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L. Rautman, “Ignatius of Smolensk and the late Byzantine monasteries of Thessaloniki,” REB 49
(1991), 143“69, with extensive bibliography.
31 MM, vol. ii, nos. 660 (July 1401), 661 (July 1401), pp. 518“24; Anagnostes“Tsaras, p. 56. On
these monasteries, see R. Janin, Les ´glises et les monast`res des grands centres byzantins (Paris, 1975),
e e
pp. 406, 345“6; on Prodromos, see also Rautman, “Ignatius,” 159“60.
32 Esphigm´nou, no. 30 (Feb. 1393); see pp. 88“9 above. On the monastery of Akapniou, see Janin,
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´
Eglises et monast`res, pp. 347“9; Rautman, “Ignatius,” 151“2.
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94 Thessalonike
to the ¬sc that Byzantine religious foundations were legally allowed to
alienate property with the consent of an archbishop.33 Thus, we observe
here two distinct ways in which a Thessalonian monastery was nega-
tively affected by the Ottoman expansion in Macedonia, ¬rst by becoming
subject to con¬scation before the city™s conquest and afterwards by the
economic strains resulting from the monetary impositions of the con-
querors. It is also striking, in terms of the contrast between the conditions
of urban and rural monasteries underlined above, that for the right to pur-
chase the property which Akapniou was compelled to sell, three Athonite
monasteries “ Koutloumousiou, Chilandar, and Esphigmenou “ vigorously
contested with each other, the last acquiring it in the end.
If, on the other hand, Akapniou managed temporarily to regain pos-
session of its holdings in Achinos after 1387, during the same period the
Ottomans seized from the monastery another piece of land situated in the
village of Kollydros and gave it to the Nea Mone of Thessalonike.34 What
we have here is a perfect illustration of the differential treatment accorded
by the Ottomans to certain monasteries within the city that won their favor
somehow. Further inquiry into the affairs of the Nea Mone brings to light
other incidents that bear hints of its dealings with the Ottomans. These
concern, if not always directly the monastery itself, at least certain indi-
viduals who were associated with it. It might be recalled, for example, that
in 1389 Alexios Angelos Philanthropenos donated a small convent to the
Nea Mone after having made arrangements with the Ottomans.35 Inciden-
tally, back in 1384 Alexios had already made another donation to the same
monastery. The property in question then was his kastron of Kollydros.36
In view of the fact that the land which the Ottomans took away from
Akapniou and gave to the Nea Mone was situated inside the village of
Kollydros, it may be postulated that the monks of Nea Mone, aspiring to
have control over the entire terrain, approached the Ottoman authorities

33 Esphigm´nou, pp. 173“4.
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34 MM, vol. ii, nos. 453 (Jan. 1394), 454 (Jan. 1394), 660 (July 1401), pp. 200“3, 518“20. On the
´
Nea Mone, see Laurent, “Une nouvelle fondation,” 109“27; Janin, Eglises et monast`res, pp. 398“9;
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Rautman, “Ignatius,” 153“7. It should be pointed out that caution must be used in dealing with
references to grants and con¬scations since they do not always necessarily indicate real awards or
losses for monasteries. For example, among the Ottoman documents of the Blatadon monastery in
Thessalonike, a ferman dated 1446 records the bestowal of 20 units of imperial land and exemptions
from certain taxes. A later ferman dated 1513 reveals, however, that these lands and tax immunities had
originally been given to Blatadon by Murad II in exchange for other lands of the monastery which
this Sultan had con¬scated: I. Vasdravelles, «Istorik‡ ¬Arce±a Makedon©av, vol. iii: ¬Arce±on Mon¦v
Blatt†dwn, 1466“1839 (Thessalonike, 1955), pp. 1“2; Vryonis, “Ottoman conquest of Thessaloniki,”
p. 313.
35 See p. 90 above and note 23. 36 Lavra, vol. iii, no. 150 (Jan. 1384).
95
Thessalonike under foreign rule
after 1387 and negotiated with them the appropriation of the plot of land
in the same village belonging to a rival Thessalonian monastery.
One more detail to be noted in connection with the associations between
the Nea Mone and the Ottomans is that during the years following the
second capture of Thessalonike (1430) the monastery is seen holding busi-
ness relations with a Turk to whom it leased a linseed oil press it possessed
in the interior of the city.37 Thus, on account of its good relations with the
Turks, the Nea Mone, founded around the third quarter of the fourteenth
century,38 prospered during the period of Ottoman domination and sur-
vived the ¬nal conquest of Thessalonike. In the interval between the two
Ottoman dominations, on the other hand, the monastery seems to have
temporarily suffered from a diminution in the revenues it received from
one of its properties (an aÉlž) within the city, which further demonstrates
how much its prosperity was connected with the advantages it enjoyed
under Ottoman rule.39 By contrast, the much older Akapniou (founded
c. 1018), which is described in early fourteenth-century documents as the
“revered, great, imperial, and patriarchal monastery” and which seems to
have been associated with the Palaiologan dynasty,40 started undergoing
major dif¬culties already during the Ottoman siege of 1383“7 and steadily
declined thereafter, even though it too survived the ¬nal conquest of the
city in 1430.
It is hence evident that, despite exceptional cases like the Nea Mone,
Thessalonian monasteries generally suffered in varying ways and degrees,
sometimes directly at the hands of the Ottomans as we have already seen,
and sometimes indirectly as a result of the confusion and uncertainty that
accompanied the establishment of the Ottoman regime. Even the city™s
highest ranking religious leader, its archbishop, was not entirely averse
to grasping some advantage from the new circumstances created after the
arrival of the Ottomans, as the following example will demonstrate. In 1401
the archbishop Gabriel of Thessalonike received a letter from the patriarch
of Constantinople, who openly accused him of having unjustly appro-
priated a ¬shery (bib†rion) that belonged to the Prodromos monastery.
This monastery, it may be recalled, had been seized by the Ottomans
in or shortly after 1387. Thereupon its monks had taken refuge in the

37 Ibid., no. 168. But the monastery canceled its lease with the Turk in 1432 and signed a new contract
with a Greek called Constantine Manklabites, who seems to have offered more advantageous terms.
38 For the date of foundation, see Laurent, “Une nouvelle fondation,” 115.
39 Lavra, vol. iii, no. 163 (March 1415).
40 X´nophon, no. 20 (1324), line 24; Chilandar, vol. i, no. 38 (1318), line 7. Cf. Th. Papazotos, “The
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identi¬cation of the Church of ˜Pro¬tis Elias™ in Thessaloniki,” DOP 45 (1991), 124“5.
96 Thessalonike
monastery of Akapniou, and according to Gabriel they had consequently
lost their rights over the remaining properties annexed to the Prodromos.
The patriarch, however, rebuked Gabriel for having taken away from these
unfortunate monks that which even the Muslim conquerors had spared
them and ordered him to correct his wrongdoing at once by returning the
¬shery to its rightful owners.41 Interestingly, before becoming archbishop
in 1397, Gabriel had served as the superior of the Nea Mone and was indeed
the very person who had received in the name of this monastery the plot
of land situated in the village of Kollydros which the Ottomans had seized
from Akapniou.42
About the same time in 1401 Gabriel became the subject of yet another
criticism from the patriarch of Constantinople for his loose conduct in a
particular matter which also serves to illustrate how under Ottoman rule
the precarious situation of the monasteries inside Thessalonike presented
every so often an opportunity for gain to others. The issue concerned the
aforementioned monastery of Saint Athanasios, which the Ottomans had
con¬scated in or around 1387. Later they decided to dispose of it, and
the superior of the Pantokrator (Blatadon) monastery, Theodotos, claimed
rights over it, pretending that it used to belong to his monastery even
though it had actually been attached to the monastery of Hexazenos. The
Ottoman of¬cials, either because they believed him or because they engaged
in some kind of a deal with him, gave the small monastery to Theodotos.
The latter demolished its cells, turned it into a secular structure, and sold
parts of it, including its church, to a Turk. When the patriarch found
out about this, he immediately wrote to the archbishop Gabriel, objecting
to Theodotos™ act on the following grounds: ¬rst, the superior of the
Pantokrator had usurped another monastery™s property; secondly, he had
secularized it; and thirdly, he had sold it to a non-Christian. The third
issue was the most distressing one from the viewpoint of the patriarch,
who cited in this connection various canonical regulations prohibiting the
alienation of religious property to lay Christians so as to emphasize how
much more inadmissible the sale of such property to a non-Christian was.
He then instructed Gabriel to redeem the monastery of Saint Athanasios
from the Turk by returning the money the latter had paid Theodotos
for it. The property was subsequently to be restored to the monastery

41 MM, vol. ii, no. 660 (July 1401), pp. 518“20.
42 On Gabriel and his ties with the Nea Mone, see B. Laourdas, “ «O GabriŸl Qessalon©khv.
Biografik†,” ¬AqhnŽ 66 (1952), 199“214; V. Laurent, “Le m´tropolite de Thessalonique Gabriel
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(1397“1416/19) et le Couvent de la N”a Monž,” «Ellhnik† 13 (1954), 241“55; Laurent, “Une nouvelle
fondation,” 109“27.
97
Thessalonike under foreign rule
of Hexazenos and Theodotos deposed.43 Here, as also in the case of the
Nea Mone, we observe ¬rst of all that certain monasteries in Thessalonike
conducted economic exchanges (e.g. sale or lease of property) with the
Turks which seem to have been overlooked and tolerated by the city™s
ecclesiastical authorities. Secondly, the case at hand is a clear manifestation
of the attempt made by the administrator of a monastery to turn to his
institution™s advantage the confusion and displacement brought about by
the change of regime in the city which in effect hurt the interests of other
monasteries. Under such unstable circumstances, even those monasteries
that managed to negotiate with and win the favor of the Ottomans may
not have felt fully secure or ¬rmly grounded in their privileged status. Was
it a mere coincidence, for instance, that in 1392 the monks of the Nea Mone
took the initiative all of a sudden to have an act drawn up to con¬rm an
unrecorded donation that had been made to their monastery some sixteen
years earlier? They probably feared that the Nea Mone, too, might after all
become the victim of a con¬scation.44
Yet, on the whole, monks knew that it was possible to negotiate with
the Ottomans, and many tried their chances with them. Prior to the estab-
lishment of Ottoman rule, the monks of Thessalonike were frequently
criticized by the ecclesiastical authorities because of the moral decline that
prevailed among them. The archbishop Isidore continuously accused them
for their insubordination to their superiors, their increasing avarice for
material possessions, and their involvement in worldly affairs, particularly
in political matters.45 Isidore was especially critical of monks who collab-
orated with the civil authorities in the secularization of Church property,
aiming thereby to attain high of¬ces in the Church. He also reproached
some monks who left the monastic habit in order to become involved in
political affairs.46 Against this background that reveals how deeply monks
were entrenched in worldly matters and how they constantly strove to
43 MM, vol. ii, no. 661 (July 1401), pp. 520“4. On the Pantokrator monastery, also known as the
´
monastery of Blatadon, see Janin, Eglises et monast`res, pp. 356“8, 416“17; Rautman, “Ignatius,”
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147“8; on Hexazenos, see P. Magdalino, “Some additions and corrections to the list of Byzantine
churches and monasteries of Thessalonica,” REB 35 (1977), 280“1. The later tradition that the monks
of Blatadon betrayed Thessalonike to the Ottomans in 1430 by advising Murad II to cut off the
city™s water supply is generally rejected. On this, see G. A. Stogioglou, «H –n Qessalon©kh‚ patri-
arcikŸ monŸ t¤n Blat†dwn (Thessalonike, 1971), pp. 162“73; cf. above ch. 3, note 47 and below,
p. 114.
44 Lavra, vol. iii, no. 153 (Oct. 1392), line 19: “N“n d• cre©av genom”nhv poi¤ t¼ par¼n ˆfierwtžrion
gr†mma . . .”
45 Isidore“Christophorides, vol. ii, Homily 16, pp. 254“5, Homily 19, p. 300, Homily 22, pp. 344“5;
Isidore“Christophorides, vol. i, Homily 33, pp. 126“7, Homily 37, p. 186; Isidore“Laourdas, Homily
II, pp. 38“9.
46 Isidore“Laourdas, Homily II, p. 42.
98 Thessalonike
secure their material interests, the emergence of a conciliatory and accom-
modationist attitude towards the Ottomans among monastic circles during
1387“1403 is not as surprising as it may seem at ¬rst sight. Thus, once the
Ottomans came to power, the monastic circles of Thessalonike who had
been among the foremost champions of an anti-Latin/anti-Ottoman posi-
tion not only accepted the status quo and showed obedience to their new
masters, as observed above in chapter 3, but even went one step further
and tried to make the best out of the new circumstances through bargains
and negotiations with them, as we see in the present context.
Before concluding this survey of the ¬rst Ottoman domination of Thes-
salonike, my ¬nal task will be to assess the impact of sixteen years of
Ottoman rule on various aspects of life in the city. First, as regards admin-
istrative matters, some traces of Ottoman practices “ or rather Byzantino-
Ottoman practices, to take into account the possibility of earlier recipro-
cal in¬‚uences “ are attested in the city after its restoration to Byzantine
authority in 1403. Previous scholarship has con¬rmed that the Byzantine
government preserved certain traits of the ¬scal policy exercised by the
Ottomans during their administration of Thessalonike to the extent that
even the Turkish terminology survived occasionally and passed into Byzan-
tine usage.47 One of the clauses in the Byzantine“Ottoman treaty of 1403
that warranted the return of Thessalonike and its environs to Byzantium
stipulated that the tribute (harac) which the Greek community used to
pay to the sultan was henceforth to be remitted to the emperor.48 Thus,
between 1404 and 1409, the term harac is encountered in Byzantine docu-
ments from Mount Athos in its Greek form car†tzin. These documents
demonstrate that the tribute and other taxes which the Ottomans collected
formerly from the villages of Athonite monasteries in the region of Thessa-
lonike were now being shared between the monasteries and the Despot of
Thessalonike in a 2/3 :1/3 ratio.49 On the other hand, the kephalatikion, nor-
mally a special tax payable to the governor (kephale) of a district, appears
in the region of Thessalonike at the beginning of the ¬fteenth century as a
regular tax (of one nomisma per peasant household) often shared between
the state and monasteries. According to Oikonomid`s this transformation
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of a special tax into a regular tax, which was probably accompanied by a
47 On what follows, see Oikonomid`s, “Ottoman in¬‚uence,” 1“24; Oikonomid`s, “Le haradj,”
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´
pp. 681“8; Ostrogorski, “Etat tributaire,” 49“58.
48 Dennis, “Byzantine“Turkish treaty of 1403,” 78.
49 See Docheiariou, no. 52 (original: Jan. 1409, copy: Nov. 1414); Lavra, vol. iii, no. 161 (April 1409);
and the other references cited in Oikonomid`s, “Le haradj,” pp. 682“7. In other regions of the
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empire these taxes were divided between monasteries and the emperor. After 1415 a new ratio of 1/2:1/2
is attested: see Docheiariou, no. 56 (Dec. 1418).
99
Thessalonike under foreign rule
shift in the use of the term kephalatikion to designate thereafter a capita-
tion tax matching in meaning the Turkish bas harac±, must be attributed
¸
50
to Ottoman in¬‚uence.
Another Ottoman residue in ¬scal practices may be observed in connec-
tion with certain novelties in the style and content of early ¬fteenth-century
Byzantine tax registers (praktika) from the region of Thessalonike. Com-
pared with earlier praktika from the same region or with contemporary
ones from other regions of the Byzantine Empire, the ¬fteenth-century
Thessalonian documents are somewhat abbreviated and much less infor-
mative. They simply list the names of heads of households, their ¬scal
status, and their total tax liability, leaving out the names of remaining
household members as well as the enumeration of the taxpayers™ mov-
ables and immovables. As these peculiar features happen to be character-
istics found in early Ottoman registers (tahrir defters), attention has been
called to a likely Ottoman in¬‚uence in the emergence of this new type
of “laconic” praktika in the region following its restoration to Byzantine
rule.51
Apart from administrative practices that bear the stamp of Ottoman
in¬‚uence, perhaps an even more signi¬cant factor to consider in deter-
mining the impact of sixteen years of Ottoman rule is the extent to which
the Turkish element penetrated social and economic life both inside Thes-
salonike and in its surrounding countryside. As far as the countryside is
concerned, early Ottoman chronicles reveal that many villages which had
become depopulated in the course of the Ottoman invasions were inhabited
afterwards by Turks. Some of these Turks were the very people who took
part in the conquest of Macedonia at the end of the fourteenth century,
and some were Y¨ r¨ ks (T¨ rkmen pastoralist nomads) who were forcibly

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