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circumstances of travel are largely incidental to the account. Bars'kyj initially assembled this material in the form of researched fieldwork notes full of epigraphic data, transcriptions from manuscripts and documents, measurements of buildings, and a record of the oral traditions associated with a monument. At a considerably later stage he reorganised his material within a rational structure, checking it and supplementing it with material from other literary sources.

The best illustration of Bars'kyj's working method in this period is his treatment of the material he gathered on Athos. He arrived on Athos for his second visit on 12 May 1744 and apparently stayed there until November of that year. His collection of material from each monastery followed a systematic pattern, which inhospitable monks might on occasion disrupt, as happened at the monastery of Koutloumousiou, where he was not allowed enough time to venerate the relics, measure the churches, research the history of the founders of the monastery, and investigate the library, the chrysobulls and other documents, as well as draw the monastery.22 In fact, this list was the bare minimum for Bars'kyj. In his account of each of the twenty major monasteries we have what approaches an encyclopaedic survey of the physical, administrative and socio-economic structure of the monastery, as well as a detailed catalogue of its spiritual treasures. We are informed about the physical structure and setting of the monastery, which is illustrated by at least one carefully labelled drawing.23 In most instances Bars'kyj carried out a detailed investigation into the history of the monastery, and presented an analysis of its possessions in terms of gardens, stock, beehives and vineyards, as well as dependent sketes and kellia. He also noted the administrative hierarchy of the monastery, the number and nationality of monks, and details of the church services and ecclesiastical procedures. The katholikon itself is described in great detail, usually accompanied with measurements and, in the case of the Lavra, Pantokrator, Dionysiou and St Paul monasteries, with a complete ground plan. Bars'kyj also describes the decorations within the churches, transcribes the inscriptions and notes the location of significant icons, wall paintings and mosaics, and relates some of the legends associated with them. He also provides lengthy lists of the contents of the monastic treasuries, listing the relics (at times questioning their authenticity),24 chrysobulls and charters.

23 Of the Athos drawings, twenty-three separate full plate illustrations and nine drawings inserted in the text of the manuscript survive. Several of the major drawings associated with the monasteries of Vatopedi, Chilandar and the Protaton are lost.

24 For example, at the Dionysiou monastery he was shown a thin metal chain that allegedly was the one with which St Peter was bound. Bars'kyjsoberly comments that it appeared

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