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the Byzantine epoch, the chief officers of the patriarchal administration and those metropolitans either residing within easy reach of the capital or visiting it for other reasons. With the help of this body Gennadios tried to solve the problems resulting from the sufferings of his flock. Thanks to the sultan's measures Constantinople acquired a considerable population of Greek Orthodox inhabitants who, however, formed an amorphous and unconnected society. Those who were forcibly transferred from various Greek territories to the capital settled together, forming neighbourhoods with some cohesion.23 It was different, however, for the old Constantinopolitans who returned to their city in increasing numbers after 1459-60, when the sultan issued an order commanding those who had not returned to return immediately irrespective of whether they had left Constantinople before or after the fall of the City.24 The sultan gave houses to those who returned but these were not their old houses, which in the meantime had been occupied either by Turks, by other Greeks, or by people of other ethnic origin. The situation was made more complicated by the return of other Constantinopolitans, who had been able by various means to ransom themselves. It was a long-drawn-out process, with individuals arriving separately rather than as part of a family group, since families tended to break up with different family members going to different masters and different places. This caused severe disruption to family life. Assuming that their spouses had not survived, many men and women married again, but, where their assumptions proved wrong, they found themselves accused of bigamy.25

Gennadios and his immediate successors confronted the problems caused by such marriages with human understanding and tolerance, using the legal principle «Kax oÎKovojiav».26 Apart from the social confusion, the Christian faith itselfseemed to be in danger, as there were frequent conversions to Islam, which would only have increased in numbers if the church had rigorously enforced marriage law.

The difficulties encountered over marriages were only symptomatic of deeper tensions within the patriarchal administration. These were the stuff

23 S. Yerasimos, "'eaa^ves tt|s KwVCTTaVTivoû^oArs orà jÉCTa toü is aîrâva', H Kad'-qjas AvaToAq 2 (1994), 117-38.

24 Elizabeth A. Zachariadou, 'Constantinople se repeuple', in 'H âAœar T-rjs Kcov-aTaVTivoûvoArs Kaitf jSTaßaar àno Tous jsaaiœviKoùç aToùs V£Ô>T£pousxpôvous (Heraklion: Panepistimiakes Ekdoseis Kretes, 2005), 47-59.

25 Patrineles, QsôSœposAyaAAiavôs, 133-9, 145-6.

26 G.Dagron, 'La règle etl'exception: analyse de la notion d'économie', in Religiöse Devianz, ed. D. Simon (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1990), 1-18.

of Theodore Agallianos's autobiographical writings, which provide a vivid insight into ecclesiastical politics under Gennadios. Agallianos had long been a confidant of the new patriarch, who promoted him to the important position of grand chartophylax. Among other things this post gave him responsibility for the supervision of the marriages of the Orthodox community. It was also one of the most lucrative in the patriarch's gift. Agallianos soon found himself under attack from other members of the patriarchal administration, who had support from leading members of the Greek community with access to the sultan's palace. Unable to master the situation Gennadios preferred to resign in 1456. This set a pattern, which persisted into the nineteenth century, of resignation followed by reinstatement. Gennadios himself resigned on three separate occasions, in 1456,1463 and 1465.27 Behind this pattern lay competition for office and for the benefits of office between competing groups of patriarchal officials, who had a vested interest in promoting their candidate to the patriarchal office.

The situation took a turn for the worse in the 1470s, when the patriarch incurred financial obligations towards the Ottoman state. The contradictions of the contemporary sources make it difficult to establish when and how these originated. It is clear, however, that, as part of the measures taken by Mehmed II for the repopulation of Constantinople, Gennadios and his immediate successors were exempt from any kind of taxation. But once Constantinople began to fill up, these exemptions were gradually modified and around 1471-72 abolished.28

These years roughly coincide with the first mention of taxes paid by the patriarch to the sultan's treasury, but it remains unclear exactly which patriarch was responsible. The initiative seems not to have come from the sultan. It is much more likely that it was first proposed by one of the parties jockeying for position around the patriarchal throne. Amid the welter of accusation and counter-accusation the most plausible conclusion is that the culprits came from the Trapezuntine community, which, established in Constantinople after the fall of their empire in 1461, wished to promote their own candidate, Symeon. According to an anonymous chronicler the Trapezuntines offered Mehmed II 1000 florins to dismiss Markos Xylokarabes, patriarch since 1466, and replace him by Symeon. The situation prompted the intervention of the Serbian princess Mara Brankovic, the sultan's stepmother and widow of Murad II, who also

27 V Laurent, 'Les premiers patriarches de Constantinople sous domination turque', REB 26 (1968), 243-5, 249-50, 251-2.

28 Inalcik, 'Policy of Mehmed II', 242-5.

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