History of Macedonia 1354-1833

A. Vacalopoulos


XIV. Macedonia in the time of Ali Pasha (end of 18th century to the beginning of 19th)


2. Southern or Lower Macedonia


(iv) Chalcidice and its various vïllage federations: Mademochória with its mining association, Hasikochória, the villages of Válta, and the Mount Athos community


Cousinéry states that Chalcidice had always been inhabited by Greeks [3]. This is confirmed by Leake, who says that the Greeks had never undergone admixture with either Bulgarians or Albanians, and that, for all their illiteracy, these Greeks whether monks or laymen retained some consciousness of ancient Greek history [4]. Talking of the region as a whole, Cousinéry observes that the mountains of Southern Macedonia (Basse Macédoine) had provided a refuge for the Greeks in medieval times, that is to say whenever the Bulgarians made incursions against the Byzantine state [5].


Of the villages in Chalcidice the most well-known were Kassándra (built on the ruins of ancient Cassandria), Áyios Mámas, Ravná, Pazaroúda (Bazar-Dzedid), Vasiliká, Galátista, and Liaríngovi (Arnaía). Liaríngovi (see fig. 179) was the chief of the surrounding villages, which went under the collective name of Mademochória, a name indicative of their connection with the district's silver-mines, the Turkish word maden



3. Cousinéry, ibid., 1, p. 53. For a number of interesting historical details about Polýgyros see Steph. Ath. Kotsianos, Πολύγυρος, Ἄγνωστοι σελίδες τῆς ἱστορίας του, Thessalonica 1961. See also the chiefly linguistic works of Ag. Tsopanakis, Πολύγυρος, «Προσϕορὰ εἰς Στίλπ. Κυριακίδην», pp. 685-691, and Ch. P. Symeonides, Πολύγυρος, «Μακεδονικὰ» 6 (1964-1965) 196-210.


4. Leake, Travels, 3, p. 159.


5. Cousinéry, ibid., 1, p. 53.





meaning 'mine' [1] (see map 15). The inhabitants of Liaríngovi manufactured carpets from local wool, which were distributed throughout European Turkey and especially amongst the monasteries [2].


The chief place for the production of silver was the village of Siderókapsa (Siderokávsia in Byzantine days), lying some 3-4 leagues distant from the sea. The archives of Mount Athos furnish some useful information relating to the governor of the Mademochória [3].



Fig. 179. Street in Arnaia

Fig. 179. Street in Arnaia.

(Photo S. Iordanidis)



The details given by J. V. Arasy about the silver mines are somewhat confused. However, the traveller Leake provides a lucid account



1. Beaujour, Tableau, 1, p. 212. On Mademochória and the income from the mines at this period, see supplementary information in Leake, Travels, vol. 3, pp. 160-162, 164.


2. Cousinéry, Voyage, vol. 2, pp. 139-141.


3. Alex. Lavriotis, Τὸ Ἅγων Ὄρος, ΕΕΒΣ 32 (1963) 137-140.





Map 15. Chalcidice, tvith the villages of Cassándra, the Hasikochória, and the Mademochória

Map 15. Chalcidice, tvith the villages of Cassándra, the Hasikochória, and the Mademochória.





of the location of the mines and of the work involved there: "5 November 1806: the mines now wrought are about one and a half hours from Nízvoro, between two hills, in a deep ravine, where a stream of water serves for the operations of washing, as well as to turn the wheel for working the bellows of the furnace. The whole is conducted in the rudest and most slovenly manner. The richest ore is pounded with stones upon a board by hand, then washed and burnt with charcoal. The lead, when extracted from the furnace, is carried to Kástro, where the silver is separated in the proportion of two or three drams to an oke of 400 drams. When the present shafts are exhausted the mines will probably will be abandoned" [1].


Definite information about the exploitation of the silver-mines is to be found in a ferman of 1775. The document tells us that the lessee of the mines was a certain Çavus Zade Ahmed Efendi. The rayas, it would seem, were most dissatisfied with him. In a report to the Sultan, they accuse the lessee of not showing the slightest interest in the progress of the mines but only in the impoverishment of the inhabitants. "By his various exactions, by the imposition of fines and by imprisonment", they complain, "he has reduced the inhabitants to such a condition that they have become useless for work in the mines". They indignantly demand that Elhaci Ahmed (one of the Sultan's bodyguards) should be appointed governor for a period of six years, and that he should administer these mines in the way that other mines are administered. They themselves, they say, undertake to contribute within a year, and in three down-payments, the sum of 25.315 kuruş to the public purse (this being the statutary amount). To this they propose to add a further prepayment of 55.000 kuruş such as Çavus Zade Ahmed had paid, together with an additional sum of 10.000 kuruş to safeguard the public purse against any loss or damage. They go on to affirm — and this is particularly significant — that for the payment of the above sums "those engaged in the mines, the villages attached to the mines, and the rayas proclaim themselves collectively responsible and expressly guarantee to pay annually to the Imperial Mint 400 okas of silver at 80 kuruş per oka and a weight of 500 staters at the state appointed price". Following the accusations and complaints of the rayas, the Sultan ordered Mehmed Pasha, governor of the sancak of Thessalonica, to institute



1. Lascaris, Salonique, pp. 30-31.


2. Leake, Travels, 3, p. 164.





an inquiry into these matters and to make a report accordingly [1]. Unfortunately the absence of information on the subject prevents us from knowing the sequel. However, it is a noteworthy fact that, according to the Turkish document analysed above, the miners and the inhabitants of those villages that came under the jurisdiction of the mines banded together to undertake themselves the exploitation of the mines and carry out the obligations to the Porte as outlined. The Turkish document thus provides us with the solution to a problem which has absorbed the attention of many a historian: namely the genesis and development of this wide-spread network of mining villages in Chalcidice which was functioning in the years preceeding the War of Independence.


In examining the federation of villages and the new methods of exploiting the mines, we shall base our account on the British traveller David Urquhart, who, while confirming what has been previously related, also describes the events which must have occurred subsequently to the publication of the ferman of 1775. He states that the Porte did in fact decide to entrust the exploitation of the mines to the surrounding villages and that they were under the obligation to deposit with the treasury a fixed proportion of the production of the mines. By this means the Porte believed it would put an end to the repeated instances of corruption in the mines on the part of the various Moslem officials and stem the continued diminution in their output [2].


Once this decision was made known to the villagers, they decided, of their own volition, to organize themselves into a company for the better carrying out of their obligations. In this way (and it is the only example of its kind in the annals of Greek communities) was instituted a federation of villages, formed of miners and other types of workmen. Urquhart relates that the federation consisted of 12 larger villagers and 360 small ones [3]. I think the second number cannot be correct; for apart from the first 12 villages, where could room be found for the other 360 within the narrow confines of that section of Chalcidice?


The federation was officially recognised and received full confirmation in a ferman which defined the area within its jurisdiction and which released the inhabitants from any other obligations in exchange for the deposit of a fixed sum. The tax paid during the last years preceeding the outbreak of the War of Independence was 550 pounds of



1. Ahmed Refik, Türkiye Madenleri, pp. 42-43.


2. Urquhart, The Spirit of the East, vol. 2, p. 110.


3. Urquhart, ibid., vol. 2, p. 112.





silver. In practice, however, the peasants submitted to a kind of obligatory service without pay. This required of every single peasant his personal labour with no profit to himself, in as much as the extracted metal represented the revenue to be deposited with the Porte [1].


On the basis of their own special agreement with the Porte, the inhabitants of the Mademochória were obliged to come under the authority of the maden emin, i.e. the director of mines. This official combined in his own hands both political and constabulary authority, without however having any power to interfere in the internal affairs and activities of the community. The maden emin became in reality an independent ruler, owing no obligation to either the paşa or the judicial authorities (mekkiameh) of Thessalonica. The villagers who worked in the mines were released from all other government imposts. As regards the payment of the haraç the federation compounded with the collector of the paşalık.


Each village belonging to the mining federation had its own separate organization for its internal administration. But from every head-village a single representative was chosen, who with the representatives of the other head-villages, formed a twelve-member central committee or government for the village federation. Urquhart perceives in this type of government the influence of the monastic community of Athos [2]. The 360 smaller villages were attached to one or other of the head-villages, and in this way each member of the central committee could be said to represent that body's view [3].


Any question affecting the community as a whole was debated separately by each village, and then its representatives aired their views at the general meeting of the community's central committee. In any case where unanimity was lacking, members returned to their own head villages and the matter in question was discussed a second time. For a decision to be regarded as finally ratified, it had be sealed with the seal of the central committee. This seal was composed of twelve separate pieces, one of which was entrusted to each head-village. When there was unanimity, the separate pieces were surrendered and the whole seal could then be applied [4]. In this application of a composite, common seal we have irrefutable evidence of the influence exerted by the method



1. Urquhart, The Spirit of the East, vol. 2, p. 112.


2. Ibid., vol. 2, p. 113.      3. Ibid., vol. 2, p. 115.      4. Ibid., vol. 2, pp. 113-116.





of government adopted by the monasteries of Mount Athos.


The details of these institutions, which were not written down and not governed by accurately defined rulings, escaped the notice of Urquhart, doubtless because he lacked the time to delve deeper into the problems in question. Nevertheless, greatly taken by this original idea for achieving common agreement, the British traveller closes with the following passage: "But whatever the principles of its administration, this was essentially a mining, joint-stock company, and might be supposed to be indebted for its prosperity solely to the success of the speculation, for which alone it was primarily established. It was bound in a heavy sum to the government, as rent for mines, which it was not likely could ever be worked with advantage, under the management of a committee of small farmers. The speculation naturally turned out a most unfortunate one; and, for several years previous to the Revolution, the mines had ceased to be worked at all; yet so chary were they of the institutions granted on this condition, that no supplications were made to Constantinople to be relieved from its burdens, when they were attended with no profit; nay, Spanish dollars were regularly bought and melted down and sent to the mint as if just extracted from the mines. They asked no exception on account of their poverty; claimed no remission on account of their exhaustion; but anxiously contributed the requested amount, in the wonted form, to check all inquiry, and to take away all pretence for annulling a contract which, as a speculation had been unfortunate, but which had been so inestimable in granting them the free exercise of their own administrative intelligence, which gave them, in unshackled industry and in the undisturbed possession of their exuberant soil, greater treasures than in its hidden veins" [1].


Urquhart's description of the working of the mines has been somewhat idealized because many years had elapsed since the inhabitants had worked them, and he did not know under what conditions the peasants lived between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th. Cousinéry gives us some interesting details on this period. He describes the village which was at that time the head of the federation: this was Liaríngovi (present-day Arnaía), which then possessed about 400 houses. Being a large village, it was naturally burdened more than any other with obligatory labour in the mines, and provided 100 workers every year, who were no doubt relieved by turns. Their wages were so low that the various communities made contributions so as



1. Urquhart, The Spirit of the East, vol. 2, p. 116.





to lighten the burdens on their families. The maden emin kept a watchful eye on the production of the metal and on the payment of the state dues. It appears that he used to put pressure [1] on those inhabitants who found difficulty in fulfilling their financial obligations. Α typical case was the imprisonment of one of the relatives of a notable of Liaríngovi [2]. Hence the liberty of the Greeks in Chalcidice cannot have been as absolute as Urquhart maintains [3].


The English traveller Dr. Hunt provides us with an instructive account of conditions in the mines, as they existed in the year 1800: "On entering the town of Ísvoros [Stratoníki] we immediately waited on the Bishop, whom we found to be a young man of talents and learning. In the evening we walked to the silver mines, and observed that the range of hills has been worked very extensively during a long period. Our guide told us that the ground was hollow for many miles around us. We saw about a hundred workmen employed in breaking the lead ore, drawing it from the mines, and smelting it in a very slovenly manner. The principal mine is about fifty yards beneath the surface; we observed five or six furnaces, and the double bellows used by them are worked by water-wheels. On making some inquiries concerning the plan on which they proceed, the following is the result collected by us in a conversation carried on by means of an interpreter. Α speculator who can raise a few thousand piastres [kuruş] buys the right of digging a certain extent of ground for a year from the Porte, to whom the royalty belongs; a band or gang of workmen join him in the undertaking. The original speculator then purchases machinery, erects furnaces, makes charcoal, and is at the whole expense of setting the gang at work. The produce of their labour is then divided; all the lead is the property of the Sultan, a fifth part of whieh is granted to the Ağa who collects the revenue of the Sultan. The latter has also a monopoly of the silver, for which he previously stipulates to give eighteen piastres per oke (not so much as three shillings an ounce) to the party who has obtained the licence to work the mine. The sum received for the silver is at the end of the year thus shared: one seventh part to the person who advanced the money; and the remainder to the workmen according to a scale previously settled.



1. Cousinéry, Voyage, vol. 2, p. 141. See also Walpole, Memoirs, 1, p. 229.


2. Cousinéry, ibid., vol. 2, p. 141.


3. On the exactions of the maden ağa (emin) or of his representatives, see Lascaris, Salonique, pp. 30-31.





It appears, however, that the richest veins have been exhausted, and the mines are worked by almost compulsory means. The labourers told us, with tears in their eyes, that during the last two years their division had not amounted to more than 2 paras [akçes] a-day, but that the Sultan insisted on the works being carried on. About four or five thousand okes of lead are now produced annually, and about 50 okes of silver reach the mint at Constantinople; but we were told that one vein has been known to produce four hundred okes of silver in a year, and that ore has sometimes been found so rich as to give six dirhems of silver out of an oke (400 dirhems) of leed; though the present average is only about two dirhems and a half of silver to the oke of lead" [1].


In order to supplement the information provided by travellers about the Mademochória, Paparregopoulos took the precaution of sending to the region a man of his own choise, who could collate the accounts given by the oldest inhabitants. These accounts agree on most points with that of Urquhart, but they do give us a number of supplementary details besides. For instance, we learn that the 12 larger villages which made up the Mademochória were the following: Galátista, Vávdos, Ravná, Stanós, Varvára, Liaríngovi, Novosélo, Mahalás, Ísvoros, Choroúda, Reveníkia, and Hierissós. The capital of the community was Mahalás. (Cousinéry and Hunt both state it as being Liaríngovi). To Mahalás were sent the 12 representatives of the larger villages, and they in turn chose four 'archons', called by the Turkish term 'vekilides' (Turkish, vekil — a representative). Assisted by a clerk, the 'vekilides' occupied themselves during their year of office with the various problems of administration and justice within the federation. The maden ağa (see fig. 180) represented the Porte throughout the region in question, employing in his service about a score of Turkish soldiers. The maden ağa was not permitted to mix himself up in the internal affairs of the Mademochória; his authority was confined to the execution of the decisions of the 'vekilides'. He lived in a stone-built tower, while his retainers were lodged in a wooden building in Mahalás (both these buildings had been constructed at the expense of the community).


Up to 1805 the villages belonging to the federation came directly under Constantinople, and the maden ağa was sent out to them from the capital. This arrangement was however revoked in 1806, when Ismail Bey of Sérres succeeded in obtaining the Porte's sanction to his own right of appointing or dismissing the maden ağa. But his jurisdiction



1. Walpole, Memoirs, vol. 1, pp. 227-228.





went no further than this, and he had no power to interfere in the internal organization or working of the community. This state of affairs lasted until 1819, when the peasants of the Mademochória sent a representative of their own with full powers to Constantinople and requested that the appointment of the maden ağa should, as formerly, be made by the Porte itself. The power of choosing a maden ağa was in fact withdrawn from the Bey of Sérres, and a new maden ağa was appointed, who remained at his post until May 1821, that is to say until the outbreak of the War of Independence in Chalcidice in 1821.



Fig. 180. The tower of maden ağa in Stágeira

Fig. 180. The tower of maden ağa in Stágeira.

(Photo Petar Mavrodis)



The inhabitants of the Mademochória were under an obligation to pay into the treasury of the Porte 220 okas of fine silver. In addition, every family had to pay down in a lump sum the value of a prescribed amount of wheat and barley for the sustenance of the maden ağa, of his soldiers and of the 'vekilides' [1].



1. K. Paparregopoulos, Ἱστορία τοῦ Ἑλληνικοῦ Ἔθνους, ἔκδ. ἑκατονταετηρίδας, Athens 1932, vol. 5, part 2, p. 119. At the end of the 19th cent. the Mademochória were 9 in number (Schinas, Ὁδοιπορικαὶ σημειώσεις, vol. 3, p. 490).





The life and organization of the village federation was seriously disrupted by the insurrection. After a series of disasters the inhabitants moved away to other parts. Some did in fact return later, but the villages were never again restored to the tranquil and orderly conditions they had enjoyed aforetime. The old organization of the mining company had ceased to play an active role. The villages now came under the jurisdiction of the paşa and kadı of Thessalonica, and it was from here that the maden ağa was posted, vested with the power of life and death over the villagers. What is more, the peasants were obliged to pay the haraç and other taxes paid by the rayas generally [1]. They were also saddled with the expense of maintaining a force of 1.000 Turks to guard the mines; and it was not until 1830 that they were finally absolved from this burden [2].


Another group of villages in Chalcidice was that known as Hasikochória, or Hásia. It consisted of 15 self-governing communities which lay to the south-west of the Mademochória region and included the whole of the ἥμερα βουνὰ (the 'tame mountains') as these cultivated uplands were called, as well as the area stretching as far as Toronaíos and the Thermaïc Gulf. The northern portion of the region embraces that district known from Byzantine times as Kalamaría, and is one of the most productive parts of Macedonia (see map 15). Each village had its own ἄρχοντες, who were distinguished — as was the rule all over Greece — chiefly by their extensive property and the considerable prestige they enjoyed throughout their respective localities. There were, in addition, a number of councillors, who were sent to Polýgyros (a small town of 600 families), the headquarters of the Turkish ağa, who Ieased from the Porte the right to farm revenue. Representatives from all the villages assembled at Polýgyros to debate the apportionment of taxes and various other matters that concerned them. With the exception of the Turkish çiftliks and the monastic estates pertaining to the Holy Mountain (see fig. 181), all the land in these parts belonged to the Hasikochória. It included some particularly good pasturage, and land which produced quantities of high quality wheat, cotton, honey, wax and so on. The inhabitants also engaged in silk-worm culture, particularly important in the two main towns, Polýgyros and Ormýlia, which alone possessed between 400 and 500 looms [3].



1. Paparregopoulos, Ἱστορία, vol. 5, part 2, p. 120.


2. Vasdravellis, Ἀρχεῖον Θεσσαλονίκης, p. 521.


3. Leake, Travels, 3, pp. 162-163.





There was yet another small village confederacy formed by 12 villages situated on the Cassandra peninsula and centred on Válta, the seat of a Turkish voyvoda. The main villages were Áthytos, Válta, Fourka, Kalándra, and Ayía Paraskeví (see map 15). They produced much the same products as the Hasikochória, though the villages also possessed a large number of small sailing vessels and larger craft [1].



Fig. 181. Farm-house belonging to the Monastery of Ayiou Pávlou, with Byzantine tower. Cassandra, on the west of the Toronaios Gulf

Fig. 181. Farm-house belonging to the Monastery of Ayiou Pávlou, with Byzantine tower. Cassandra, on the west of the Toronaios Gulf, where the refugee settlement of Néa Phôkaia lies today.

(Photo S. Iordanidis)



Writing at the beginning of the 19th century, Urquhart states that Cassandra had some 700 or so families, of which 600 were of smallholders, while 100 lived on estates on the peninsula that were leased from the Holy Mountain. They owned 500 ox-drawn ploughs [2] and 700 oxen, not to speak of cows, horses, flocks of sheep and goats amounting to 20-30.000 head in all. Wealth was distributed proportionately throughout the community, and in this respect the area may be said to have surpassed all other communities of a similar nature in Western Europe. Moreover, Cassandra enjoyed political, religious and social rights such



1. Leake, Travels, 3, pp. 163-164. See also Lascaris, Salonique, pp. 30-31.


2. Urquhart, The Spirit of the East, vol. 2, p. 74. On the three types of plough used in Chalcidice, see interesting information on pp. 74-75.





as were unknown among the nations of Western Europe at that time [1].


From the Gulfs of Chalcidice and Orfanoú building-timber and fire-wood was shipped to Thessalonica, Crete and Egypt. Large quantities of timber and fire-wood were also concentrated upon the Gulf of Rentína or Kontéssa. Stretches of the coast adjoining the gulf were covered with dense forests, but other parts had been denuded as a result of the mines in that area [2].


The last town before Mount Athos was Hierissós, whose population was wholly Greeks. It was administered by its community leader, the πρωτόγερος, or koçabası [3].


On Athos itself, a certain amount of information can be culled from the accounts of contemporary travellers, though these add little that is new to what knowledge of its organization one has been able to extract from accounts of earlier Russian pilgrims and from the French traveller Belon, and the Englishman, Covel. However, it is worth mentioning that when J. D. Carlyle passed through Athos with Dr. Hunt in 1801, he was particularly impressed by the monastery of Vatopédi, which was the largest and richest on the peninsula [4]. Carlyle made some interesting observations, too, on the monastery libraries and the manuscripts they contained [5]. The monastery of Ayíou Pávlou — considered Slav at the end of the 15th century because of the large proportion of Slavs amongst its monk — was by this time counted as Greek, having for some centuries past adopted the Greek liturgy [6]. The monastery of Zográphou was Bulgarian, as was also its liturgy, although all the monks understood Greek [7]. At the period under review, the monastery of Esphigménou had been partly rebuilt after being destroyed by fire, and contained less than half a dozen monks. The few manuscripts it possessed were in Bulgarian [8].


What with the expenses of free hospitality traditionally provided



1. Urquhart, The Spirit of the East, vol. 2, p. 75.


2. Lascaris, Salonique, pp. 30-31.


3. Walpole, Memoirs, 1, p. 225.


4. See A. Angelou, J. D. Carlyle's Journal of Mount Athos (1801), «Ὁ Ἐρανιστὴς» 3 (1965) 39-40. See other details recounted by Hunt in Walpole, Memoirs, vol. 1, p. 199.


5. Angelou, ibid., pp. 50 ff. 53, 62-63. See also Walpole, ibid., 1, pp. 202, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 215, and elsewhere.


6. Angelou, ibid., p. 53.


7. Angelou, ibid., p. 62. See also Walpole, ibid., 1, p. 217.


8. Angelou, ibid., p. 66.





to pilgrims, the upkeep of the monastery buildings, the interest paid on loans, not to mention the numerous exactions on the part of the Porte, the monks found themselves in difficult financial straits and were obliged to turn for assistance to the Orthodox Christians both inside and outside Greece. And so the tours of the mendicant monks went on [1].


In addition to their monastic duties, the monks of Mount Athos busied themselves, as in centuries past, with agriculture, bee-keeping and sericulture. There were always, of course, the hermits, who preferred a total withdrawal from life, in order to concentrate their whole attention upon God [2].


Economic and administrative questions never ceased to occupy the monks. Means of safeguarding their estates from the rapacious attentions of numerous Turkish officials, the renewal and perpetuation of their various privileges and their immunity from tax, all tlıese were a constant headache for the Athos community. They struggled unceasingly to have such matters regularised, whether by the Sultan Abdul Hamid I (1774-1789) or later by Mahmud II (1808-1839) in 1809 [3]. These vital questions led the Holy Synod to delegate special ἐπιστάται (or προϊστάμενοι,) in Thessalonica and Constantinople; and from the middle of the 18th century a number of distinguished citizens were designated as the Synod's permanent representatives in those two cities. They were recognized as ἔϕοροι by both the Turkish government and the Oecumenical Patriarch. Members of the Athos community were also appointed as ἐπίτροποι, first at Constantinople and later at Thessalonica [4].


At the close of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th, and particularly between the years 1748 and 1813, eight of the small monasteries of Athos — Xenophóntos, Esphigménou, Sîmonos Pétra, Rosikón, Karakállou, Zográphou and Koutloumousíou — became cenobitic once more [5].



1. See details from Hunt in Walpole, Memoirs, 1, pp. 199, 218-219.


2. Beaujour, Tableau, 1, p. 123. See various items of information in Clarke, Travels, 2, pp. 388-394, on the life of the monks, the manuscripts in the libraries, etc.


3. I. K. Vasdravellis, Φιρμάνιον διακανονισμοῦ ϕορολογικῶν θεμάτων, προνομίων καὶ ἄλλων τινῶν παρεμϕερῶν ζητημάτων τοῦ Ἁγίου Ὄρους, «Μακεδονικὰ» 6 (1964-65) 256-265.


4. Alex. Lavriotis, Τὸ Ἅγιον Ὄρος, ΕΕΒΣ 32 (1963) 127-128.


5. Hasluck, The First English Traveller's..., BSA 17 (1910-1911) 128. Leake mentions seven, leaving out Zográphou. Also, instead of Koutloumousiou he has Kastamonitou [Travels, 3, pp. 133-134). See on pp. 114-151 numerous details on the monasteries, the hermitages, and the cells of Mount Athos at the beginning of the 19th century.





In 1783 the sixth "Typicon" of the 'Community of the Holy Mountain' was compiled and undersigned by the Oecumenical Patriarch. Like earlier documents of the kind, this settled various questions to do with life on Mount Athos: the relationship between the monasteries and their dependent hermitages (ἐξαρτήματα), the monks' change of residence from one monastery to another within the confines of the Holy Mountain, their "journeys', trade, and so on [1]. The monastery archives provide some useful information about the Turkish administrator on Mount Athos, the zabıt haseki ağa [2], as well as about the journeys of the monks, the exploitation of the community's sources of wealth: forestry, lumbering, cattle-rearing, etc. [3]. It is evident from such documents that despite an increase in income from various sources, for a host of reasons the monasteries' finances continued to be very unsteady. The debts incurred by the community as a whole (arising from the haraç and from numerous special tàxes) proved particularly difficult to discharge, and the situation became at times almost impossible for the monks. These communal debts — the sum total tended to fluctuate until the Revolution of 1821 — were a constant source of anxiety for the Athos fathers, and are dealt with in a separate section [4].


For all this, the steady economic, cultural and political advance that was registered from the middle of the 18th century amongst the Greeks as a whole, brought a perceptible improvement in the finances of the Holy Mountain. Especial credit, however, must be given to the rulers of Wallachia and Moldavia for the disinterested generosity they displayed in support of the Athonite community. New buildings were constructed, mostly of brick and dressed stone [5]. Numerous monasteries, large and small, as well as hermitages and small retreats had to be rebuilt after torrential rain had caused heavy damage on Mount Athos on 2 September 1820 [6].


For all its sacred isolation, the Holy Mountain did not remain untouched by the forces of ordinary wordly life in the towns and country-



1. Alex. Lavriotis, Τὸ  Ἅγιον Ὄρος, p. 128.


2. Ibid., pp. 150-156.      3. Ibid., pp. 186-198.      4. Ibid., pp. 217-238.


5. Gedeon, Ἄθως, pp. 152-317. Hasluck, The First English Traveller's..., p. 129.


6. See a detailed description of the calamity in I. Mamalakis, Διήγησις περὶ Ἁγίου Ὄρους ἐν καιρῷ τῆς ἐπαναστάσεως τοῦ 1821, ΕΕΦΣΠΘ 7 (1957) 227-228.





side (see fig. 182); nor was it uneffected by the serious hostilities enacted in the North Aegean and on Macedonian territory, if not throughout the Balkans generally. This was particularly true of the Orloff expedition and the series of disturbances that took place from that time ownwards. Moreover, with the rise in the Holy Mountain's revenues and the founding of the Athonian Academy, the various necessities of life began to multiply within the Holy community itself. This was particularly noticeable at Karyés, where the influx of workmen, artisans and new pupils



Fig. 182. Representation of the Kalamalianós dance, on a fresco of 1739, in the monastery of Gregoríou on Mount Athos

Fig. 182. Representation of the Kalamalianós dance, on a fresco of 1739, in the monastery of Gregoríou on Mount Athos.

(Ang. Hadjimichali, L'art populaire grec, Athens 1937, p. 79, 1)



altered the well-known picture of monastic quiet into a hive of noisy activity. Commercial houses were opened and workshops of every kind appeared. There were weaving-sheds, dying-sheds, tailor's shops, shoe-makers', culters' and gun-smiths' establishments, etc. etc. This unceasing invasion by laymen and 'pseudo-monks', as the documents of the period call them, brought in its train a slackening of moral fibre. This question at times perturbed the Athonite fathers, and the Oecumenical Patriarchate. In spite of repeated decrees that issued from conventions





held on the Holy Mountain and of Patriarchal edicts which from time to time served to curb or even curtail for a while the spread of irregularities and disturbances, the permanent presence of laymen in Karyés has lasted to our day [1].



Α Window of the Monastery of Xeropotamou

Α Window of the Monastery of Xeropotamou 



1. Alex. Lavriotis, Τὰ  Ἅγιον Ὄρος, pp. 239-251.


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