"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, May 31, 2013

19th Century Greeks and Constantinopolitans

Peter Lang has recently published two books both treating Greek Orthodox Christians in the nineteenth century: Maria Mandamadiotou, The Greek Orthodox Community of Mytilene (2013), 250pp. 

About this book we are told:
This book focuses on the modernization of the Greek Orthodox community of Mytilene the capital of Lesbos, an island located in the north-east Aegean the changes it underwent, and its responses to the ever-changing political situation between 1876 and 1912. The author argues that the position of leading community members, particularly journalists, and their receptivity towards the social and political changes of the period, went hand-in-hand with their 'ethnic' and political aspirations for the role of the Greek Orthodox ethnos in the Empire. In relation to the competition among various 'imperialisms' and 'nationalisms' then developing around Mytilene's Christians, the author shows that Ottoman reforms were successful in encouraging them to co-opt local interest such that concern for the growth of the specific community was directly linked to the survival of the Ottoman Empire.
Peter Lang is also reprinting an unsurpassed tome from the turn of the twentieth century: Ivan Sokolov, The Church of Constantinople in the Nineteenth Century: An Essay in Historical Research (2013), 1025pp.

About this book we are told:
Ivan Sokolov's work, first published in 1904, begins with a balanced overview of the situation of the Orthodox Church under Ottoman rule from the fall of Constantinople (1453) to the beginning of the nineteenth century. The author then gives a detailed description of the external situation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople from 1789 to 1900. This is followed by a discussion of the career and activity of each patriarch during this period, their relations with the bishops, their initiatives in the field of education, their regulations concerning marriage, and their work with parishes and monasteries. The book concludes with a thorough analysis of the administration of the Patriarchate during these years. Although written over a hundred years ago, this classic work has not been superseded. It is based on original sources, particularly on the patriarchal archives, to which few scholars have had access. No other existing study deals with the nineteenth-century Ecumenical Patriarchate in such a systematic and specific way. It constitutes an invaluable tool of reference. Translated from the Russian.

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