SASA Guest: Kriton Chryssochoidis’ Lecture ‘Mount Athos between Byzantine and Ottoman Age and the Serbian Heritage’

As part of the SASA Guest programme organized by the Department of Historical Sciences of SASA, Kriton Chryssochoidis, PhD, Emeritus Research Director of the Department of Byzantine Research at the Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation, will give a lecture titled ‘Mount Athos between Byzantine and Ottoman Age and the Serbian Heritage’ at the SASA Grand Hall, on Monday, 27 May, at noon.

The Serbian rule over Mount Athos established in the 14th century did not interrupt the inner life of the monastery, the management institution of Mount Athos community or a favoured position it had enjoyed within the Byzantine Empire. Quite the contrary, Mount Athos gained new privileges while advantageous interventions of Byzantine emperors continued and expanded.

From the mid-14th century until the early 15th century, four (or possibly five) monasteries, listed among great Mount Athos independent monasteries, were re-established, revived or completely restored by Serbian officials, while a considerable number of smaller monasteries or cells were founded or occupied by Serbian monks.

Hence, when the Ottomans took over Mount Athos in 1423/24, the Serbian presence on Mount Athos was strong and marked. Powerful Serbian semi-independent or vassal local lords or influential figures in the family circle of an Ottoman sultan (for example Mara Branković) dedicated themselves to protecting and helping Mount Athos monasteries in various ways during the first difficult decades of adapting to the new political reality.

Serbian monks’ firm hold in the ethnic mosaic of the community of Mount Athos was particularly evident during the first decades of the 16th century. Notable Serbian monks played an important role in the central administration of Mount Athos, contributing to the stabilization of the administrative institutions of the monastic state, forming at the same time the first more distinguished circle of Mount Athos scholars after the Ottoman conquest.

A live stream of the event is available at LIVE STREAMING