some guide to the contents of Gennadios's berat, as long as we keep in mind that they were issued in a period of relative stability, while Gennadios's appointment was made in a confused period of transition, which involved the creation of a new Ottoman capital. They do not support the tradition that the berat issued to Gennadios was the result of negotiations and conferred extensive privileges on the ecumenical patriarchate and the Greek Orthodox Church.17 They suggest instead that any privileges were granted not to the ecumenical patriarchate but to the patriarch in person, for the Islamic law did not recognise a 'juristic person' at that time.18 Nor did it acknowledge the Orthodox Church, as such, but identified it with the Greek community, or millet, as it came to be known by the nineteenth century.19

The patriarch's privileges comprised authority over the religious hierarchy as well as the management of ecclesiastical and monastic property; the application of Roman family law to the Greek Orthodox flock with respect to matrimony, divorce and inheritance; the right to collect taxes from among the Greek Orthodox population, about which more will be said; and, finally, some exemption from taxes. The last concession formed part of the general measures taken by the sultan to encourage the repopulation of his capital.20

Gennadios's reorganisation of the patriarchate was part of the transformation of the derelict Byzantine city into Ottoman Istanbul. The patriarch had to confront a series of problems created by new social and political conditions. The most mundane, but unquestionably important, was the question of security. Gennadios was unable to retain the glorious church of the Holy Apostles, which the sultan had originally granted him as the new seat of the patriarchate, because of the crime-infested character of its neighbourhood, which had been left deserted after the fall of the City. In its place the patriarch obtained the church of the Pammakaristos. This was in a safer neighbourhood, one already being repopulated by Greeks.21

If not re-established immediately after the fall of the Byzantine capital, as tradition has it, the patriarchal synod was reconstituted soon after Gennadios's appointment to the patriarchal see.22 It continued to comprise, as it had in

17 Braude, 'Foundation myths in the millet system', 79.

18 A. Cohen, 'Communal legal entities', Islamic Law and Society 3 (1996), 75-90.

19 The term used in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was taife.

20 Inalcik, 'Policy of Mehmed II', 241-5.

21 Ecthesis Chronica et Chronicon Athenarum, ed. S. Lambros (London: Methuen, 1902), 19.

22 T. H. Papadopoullos, Studies and documents relating to the history of the Greek church and people under Turkish domination [Bibliotheca graeca aevi posterioris 1] (Brussels: s.n., 1952; second revised edition Aldershot: Variorum, 1990), 39-60; Konortas, 'Odwp.aviKS<; dswpr¬°asi<;, 124-5,141-3.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment