Institutions, Hierarchy, and the Flock of the Orthodox Church in the Balkans in the 1600s and 1700s as Shown by New Documents from the Ottoman Archive in Istanbul
[Rev. of: Mutafova Krasimira, Kalitsin Maria, Andreev Stefan, The Orthodox Structures in the Balkans during the 17th–18th Century according to Documents from the Ottoman Archives in Istanbul, Veliko Tarnovo: Abagar, 2019. 672 p.]
More than two hundred documents from the “Bishops’ files” (Piskopos Kalemi) Collection at Istanbul Ottoman Archives at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic (Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivleri), recently published for the first time by Bulgarian scholars of Ottoman Studies Krassimira Mutafova, Maria Kalitsin and Stefan Andreev, reveal multifaceted practices of Orthodox Balkan church institutions’ interactions with the Ottoman authorities from 1684 to 1788. The review deals with the typology of the published documents and the information they contain regarding the fiscal activities of the patriarchy of Constantinople and the patriarchies of Ohrid and Peć (which were incorporated into the Constantinople patriarchy in 1757–1758) towards their Orthodox flock in the Balkan provinces of the Ottoman Empire. The accent is made towards conflicts between the church institutions and the Christian population, as well as contradictions within the higher Orthodox clergy. The importance of personal information on some hierarchs and of data concerning territories and centers of the dioceses is underlined. The author concludes that the reviewed publication provides abundant material for research on the status and functions of the Orthodox hierarchy in the administrative system of the Ottoman Empire in the 17th and 18th centuries.
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