Central administration versus provincial arbitrary governance: Patmos and Mount Athos monasteries in the 16 th century


Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, vol.32, no.2, pp.189-202, 2008 (Scopus) identifier


The confiscation of monastic properties ordered by Selim II in 1568 served as a catalyst precipitating a process of negotiation and mutual accommodation between the centre -represented by the sultan and his jurisconsult- and the periphery articulated by the monks. Even in formulaic imperial orders, it is apparent that the monastic communities successfully negotiated the terms for the normalisation of the affair, whereas the jurisconsult accommodated the Porte's interests to the local society's needs. On the local level, the judge functioned as a mediator, addressing the monks' requirements, even if he had to transgress a number of Islamic rules and imperial orders. Thus, this case study illustrates the gradual transformation of a polity in dialogue with local communities. © 2008 Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham.