he used to check the facts assembled in his field notes.28 On other occasions he makes reference to events that occurred in Constantinople in 1746 that were of relevance to the monasteries he is describing.29 If in the earlier parts of the journal Bars'kyj repeatedly made the point that he was presenting his reader with a fresh eye-witness account of something that had just happened, in the third part the emphasis is on the way he is offering the reader a considered and well-researched opinion, an opinion which would benefit and enlighten those at home.
The earlier dependence on oral sources for factual information almost totally vanished as Bars'kyj increasingly turned to documents and to archaeological evidence for his primary material. In the section on Athos, much of the material that he provides on the history of the monasteries is taken directly from the chrysobulls, which he had read and translated. On occasion he tries to relate the surviving buildings, icons and relics to those mentioned in the literary sources and to use the archaeological evidence as a method of checking the accuracy and reliability of those literary sources. This approach is particularly evident in his discussion of the monastery of Xeropotamou, where he tries to match the evidence of the surviving relics, icons and buildings to the inscriptions and to the information provided in the chrysobulls.30 To judge from the letters of Isaiah the hegoumenos of Lavra and Bessarion the skeuophylax of Iveron, Bars'kyj's reputation as a scholar and a man of letters was very high on the Holy Mountain. They describe him as more learned than any other traveller.31
In the final section of the journal, drawings start to play an increasingly important role, not primarily as props and decorations for the text, but as supporting evidence. Bars'kyj is constantly calling the reader's attention to the drawings, pointing out the precise angle from which a drawing was made and the time of day at which the monument was recorded. This is to suggest not that the earlier drawings were generally fanciful studies, but rather that Bars'kyj's technical precision and powers of observation had increased with time. If one compares the finest and largest of his drawings from the early thirties, that of the monastery of Nea Moni on Chios of 1732 (fig. 9.1),32 with any of his Athos
28 For example, at one stage he refers to a Proskynetarion published in Venice in 1745, to check the claims being made by the monks of the Chilandar monastery concerning a relic, see Bars'kyjMs., fol. 400r.
31 Barsukov, Stranstvovaniia, iv, 64-7.
32 Ibid., ii, 204: plate 26. For a discussion of this drawing and the literature devoted to it, see C. Bouras, Nea Moni on Chios: history and architecture (Athens: Commercial Bank of Greece, 1982), 50, esp. fn. 4.
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