.Gjirokastër had only 302 taxable households. L. or by the different understanding of the household (hane)27. 48-49. of which 200 belong to Christians [Appendix 4]. only recently have the relevant Ottoman registers in Turkey been accessible to scholars at large and there is a corresponding diminution of evidence. But in the case of Albania. [For the size of the Empire’s major cities in different periods. 400. We have therefore in our disposal evidence that shows a different report between the “city” and the “province” than what appears to be today. 481-493. enthusiasm lapses. the Ottoman traveller who in 1670/71 visited Gjirokastër and mentions some 2. (1993). the kaza of Gjirokastër numbered 5. was expressed through extensive emigration and recruitment into the Ottoman armies by way of devşirme. cannot reasonably be accepted as accurate since it comes not from an official source but from an itinerant traveller who depended on information from local guides. a factor of both stability and instability” 25. there is available some evidence concerning 17th-century population numbers from different districts. thereby obliging us to consider a number of additional urban centres nowadays deserted (e. Whereas. pp. (1990). v. This may partly be explained by possible changes in the borders of the kaza. 30. that his data come from cizye and avariz defters. (1980). As a consequence. p. Yet. It seems. was falsely attributed to the destruction of cities brought about by the Ottoman conquest. With the advent of the 17 th century. Delvinë 204. when in the 16 th century these regions reached the limits of their demographic capacity.000-5.8% after Pulaha 22) was less than the average rate of population increase in the provinces of the Empire (60% after Barkan23). see Ursinus M. . Ibid. (1989) . Braudel aptly notes that “the demographic increase constitutes successively a power and an impediment. however. 27 It is worth noticing that these figures represent avariz hanes. This figure. in the regions of Epiros and Albania. For the differences between “household” as a fiscal unit and household in a literal meaning. F. this would be an impressive increase from the 380 of the 16th century. (1989) . Kamenicë) or diminished to the status of villages (e. however. see Barkan Ö. The abundance of published sources on 16th-century population changes is largely due to the enthusiasm of Turkish scholars on the occasion of the ‘golden’ century of the Ottoman Empire. but it cannot be denied that depopulation in the kaza of Gjirokastër continued throughout the remainder of the 17th century. of course. p. 25 Braudel P. ‘Avariz hanesi und tevzi hanesi in der Lokalverwaltung des kaza Manastir (Bitola) im 17. pp. also to be observed on a far smaller scale in the demography of the same regions in the 15th century. it may not be far off the mark since data from the end of the 18 th century [Appendix 4] shows a figure only slightly higher. p. Epiros and Albania did not meet the necessary requirements to develop large urban centres. 1 (Ο ρόλος του περιγύρου).000 households) such as Thessaloniki. The assumption. L. is deceptive since the number of households over the entire province of Gjirokastër (kaza) shows a dramatic decrease in population. 24 The size of the cities in Epiros and Albania (400-1600 households) [Pulaha S. by 1668/69 this number had been reduced to 910. 48-49] was well below that of an average city in the Empire and nowhere near the size of major cities (2. (1958). In 1682 the district numbered 21 22 Pulaha S. This situation. is the account of Evliya Çelebi.’. in 1583. 23 Barkan Ö. As historians have already noted 21. Prilozi za Orientalni Filologiju. Berat 1. Voskopojë. Consequently. to artistic prosperity.g. Even though both rates seem fictitious and methodologically problematic. one has to consider the distortions caused by modern ‘nationalist’ interpretations of Turkish and Greek early historians with respect to the 16th century. While mentioning the location of his sources.g. (1958).
p. This information specifically refers to Bulgaria and Europe at large. Studies in cultural history. (2001). Two centuries of demographic evolution’. in which in an aggregate of 234 registered hane only 87. (1978). 3. (1985). there is evidence from other provinces of the Empire and from Europe in general indicating that the age of marriage rose thereby causing a lower birth rate and fewer children per household36. pp. S. 35 Wrighley E. pp. (1990) . one could account for the dramatic decline of the Christian population chiefly by Islamizations. 30 See. as already stated. (1980).37 Finally. such as England. p. W. Todorov and F.710 households. particular efforts were made in order to prevent a high birth rate. N. pp. 31 McGowan Bruce (1981). In spite of methodological problems in calculating the actual rate of this disaster32. 34 See. see Todorova M. (1990) . (1990) . Moreover. whose inhabitants had departed to settle in the village of Bujara in the kaza of Shpat. Mols R. (1988). p. p. The British historical demographers E.] (1974). Tempulli: Revistë Periodike Kulturore.5 in 1686 and to 188. 32 For opposing views to the theory of a demographic crisis in the 17th century. pp.e. 481-493. a) the case of the village of Stërstan (Elbasan district). p. (1990) . 37 Herlihy D. Wrightson K. This suggestion can be reinforced by comparing the population figures for Gjirokastër city (cited by Evliya Çelebi) with those of the Gjirokastër kaza [Appendices 4-5.’. pp. 79. 15-82.5 had actually remained in their villages by 27 October 1677 [op. . 117-118]. If accurate. (1974). There is a growing literature regarding the change of climatic conditions as a factor of demographic decline. 1-20. for which there is no evidence in the Ottoman Empire. in Cipolla C. Prilozi za Orientalni Filologiju. in certain European countries. Irrespective of any particular reasons for Gjirokastër’s decrease in population. makes extensive use of cizye muhasebes from after the 1691 reform and compares their demographic data with the aggregates of the 15th-16th century Christian populations as calculated by Ö. 130. 139-140. 53]. Infanticide. see Ursinus M. Scofield conclude that “population growth unaccompanied by economic expansion pushes the age of marriage hither” 35. such as the universally-felt financial crisis. 144-145. ‘Population in Europe 1500-1700. see: Pien M. 29 Kiel M. Bruce McGowan. Barkan. In some countries. (1982). The population of England. impediments.33 in 1700 [ Appendix 5]. for example. v. Other problems ensued. The Fontana Economic History of Europe. as in the case of the deserted village of Siarates. While there are no figures for the number of children per household for greater Gjirokastër in the 17th century. infanticide) were also applied 38. 79. and b) the case of Mallakastër. For a discussion of the difference between ‘‘household’’ as a fiscal unit and household in a more literal sense. He concludes that a veritable demographic catastrophe must have taken place in the 17th century. New York. cit. ‘Avariz Hanesi und Tevzi Hanesi in der Lokalverwaltung des Kaza Manastir (Bitola) im 17.. [See. pp.Scofield R. in his pioneering work on Ottoman economic history in the 18 th century31. 39]. etc. ‘Paraqitija e parë në ikonografi e dëshmorit të ri Nikollës nga Mecova: tregues të orientimit ideologjik të pikturës në zonën e Gjirokastrës (1634-1653)’. Medieval households. v. v. crude measures of family planning (late marriage.. led to mass emigrations from the periphery of Gjirokastër to the city 29. They were ordered to return to their village in 1606 and 1636 but as late as 1715 had not done so [Thëngjilli P. including preventive stipulations on marriages. which in its turn was a reflection of a general crisis in the 17 th century. Thëngjilli’s figures28 probably represent only the Christian population of the kaza. p. The same author further suggests that emigration to the city led to Islamization. 77-86. implying that emigration preceded conversion. L. this is a phenomenon that draws interesting analogies with wider demographic phenomena in the period. for example. who does not cite references. (1990). It has also been suggested that deteriorating conditions in the villages. The 28 Thëngjilli P. i. but not a general demographic crisis over the entire region. Cambridge cited in Kiel M. Wrighley and R. it is my belief that emigration to Gjirokastër city was either preceded by or simultaneous with Islamization. Braudel. respectively]. Jh. limitations. This decline was the result of a structural overpopulation in the 16 th century which created the preconditions for some kind of demographic readjustment. abortion. Criminal Justice History. it was reduced to 204. 38 Kiel M. ‘Infanticide in European History’. [ed. Could this be seen as a demographic catastrophe? The answer to this question needs to be sought in the apparent population decrease in the kaza of Gjirokastër. Machiel Kiel33 also emphasises that the 17th century was indeed a period of remarkable demographic decline throughout Europe34. high prices and inflation. Gjakumis K. 33 Kiel M. 3. Cambridge Mass. . Glasgow. the 17th century marks some mobility towards other districts of the empire30. For infanticide in general and in the 17 th century in particular.: Harvard University Press. However. together with the conversions to Islam. 30. pp. 36 Kiel M. (1990). 79. (1990).
According to a marginal note in a manuscript. (1976). J. 79]. 40 Kiel M. London. 45 op. 78. p. Furthermore. ‘The Case of the Missing Sunspots’. p. while for the famine of 1640. p. p. 35. 49 For the hail-fall. Furthermore. (1990) . 25. the lake of Ioannina (Pamvotis) had frozen to such a degree that the people could walk on it without fear. 80-92. p. 78-79 and note 24 in p. see Eddy J. p. 35]. v. cited in Kiel M. 26. (1990) . see initially Kiel M. Ηπειρωτικά Χρονικά. Considerable evidence for these adverse climatic conditions have been amassed by historians of the period. such as: cherry-trees in the imperial gardens of Japan that blossomed weeks later than usual and delayed wine harvests in France. 78. 48 Papadopoulos N. Griswold W. unpublished. (1990). Another rubric in MS 240 of the Monastery of Leimonos on Lesbos refers to the outbreak of a great famine that burst out in the ‘world’ in 1621. 78. note 24. pp. 78-79 and notes 22-24. Ecthesis Chronica and Chronicon Athenarum.. as well as in regions of Epiros and Albania. 2. cited in Kiel M. p. 37. (1976).. v. p. On the 1687 and 1700 freezes (the former with its verse). p. that is. 43 For all these evidence see Kiel M. In 1616 very severe weather lashed against Crete and destroyed the trees. . we know from secondary literature that the difficult conditions created by the freeze of the 17th century. 41 Kiel M. pp. Similar evidence can be traced in Greek lands. v. 1585-1625 .sinking of the average global temperature39 caused a diminution in harvests and an increase in the prices of food provisions40. 2. pp. the bad harvests. (1856). Colorado. 170-172. verses 165-169. . ‘Δύο Στιχουργήματα του 17ου αιώνα για την Πόλη των Ιωαννίνων’. 225. 79]. (1990) .. cit. cit.. p.] (1902). An even harsher freeze occurred in 1687 and again in 1700. (1990) . the rise of food prices and the decrease in population forced some inhabitants in Dropull to flee. Many historians have linked this violence with the deteriorating climatic conditions. 47 Aravantinos P. Scientific American. Dendro-chronological research in the Balkans has uncovered serious disturbances in tree growth. p. 37 and for the famine of 1702. In 1684/85 there was such a severe flood in Ioannina that the water not only covered the lower lands and the houses close to the lake but also reached to the height of the metropolitan church of Saint Athanasios. (1856). 46 On these climatic phenomena. it is possible to consider adverse climatic change as one of the causes of several uprisings with clear economic motives which broke out in Albania in the 17th century. p. while in 1640 and 1702 severe famines covered the same region49. pp. as did a large number of families from the village of 39 The 17th century was called ‘the little Ice Age’. cit. especially during the first decades of the 17th century. unpublished. see op. Perhaps. 79-116. 224. Colorado. see op.. verses 59-60. 18 feet above the normal lake level47. 42 The Celâlî revolts and rural violence in Anatolia (1595-1620) have been linked with climatic change [Griswold W. As a consequence the peasants rioted. (1984). 16. fled or starved to death 41. For a general overview of the relevant literature. the former being so extreme that it lasted for three months and inspired the writing of a piece in verse 46. the people suffered from starvation 44. v. Further evidence exists for Epiros. which are noted commemoratively in manuscripts. and many died of starvation45. see: op. it is worth mentioning that these famines. p. the so-called Tarnovo Uprising has also been linked with climatic change [Kiel M. In order to evaluate this information in context. J. pp. were again referred to only two occasions: once in 1764 and once in 1810 [Papadopoulos N. In the area of Dropull a severe and unusual hail storm destroyed the crops in 1625 resulting in a rampant rise in prices48. 79. [ed. 45. The Little Ice Age: Its Effects on Ottoman History. (1990). (1990) . see Aravantinos P. 44 Lambros S. From the Balkans we know that in 1595 Prince Michael the Brave of Walachia with his army passed over the frozen Danube River into Bulgaria and in the first half of the 17th century the Ottoman scholar Katib Çelebi noted that the Bosporus was frozen and people could walk from Istanbul to Üsküdar on the Asian shore43. the bad harvests and the consequent famines42. The political and military history of the world was seldom more violent than in the 17 th century. 1585-1625 . see Karpozilos A. 223. (1977). The Little Ice Age: Its Effects on Ottoman History.. cit. In 1607.
The conversion of the Hijra dates was false. v. Περί του παρά την Δρόπολιν αρχαίου χωρίου Σιαρατίου’. 12. Athens. ‘Masat kundër lagështirës në banesën gjirokastrite (Les mesures prises contre l’ humidité dans l’ habitation de Gjirokastra)’. 2. Βραχέα Χρονικά. 130. 43] and four in the island of Leucas. Στον καιρό της πανώλης. Athens. (1999). Mystakidis writes [Mystakidis N. economic and culture thrive 50 N. The guarantor was therefore summoned to pay the sum of 9. 43]. 54 I shall limit my references to the regions of Epiros and the Ionian islands citing four known plagues in the regions of Arta and Preveza (in 1622. the church of the Prophet Elias. it is inaccurate to assume that the ‘provincialization’ of former late medieval urban centres must have been completed by the end of the 17 th century. 2. (1995).Siarates. (1980). see Lory B. as may be derived from the description of another epidemic in 1814 by François Pouqueville55. p. as also testified by their artistic activity. p. p. pp. close to a bigger one with a market called Zervat. according to a note on fol. 173a-180 (tab. 18th (1742)57 and 19th century (1814)58 did not seem to have affected the demography as much in these regions as a whole as they did in the 17 th century. 56 As far as we know. 104v of the Codex Parisinus Graecus 938. 3132] that he heard from travellers coming from Plovdiv that drovers from Dropull once went to their city where they were forced to spend a night in one of its villages. Monumentet. p. 224. (30. the regions of Arta and Preveza were twice attacked by pestilence. 1674 and in 1682 [Kostis K. cf. I-IV). French synopsis in pp. 369. 371]. who went to Plovdiv (Philippoupolis). for the measures of the houses in Gjirokastër against moisture. Amantos. The relatively better-known cases of a number of Vlach-inhabited hamlets. in 1522 and in 1524 [Komis K. as well as Arta [Lambros S. No. 181-182. (1970). They noticed that the local inhabitants sang and spoke just as they did and questioned them if they knew anything about their origin. In general. which flourished from the 16th to the 18th century. Corfu. v. 97-100. 58 Pouqueville P. 1642 and 1643) [Komis K. (1976).000 akçe. their consequences must have been terrible for the population. edited by K. Athens. 14 ος-19ος αιώνας. the city of Ioannina was heavily affected by the epidemic which in 1533 attacked other provinces of the Mediterranean. Herakleion. At one side was another field belonging to a certain George Meksi. p. similar pestilences in the 16th 56. one may note that in the houses of Dropull and Gjirokastër from the 17th century special measures were taken against moisture51. in Η Δρόπολις Βορείου Ηπείρου. such as Linotopi and Grammos. 30. see Papadopoulos N. pp. ‘Vendbanimet dhe banesat fshatare në Dropullin e poshtëm (Agglomérations et habitations dans le bas Dropull)’. He had signed as a guarantor for two other corn-dealers. Adverse demographic conditions of the 17th century in Epiros and Albania were further intensified by several epidemics that burst out in these provinces. This investigation into the adverse demographic conditions of the 17 th century in the regions of Dropull and Gjirokastër indicate strongly that the fate of the local population as a whole was similar to those in other parts of the world owing to both local and global hostile circumstances. p. such as Crete. Bulgaria50. (1999). in 1644 (with 2. those given in this note were corrected by me]. In the 19 th century the memory of the emmigrants from Epiros and Albania was still alive. the sons of a priest from Siarates who disappeared without fulfilling obligations. (1994). it owned 10-15 houses in the village where the families of the monastery’s tillers lived. 188. Monumentet. Η Δούβιανη της Δροπόλεως Βορείου Ηπείρου. 1673. (1994). The villagers answered that Siarates was a great village. 34. Papadopoulos N. 1623. while.11. The response was that their grandfathers had come from a village in Epiros called ‘Siarates’ where they had experienced hardship. p. In another Ottoman document dated in the month Rajab of the Hijra year 1009 (January-February 1601) a certain Christian named Quka Knipa from the village Siarates possessed a field on the site Mursa. Εικόνες από τις κοινωνίες της ελληνικής χερσονήσου. 2. (1976). p. p. a sentence was issued against a certain corn-dealer named Dedo Nikas from Jorgucat. There is little doubt that numbers overall were depleted. . They further recalled that there was also another village in that region called Prokokki or Pyrokoki. (1992/94). p.1906). while in Dropull and the city of Gjirokastër the same disease appeared three times (1604. p. Finally. 55 Pouqueville P. 1670)53. Then the merchants from Dropull asked insistently whether they remembered any traditions regarding Siarates. above Siarates there was a monastery dedicated to the Prophet Elias. Rhodes. French synopsis in pp.000 casualties). see Kamberi Th. While Linotopi’s social. (1928). (1976). 45 and were republished in: Giovannis G. Zante. pp. However. 34. 57 Papadopoulos N. (1932). While the evidence presented above show an overall demographic fragility of the areas of Epiros and Albania in the 17th century. 1. 37 and Papadopoulos N.000 akçe [both documents are mentioned in Giovannis G. 53 On the pestilence disease in Dropull and Gjirokastër in the 17th century. moreover. 103-116. 51 On the measures of the houses in Dropull against moisture. see Papanikolla I. and at the other two sides. 129. (1856). p. v. ‘Δρυϊνουπολιτικά. republished in Η Δρόπολις Βορείου Ηπείρου. verses 218-220]. In 1667 it was recorded that the city of Ioannina was infected by pestilence 52. Quka Knipa sold his field to the church of the Virgin at the said village for 2. (1976). 117-118. 1642. 52 Aravantinos P. Athens. 2. (1982).59 indicate a far more complex process. v. p. 52. 30. at another was a public road. v. pp. plagues were rather common in the 17th century as a result of cold weather 54. ‘Τα χωριά Σιαράτι και Μουρνουκόκι’. According to a document dated Hijra 1033 (1623/24). Athens. Πύρρος.
p. Athens. Stegopul (20 July). the ecclesiastical services varied in their expressions throughout the Orthodox calendar year. Burime të zgjedhura për historinë e Shqipërisë: Shqipëria nën sundimin feudal-ushtarak otoman (1506-1839) . 60 Zisiou K. 218-222. p. Makryalexi and a number of other monasteries. (1969). (1930). 2000 Vjet Art dhe Kulturë Kishtare në Shqipëri. but also local assemblies (since most of the emigrants repatriated for the occasion). V. where the change of commercial routes towards the second half of the 18 th century and the aggression of Islamized groups led the city to gradual decline especially following its major destruction in 1769. Spiritual needs and to some degree intellectual needs were satisfied with sacerdotal acts and features of ecclesiastical life. Church festivals. Turcica. v. 35. The host would provide food. ‘The status of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch under the Ottomans’. Evangelidis Tr. Tiranë. 260b. Pepel (29 May). Inalcik H. Διδάσκαλοι του Γένους. 19. had many social and economic aspects: they were not only religious feasts. Vranousis L. (1915). G. In conclusion.62 As an indication of recognition of the importance of such religious fairs for revenue-raising purposes. Εισαγωγή στην Ελληνική Λαογραφία. (1961). 425. in Sakellariou M. v. 385-386. the Prophet Elias. such as preaching and readings from the Bible or from saints’ vitae. which fulfilled corresponding needs. (1937). Any given image not only constructs or reconstructs visually the biblical past. (1991).] (1997). p. Ιστορία του Νέου Ελληνισμού . while the monasteries with their feasts and fasts provided inspiring moments of recollection. Athens. XXI-XXIII. 64 Loukatos D. on such occasions sultans granted a special berat obliging the pilgrims to pay a resm-i panayir. Since at the time when these paintings were made there 59 Jakumis K. In 1886 Linotopi was inhabited only by a few Muslims. judging from the overall picture of the herein-presented demographic evidence.Shkodra Z. etc. Tritos M. Yet. [eds. 65 Giakoumis K. 4. for which no precise templates had been made. p. p. Ήπειρος. public spectacles and commercial dealings. p. 1. Ηπειρωτικό Ημερολόγιο. St. The most famous monastic festivals in Epiros and Albania were those at the monasteries of the Holy Trinity. 7980. but in later times either shrink to provincial events or disappear. (19924). v. (1973). 61 Steriopoulos K. – Bushaka G. III. ‘Οργάνωση της τουρκικής διοικήσεως και φορολογία’.60 its fall should be dated at the same time with that of Voskopojë (Moschopolis). topographical and historical evidence makes it impossible to determine with precision which of the multitude of the fairs in Epiros and Albania could be considered as urban social experiences in a late medieval-early modern context. . Παρατηρήσεις εις την νεωτέραν γεωγραφίαν της Ηπείρου. Vakalopoulos A. (2003). in Thomo P.Naçi S. Paliouri. . Zamputi I.Sphyroeras (1997). Manifestations of Religious Fairs in Ecclesiastical Painting. Athens. offered a spiritual refuge to the faithful of a kind whose profundity can hardly be compared with any of today’s majestic liturgies64. 228-229). the Dormition of the Virgin or Soronia (15 August). ‘Veprimtaria e Piktorëve nga Linotopi në Viset e Kishës Orthodhokse të Shqipërisë’. p. pp. 327-328. Ecclesiastical painting of the 16 th and 17th century provides evidence on various manifestations of the fairs in question in secondary details.is confirmed as late as the first quarter of the 18 th century by the existence of a school. more or less the standard and sole cultural activity of the urban and provincial population. Athens. pp. this process is confirmed at least for some cases. ‘Η Μοσχόπολη του χθες και του σήμερα’. Le système fiscal de l’ église orthodoxe dans l’ Empire Ottoman (d’ après les documents turcs). . 131. 219. νέας οροθετικής γραμμής Θεσσαλίας . 63 See: Kabrda J. while in the beginning of the 20th century it had already been completely deserted. theatrical acts. while the celebrations and dance took place in defined areas inside or outside the monastery courtyard65. pp. [ed. the current paucity of accurate archaeological. 42. Brno. v. Churches and monasteries provided an environment where people could profit from diverse forms of social and recreational activities. displays. 198-199. 4000 χρόνια ελληνικής ιστορίας και πολιτισμού . pp. (1991). 209-234 (209 and tables 1-2 on pp. Athens. v. wine and lodging to the pilgrims in especially prepared rooms. pp. B. 62 Tourta A. . p. 35. but also envisages links between this past and the period’s present. Moreover. (2002). Nikolaos or Cepo (20 May). 61 The inhabitants of those places now diminished to the status of a village evacuated them seeking refuge in cities or in other settlements. monkey-parades.] (1993). Emotional needs were satisfied by popular folk songs. a religious tax for the rural market or fair63. (1999). Molyvdoskepasto (15 August). local dances. Η Παιδεία επί Τουρκοκρατίας (Ελληνικά Σχολεία από της Αλώσεως μέχρι Καποδιστρίου).
in the nave of the Monastery at Vanishtë. the band of musicians [fig.Potamianou M. the lyra (Alb. As will be shown. several displays of such trade and cattle fairs can be seen in subjects like the Expulsion of Merchants from the Temple of Solomon. the dance of the maidens [ fig. were utilized as models. such as the garments and kerchiefs of the dancing women. 27:24-31. 18-19. 70 The subject of Lauds lies in the western exonarthex of the catholicon: Acheimastou . . other instruments traditionally used in the Balkans fit into the more vague passages (a lute for the Psalmist concept ‘stringed instruments’ and a tambour for a ‘sounding cymbal’). Η απεικόνιση των Αίνων στη μονή της Κοσίνιτσας (ή Εικοσιφοίνισσας). p. therefore. the earliest depictions of which date from the 5th-6th century. since minutiae copying of templates from previous models must have been deemed to be unnecessarily timeconsuming and. while at the lower 66 This subject is being studied by Parcharidou M. on occasion adjusted to well-known forms in the region (trumpets). the laut (Alb. no time-effective by experienced master painters. 149 and 150. changes her chronology to the 5th century). thesis submitted to the Faculty of History and Archaeology at the University of Thessaloniki. also used in contemporary fairs. 1-2] can be associated precisely with the Psalmist text (psaltery). the rendering of such details relied on the initiative of the artist or its patron. 189-195 and 197-200. While some of the musical instruments identified in the Lauds [fig. 1-2] and of the Mocking of Christ [ fig. 40 and Acheimastou . has an expression of stoicism. p. calm and meek. defining the vertical axis of the picture. such as how the Temple of Solomon’ bazaar looked when Christ expelled the merchants from it. v. Thessaloniki. he bears the crown of thorns on His head and holds a reed in His right hand. is in the triclinium of the bishop Neon. The representations of the Lauds [fig. For the earliest representations of Lauds and a brief survey of their evolution. while displays of banquets that could also be associated with such festivities are observable in themes like the Last Supper. in Η Δράμα και η περιοχή της: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός. are at His side and behind. (1998). 312 and note 10 (where the author suggests that the first representation of the subject. 67 Let them praise his name in the dance [Ps. local elements of daily life. 316-318 and notes 21-47. the Marriage at Kana and the Parable of Royal Marriages. llaut). however. Barefoot. Christ takes up a central position. which dates from the 6 th century. The Jews. 69 Tourta A. Before the figure of Christ.was no living eye-witness memory of the biblical events in which such manifestations were incorporated. 1-2] renders Psalms 148. Δράμα 18-22 Μαΐου 1994 . Christ. 3-4] are among the most popular and characteristic subjects in 16 th and 17th century ecclesiastical painting in Epiros and Albania and display musical performances taking place in such fairs. 149:3]. (1991). who deride Him. (1983). The Hospitality of Abraham.67 and secondly. the iconography remains unaltered with elements that can still be seen today in that region. daull). Ph. 71 Lauds was also represented in the narthex of the Monastery at Jorguçat. One notes with interest that representations of this subject in other churches of the same region71. Β΄ Επιστημονική Συνάντηση. Here. wearing a sleeved robe and a garment. see the more accessible study: Parcharidou M. 26 and ill. Two of its elements provided opportunities for the painters to develop their personal talents and skills in portraying scenes inspired by major social events in the spirit of “ Let Israel rejoice in him” [Ps.. More dancing figures and instruments can be viewed in the ‘Mocking of Christ’ [ fig. 5]. where there is a building with a gable that sets the scene of the Mockery: the palace of Pilate. in the Church of Saint Nikolaos at Saraqinishtë and in the nave of the Monastery of Spelaio. the lahut. 74a-b. zumarjë) and two zurna (Alb. or in other works of master-painter Michael from Linotopi (such as the Churches of Saint Nikolaos at Vitsa or Saint Menas at Monodendri69) drew models from the Monastery of Philanthropenon on Ioannina island by Frangos Kondaris70. 316. Η απεικόνιση των Αίνων στη μνημειακή ζωγραφική της μεταβυζαντινής περιόδου (1453-1700). 3-4]. (2001). pp. 68 Let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp [Ps. 149:1-2]: first. displays of the festivities accompanying such religious fairs can be viewed in scenes like the Lauds and the Mocking of Christ. llullak)73. 3-4]. (1993). 149:3] and the entire Psalm 150. He is represented frontally. 1. the last of which cross above His head. p.68 Seventeenth century works as in the catholica of the monasteries at Jorgucat and Çatishtë. 132 and ill. where feasts. p. the Multiplication of Bread and others. The pictorial representation of the Lauds [fig.D. In these subjects. The same author on p. while no written account of them records minutiae details. ceremonies and marriages are celebrated in a rather similar way. Drama: Municipality of Drama Ed. two young men bend their bodies as if bowing to Him. taken from Matthew’s account72. 72 Mt. while six musicians divided into two groups of three are at His sides playing the davul (Alb.Potamianou M. The subject is widely seen in post-Byzantine painting 66.
from Romania there is an example in Varta Moldoviţei [Henry P. Macédoine et Montenegro) . Thessaloniki. 58a and 59. As is evident. the study of ecclesiastical painting can cast light to various aspects of daily life rendered in several scenes’ secondary details. Le Tétraévangile de la Laurentienne. ill. Paris. 80 Acheimastou . on occasion. 277. 74 The earliest example. p. . 7]. which time constraints and the lack of precise textual references allowed artists to record manifestations of daily life in their paintings. ill. (1991).sides of the picture two figures are dancing.Potamianou M. Τοιχογραφίες. the Last Supper [fig. 91. (1993). The appearance of dancers (not mentioned in the Gospels) is not unknown in middle 74. 195a-212b (llaut) and 212b-223a (lahut). These dancing figures bear similarities with the knight executioners in the monumental art of certain anti-unionist circles. ‘Εξωτερικές φωτογραφίες. Αναπτύγματα. (1938). Paris. The same dancing figure of an executor without a knight’s harness also appears in the representation of the martyrdom of Ss Markianos and Martyrios. La peinture du Moyen Age en Yugoslavie. Σχέδια και Υπομνήματα Μονής Ελεούσας’. 168a] as well as in a number of 16th-century church monuments in Bulgaria. as appearing in the Marriage at Kana [ fig. Last but not least. ill. This detail is not found in the ‘Cretan’ School. in Zemen [Grabar A. 117a-121 (zumarjë). 81 Papadopoulou V. 79 On the representation of the subject in these churches see Tourta A. 73b-81b and 290b292b (daull). [ed. Paris. p. pp. (1969). La peinture murale du Moyen Age en Yugoslavie (Serbie.] (1993). 29. both painted by master-painter Michael in the 17th century. Les églises de la Moldavie du Nord. Paris. Veglat muzikore të popullit shqiptar. (1993). (1953). (1983). the Marriage at Kana [fig. (1991). p. Displays of fairs in 16th and 17th century ecclesiastical painting in Epiros and Albania are good indications of this. 88. ill. texte-album. ill. p.118]. La peinture religieuse en Bulgarie. (1993). 105-106. Ioannina. such as Poganovo [Grabar A. ill. pp. texte-album . the Parable of Royal Marriages [ fig. 15. Tourta A. . ill. The detail of the dancers is missing there.2]. 6] indicate a remarkable continuity of such fairs until our days.2]. (1971). (1954).32]. (1928).Miso P. XLV. In this paper I attempted to couple 16th and 17th century historical and demographic evidence from Epiros and Albania in order to present a totally different view of what consists the “urban” and the “provincial” setting in these centuries in contrast to what has hitherto been thought.Potamianou M. 8] in naos’ northern wall of the catholicon of Philanthropenon Monastery on the Isle of Ioannina. IV. so far as I know. 8] also fit a fair’s setting. (1993). the musicians are limited to four. Paris. L’ art byzantin et l’ art lombart en Transylvanie. Καστοριά: Βυζαντιναί τοιχογραφίαι. ill. In the churches of Saint Nikolaos at Vitsa and Saint Menas at Monodendri. XVIII]. the Hospitality of Abraham [fig. pp. (1930). is found in churches throughout the Balkans and was painted or influenced by the workshop of Kastoria 77. Victor and Vicentios on the southern wall of the narthex [Acheimastou . 105 and note 681 and Acheimastou . dates to the 12 th century and comes from the Gospel Lectionary in the Laurentine Library [Velmans T. 6].Potamianou M. . In the light of such findings this paper argued that some Christian fairs previously considered being social 73 For the identification. other subjects like the Nativity of the Mother of God [fig. perhaps due to the lack of space. . Καστοριά: Βυζαντιναί τοιχογραφίαι . pp. they may well be figures from local dances. late Byzantine75 and early Post-Byzantine Art76 in the Balkans. in the Church of Saint Nikolaos Magaliou at Kastoria (15 th century) [Pelekanidis St. texte-album .Grabar A. 11] and.Instituti i Kulturës Popullore. 85. (1991). 75 One could cite as examples the dancers in Nagoricino [Frolow A. Thessaloniki. 77 For example. found on the western wall of the narthex [Acheimastou . Exhibiting stalls and stock for sale in the first subject [fig. Jars for storing liquids. By way of variation. 168a]. 104-105 and ill. banquets associated with religious fairs are displayed in scenes like the Marriage at Kana [ fig. La peinture religieuse en Bulgarie. Μοναστήρια της Νήσου Ιωαννίνων.Velmans T. 7] and the Multiplication of Bread [fig. such as the Monastery of Philanthropenon on the island of Ioannina [ fig. One detail. Paris. 455. texte-album . . A good indication of how trade fairs and banquets associated with them must have looked like in the 16th century is provided by the scene of the Expulsion of Merchants from Solomon’s Temple [fig.Paliouras A. (1953). XXIII. 9]. 3]. Fasc. 76 See the Church of Saint Nikolaos Magaliou at Kastoria (15 th century) [Pelekanidis St.78 yet. Paris. p. 89a-b (llullak). (1928).Potamianou M. p. 7] and baskets containing dry foodstuff displayed in the Multiplication of Bread [fig. 78 The most representative subject in the Monastery of Philanthropenon related to this issue is the martyrdom of Ss Menas. photographs and the nature of these instruments from a musicological point of view see: Sokoli R. in Garidis M. Tiranë: Akademia e Shkencave . 68. 274-295.1] and in Dobrovaţ [Stefanescu J. the same subject79 is closely connected with the Betrayal of Judas. The bent trumpets try to imitate the western instruments seen at the Monasteries of Philanthropenon80 and Eleousa81 on Ioannina island. ill. ill. 160 and 161]. 97. the kerchief held in the hands of both dancers. 10]. 146]. 12]. ill. ill. 191] and at Lesnovo [Millet G.
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