Relations between the Ottoman central administration and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria: 16th-18th centuries
Çolak, Hasan (2013)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham
This dissertation is of very high interest because it is, to my knowledge, the only treatment of the subject by an Ottomanist, using Ottoman archives. It does much to dispel the idea that the Ottoman government treated these patriarchates as totally under the authority of Constantinople....
Abstract: This dissertation seeks to understand the relations between the Ottoman central administration and the Eastern Patriarchates. Against the current literature submitting these patriarchates to the authority of the Constantinopolitan patriarchs in the period following the Ottoman conquest, we suggest that such exclusive focus on the role of the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate prevents one from seeing the true networks of power in which the Eastern Patriarchates were engaged. To that end, in addition to the major patriarchal and missionary sources a large corpus of unpublished and unused Ottoman archival documentation has been consulted. During the first centuries of the Ottoman rule the Eastern Patriarchs benefited largely from the local Ottoman legal and administrative bodies, semi-autonomous provincial rulers, and foreign courts. In early 18th century, alongside the rise of Catholic missions among the Orthodox flock and hierarchy, and of a wealthy and powerful lay class supported by the central administration, a patriarchal elite class with close affinities to Istanbul began to interact with the Eastern Patriarchates. Getting closer to the offers of the central administration, in both administrative and economic terms, these patriarchates’ relations which were formerly dependent on local and foreign dynamics were largely replaced by the new networks supported by the central administration.