27 March 2015

The Dynatoi in the Morea, 1400-1460

This is an entry for people who like lists.  Over the last several years I have collected all the names I can find of the dynatoi in the Morea, nearly 200 of them.   I wrote about this earlier. As you will see, I haven't completed tidying up the sources, and I have been adding and subtracting names as I try to refine my idea of dynatos.  The late Palaiologean administration was intensely inbred and conservative as you will see from the names. I do not include the names of kapetanioi  or Greek kefali after 1460, nor do I include the few Greek names from Venetian territories who are called archons.  These are all from the despotates. Google's software did not maintain my tidy columns, but perhaps you will find the names interesting.  People who don't like long lists of Greek names should perhaps stop reading here.





Angelos dead physician Mazaris 91 1416
Argyropoulos Ioannis emissary to Milan for Thomas PP4.247

Asan Ioannis Doukas Angelos Palaiologos Rallis Laskaris Tornikes Philanthropenos Megaspilion
Asan Ioannis/Giovanni elected in Albanian revolt [1453]
Asan Mathaios Palaiologos kefali Corinth for Demetrios PP4.265

Avouris Andreas Patras Ger.VI.19
Avouris Nikolaos Patras PP4.231. Ger.VI.22 [1440]
Basilikos Ioannis oikios, Constantine PP4.13
Basilopoulos Antonio Patras Ger.VI.19
Bessarion Basileios monk Mistra [1430s]

Bokhales Demetrios land bro. Nik Sath
Bokhales Manuel kefali Gardiki, escaped to Corfù Sphr. XL [1460]
Bokhales Theodoros blinded by Thomas Musachia 331

Bua Petro archon list 1454 list
Chalkokaïdis Ioannis Patras. Notary, chancellor for Thomas Ger.VI.25 [1456]

Chalkokondyles George fa. of Laonikos Cyr V ]1447]
Chalkokondyles Laonikos gifted young Athenian/Mistra Cyr V [1447]

Chandakenos Ioannis diakonos Ag. D, Mistra Z 2.318
Chatzikis Manuel Laskaris official for Constantine Mistra fresco [1445]
Cheilas Nikeforos Prinkeps Mistra monody [1433] [1448] [1452]
Christophoros officer in Frankish town near Koroni Cyr C
Christophoros metropolitan Koroni [1439]
Demetrios hegemon Nauplion letter from Amiroutzes
Demetropoulos Konstantinos landholder near Aigion #5345
Dermokaïtes Demetrios Palaiologos strategos Patras PP4.231 Pal #141 [1440]
Diplovatatzos archon list 1454 list
Dokeianos Ioannis Mistra Z 2.316
Dositheos metropolitan Monemvasia Z 2.278 [ca.1431]
Doukas Nikephoros Palaiologos Malakes owned medical ms Mazaris n90.3, 90
Doxas kefali Kalavryta, flayed Sphr. XL [1460]
Eleavourkos archon, fought Manuel, esc. to Nauplion Mazaris
Erastopoulos Theodoros Patras for Thomas Ger.VI.21 [1438]

Eudaimonoioannes Ioannis mesazon in Morea for Constantine Sphr. XXVII #6221
Eudaimonoioannes daughter married Mathaios Asan #6221
Eudaimonoioannes Nikolaos emissary for Manuel/fa of Ioannis #6223 [d. 1423] S 1.117 Th 1757
Eudaimonoioannes protostrator SM 4 f.2, Thiriet #2835.

Eugenikos Ioannis Mistra PP

Frangopoulina landholder, Vresthena & Chelidovouni #91772
Frangopoulos archon list 1454 list
Frangopoulos Demetrios landholder, Vresthena #91772 [1456]
Frangopoulos Leon protostrator, kefali Androusa Sphr.XVI. [1428]
Frangopoulos Ioannis protostrator, generali mou, stratopedarchos Marinescu 136. PP4 .. Eun.
Frangopoulos Manuel Th 1744 {1429]

Gemistos Andronikos oikios Demetrios, son of G.
Gemistos Demetrios oikios Demetrios, son of G.
Gemistos George oikios John, Th; judge PP4.173

George stratopedarches for Constantine, Karyopolis Cyr V
Gides Thomas Palaiologos Patras Sphr. XLVII [1460]
Georgios metropolitan Veligosti Z 2.284

Graitzas Andreas Palaiologos [unclear -Mouchli Ch 10: 51 Pal #181
Graitzas Constantine Palaiologos Salmenikon Pal #180
Graitzas Theodoros Palaiologos Venice son of Andreas Pal #181 [d. 1511]

Gregoras Demetrios Mamonas tower at Prinikon from Const. Z 2.200
Iagros Markos Palaiologos stratopedarchos, amb. to V Sath. 1.90
Isakios sebastos tzaousios, Geraki Philippides-Braat #83
Isidoros Bishop Monemvasia, Cardinal of Russia [1412-30] Eug. letter

Ispanos Nikolaos Mani PP4.15 [1440]
Ispanos Petros Mani PP4.15 [1440]
Ispanos Theodoros Mani PP4.15 [1440]

Ioachim metropolitan Patras Z 2.291 [early 15th]

Kantakouzenos Constantine son of I; kefali Vostitza for Con Cyr C [1447] [Count Pal/Lat.] #81
Kantakouzenos George Palaiologos (Sachatai) grandson of Matthaios PP4 . . . [1431] K#67
Kantakouzenos Ioannis Palaiologos kefali Corinth for Constantine Cyr V [1447] Sphr. XXVII [1446] #80
Kantakouzenos Manuel (Ghin) pseudespotes son of George #83
Kantakouzenos Thomas Cyr I [1444]

Kavakes archon list 1454 list
Kavakes Andreas V. gov for Mani Sathas 4:37 [1478]
Kavakes Demetrios Rallis Mistra, copyist to Italy Z 2.214
Kavakes Manuel S 1.126 [1422]
Kavakes Michael grant of property from Thomas PP4.239

Kladas Krokondylos(2) surr. Ag. Georgios, received Elos Sphr. XL [1460]
Kladas Thomas landholder, Mani Sathas 5.33
[Krokondylos Karitena Philippides-Braat #90]
Krokondylos opposed Manuel II Mazaris

Lampoudios kefali Astros [1407]
Lampoudios Mathaios sebastos Morea, then Florence Z 2.320

Laskaris Alexios Eug. letter
Laskaris Alexios Philanthropenos kefali Patras/informed Const. emp. Sph. XVII [1429] XXVII [1446]XXIX [1448]
Laskaris Athanasios oikeios; Venice, Ferrara for Asan/Dem PP4.266 [1450?]
Laskaris Demetrios Asan kefali Corinth for Constantine, Mouchli Cyr #1 [1444 Cor.,1445 M]
Laskaris Ioannis to Venice? Th 1362 [1410]
Lazaros first secretary to Thomas Sphr XXXVIII [1458]
Leodorikes Ch9.9 [1460]

Leontaris Andronikos Iorga 3.265 [1451] SM4m f68r
Leontaris Bochalis rebelled, blinded Chalk. 8.36.
Leontaris Demetrios Laskaris battle of Echinades encomium [1428]
Leontaris Demetrios Laskaris grandson of/ letter from Bessarion Z 2.334
Leontaris Manuel Bryennios Kyriakides [1438]

Liminetis Nicholaos notary, Mistra Z 2.318
Loukanes Nikeforas Corinth, surr. to Mehmed Sphr XXXVIII [1458] d.1460
Malachies metropolitan Corinth Z 2.295 [1446/7]
Malakes Nikeforas Doukas Palaiologos (Chalivoureas) dr at Mistra Mazaris 65 Pal #190 [1415]

Mamonas Demetrios Gregoras Prinkipas from Constantine PP4.17
Mamonas Gregory Palaiologos Monemvasia, bro.-in-law Sphrantzes Sph. V Pal #163 [d. 1407]
Mamonas wife of GP sister of Sphrantzes Sph. V
Mamonas Paul fa. of Gregory megas doux? Loenertz short chron.

Markos metropolitan of Corinth, raised with Sph Sph. XXVI
Matthaios Bishop, Gortynia Philippides-Braat #87 1427/8
Mavropapas archon list 1454 list

Melikes Manuel Rallis bridge at Karitena Philippides-Braat #89 1439/40
Melikes Helene Asanina Palaiologina wife of MRM Philippides-Braat #89
Melikes Matthaios Asan Palaiologos Rallis arg.l for Mantinea Z 2.201 Sath. 5.35

Melissinos Nicholaos son of Nik Z 2.112
Melissinos Nikephoros protostrator, kefali Androusa Z 2.112

Matthaios metropolitan of Lakedaomon Z 2.286 [ThII]
Methodios metropolitan Lakedaimon F/F Z.2.286 [1439]
Michael sakellarios, musician, Mistra Isidore 22 n.d.
Moschos Demetrios scholar Mazaris n70.9
Moschopoulos Ioannis Th1115 [1405]
Moulgarios kefali Sikyon Ch7.27 [1446]
Neapolites Nicholaos notary, then judge, Patras Ger. 216, 226 [1430/40]
Neilos metropolitan Lakedaimon Tito 294 {1409]
Nikon metropolitan Vresthena Philippides-Braat #81

Padiates Andronikos Laskaris kefali, Androusa under Const. Sphr. XVII.3 1429
Padiates Alexios Laskaris kefali, Vostitza under Const. Sph. XVII.3 1429

Pagomenos archon list 1454 list

Palaiologina dau George Kant/wife Nic. Pal #87 [?1460]
Palaiologina Aikaterina wife of Thomas
Palaiologina Hypomone nun at Peplinitza PP4.239
Palaiologina Kleope Malatesta wife of Theodoros II [d.1433]
Palaiologina Theodora wife of Constantine [d.1429]
Palaiologina Theodora Asanina wife of Demetrios
Palaiologos Christoforos Asan Iorga 2.8 [1438]
Palaiologos Constantine despot
Palaiologos Demetrios despot
Palaiologos George fa-in-law of Bokhales. mesazon PLP 21447
Palaiologos Helena Asan m. Manuel Rallis Melikes
Palaiologos Ioannis kefali Mani for Constantine Cyr 5 Pal #164
Palaiologos Ioannis Kantakuzenos Patras for Thomas/Constantine Ger. VI.21 [1438]
Palaiologos Manuel/Nikolaos handed Monemvasia to V #88
Palaiologos Manuel buried at Brontocheion [d.1423]
Palaiologos Manuel phrourarch Monemvasia-Pope Pal #183 [1460]
Palaiologos Michael kefali of Vassilicata for Constantine Ger. VI.17 [1430]
Palaiologos Theodoros II despot
Palaiologos Thomas despot

Paraspondylos Isaak protostrator Sathas 5: 34 [1466]
Paraspondylos Zoe sister, wife of Demetrios Palaiologos

Pepagomenos Demetrios doctor monody [1433]
Pepagomenos George son of Demetrios Eugenikos letter [1436?]
Pepagomenos Nikolaos son of Demetrios Eugenikos letters [1436?]

Philanthropenos archon list 1454 list
Philanthropenos Alexios Laskaris kefali Vostitza, kefali Patras Z 2.332 [1437/8]
Philanthropenos George
Philanthropenos Manuel cousin Man.II, amb. to V Th. 1758 [1420]

Plousiadenos Ioannis metropolitan Methoni Z 2.280 [14792-50]
Proinokokokas defender of Kastritzi, flayed Sphr. XL: 5.
Prosphonematikos Joseph letter to Demetrios PP4.211 [1450?]
Pyropoula wife of Thomas
Pyropoulos Thomas oikios Constantine PP4.14

Rallis prisoner of Carlo Tocco Tocco3633
Rallis Monemvasia PLP #24099
Rallis Andronikos Palaiologos emigre Taranto moved to Methoni, Corfù [1469]
Rallis George Palaiologos emigre Taranto Sphr XXXIX Pal #195 [1458]
Rallis Ioannis built mill on V territory [1430]
Rallis Ioannis Oises carries message to Milan, pope for Th. PP4.242 [1460] Sphr. XLI
Rallis Manuel Oises archon list, kefali Androusa 1454 list
Rallis Michael Oises fought with Venetians, impaled Sphr XLIII [1466]
Rallis Paul emigre Taranto Pal #195
Rallis Thomas landowner; attacked Sphrantzes Sphr. XIX
Raoulaina wife of George/dau. George Kantakuzenos #86 [?1460]

Rhosatas Ioannis Patras PP4.231 [1445] Sph. XIX [1429]
Sarantaris Antonios hegoumen, Artokosta, Kynouria Philippides-Braat #85
Sebastopoulos Nikolaos protostrator for Thomas Sphr. XXXIX [1458]
Serapion monk at Mistra Eugenikos, PLP#25169.

[Sgouromalles] archon list 1454 list]
Sgouromalles Mathaios Palaiologos surr Karitaina, bro. wife of Loukanes Z 2.215 Sphr XL [1460] Pal #177

Solianos son of George stratopedarchos Karopolis, Mani Cyr V
Sophapoulos Nikolaos land, Mani Sath. 7.XIII


Sophianos archon list 1454 list
Sophianos Manuel emigre to England [same?] Harris 1467
Sophianos Manuel Asan carries message to Mantua for Thomas PP4.238

Spanopoulos Constantine landowner, Patras Ger. VI.16
Spanopoulos Ioannes Patras Ger.VI.19

Sphrantzes Alexios son of G & H, died 8/1448 Sphr. XXVIII
Sphrantzes George kefali Patras, Elos, Mistra Sphr. XVI.7 1428/9
Sphrantzes Helene Palaiologos Tzamplakon Sphr. XXIV [1438] Pal #126

Souliardos Michael Ag. Moni/Areia Z 2.304 [1489]
Stamatelos son of Patras, wounded by Sphrantzes Sph. XVII
Tarchianotes Ioannis Mistra -- w. Bessarion in Rome Harris [ca. 1458]
Trivolis Demetrios copyist Mistra Z 2.21

Tzamplakon Ioannes Palaiologos carries message from Florence to Thomas PP4.246 [1455]
Tzamplakon Kavallarios oikios of Manuel, senator Mazaris 10
Tzamplakon Kyonides with Thomas against Demetrios Sphr XXXIX:5.

Xanthopoulos Demetrios document from Demetrios Palaiologos #91772, Vranoussi 1980: 350
Xanthopoulos Ioannis document from Demetrios Palaiologos #91772, Vranoussi 1980: 350
Xanthopoulos Michael document from Demetrios Palaiologos #91772, Vranoussi 1980: 350




20 March 2015

"Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children."




Every spring I know less about what I am seeing, or, the ratio between what I know and what I am seeing is smaller. I had not before realized the mortality rate among crows. A crow could live 20 years and more, but few seem to survive past two years. These pictures I took last week at breakfast indicate one reason why, but it is one of the less common reasons.  At least fifty crows were mobbing an eagle that had one of theirs in its claws.






We had fewer crows than usual over the winter, and this spring there are only three I recognize. Washcrow and Her are not breeding this year, but they visit frequently, and spend time sitting companionably, apparently watching the two of us sitting companionably.  I have seen Washcrow for 4 years now, since he was brought to our feeder as a fledgling. One of last year's young -- I can't tell if it is Wow or Futhark -- talks to us frequently.  A handsome gleaming male I do not recognize comes to the feeder to collect food for his mate -- he will feed her for the three weeks of brooding, and then for the 5+ weeks until the young fledge.



There is great difficulty defending the crow feeder from the seagull, and the ground-feeding birds are at great risk from the neighbor's cat which usually lurks under our car. The Oregon juncos, normally ground feeders, have learned to graze at the squirrel and crow feeders, so they are safe. Sometimes ground means "ground," and sometimes ground means "flat" instead of "perch."



The raccoons discovered the crow feeder last year – it is on the porch outside my bedroom – so I have been leaving cracked corn and peanuts in shells for them. They come irregularly. There is a beautiful male, a very shy female with a tiny face, a pair of twins, a female with two young. Sometimes at night, in downtown Washington DC, and park-side Seattle, there is a horrible squealing shrieking noise. I identified that sound long ago as the sound of something being eaten, and would lie in bed feeling miserable when I heard it. Recently I discovered it is the sound made at the encounter of two raccoons who have not been previously introduced, and that it need not involve violence at all, though I think two were fighting Tuesday night.  I have also learned that raccoons are not particularly afraid of humans, or of us, and if one starts to leave from anxiety, s/he can be persuaded back: the soothing tones you use for babies and pets are equally successful with raccoons.



We keep a steady supply of black-capped chickadees who tell us when the feeder needs refilling, or when we are in the wrong area of the yard. There is a nest in the bathroom window frame, and in summer I can lie in the tub and listen to little scratchings and chirps. Chickadees can live up to 12 years, and I don't know if the same chickadees come back to the window frame  year after year, or if we have had dozens of residents since the house was built in 1905.




From 4 in the morning until after supper, the yard is full of small fragments of music. The birds are calling while the owls are still out, while I am talking to the raccoons. When the sun is up the sounds give the sense of showers of glitter. "Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children." I don't recognize all the calls, but we -- and the neighbors and the park --have robins and house finches and varied thrushes, song sparrows, Townsend's warblers, wrens, juncos, and now bush tits. The tits were absent all winter, but now they are back with dozens of babies, so small they look as if you could grab a dozen at a time. There are so many finger-sized pine siskins that the feeders have to be refilled every second day.




We have made a good start on a small plantation of meleagris where it can be admired from the sidewalk, and a hellebore garden in the damp under the nut tree in back. I have become enthralled with hellebores.





                                     
                               Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
                                                                   T.S.E. "Burnt Norton."







13 March 2015

A new Chalkokondyles



the concluding page of the 1318 Herodotos belonging to George Gemistos Plethon, 

used by Bessarion in 1436, belonging to Laonikos Chalkokondyles. 
The bottom, faded, inscription is the only surviving writing by Chalkokondyles.



The intellectual world of Mistra mostly dissolved in the disorders of the Morea after 1453. George Gemistos Plethon died in 1454 (or 1452: there is disagreement, but 1454 suits my purposes better).  Chalkokondyles and his teacher Gemistos had had many conversations over the past few years comparing the progression and personalities of the Ottomans, with what Herodotos had to say about the Persians. After the Fall of the City, which surprised none of them, Gemistos told him it was his responsibility to write a new Herodotos to explain current events, and presented him with his own copy in which he had made correctionsAfter Gemistos died, Nikolaos Chalkokondyles, in his mid-20s, left Mistra, with the Herodotos . John Eugenikos left that year for Trebizond: perhaps Chalkokondyles took the opportunity to go with him and collect material on Trebizond. He ended up in Constantinople -- Eugenikos seems to have gone to Constantinople, and family members were in business there. 

This is what I imagine happened: we have no information one way or another, but there are a number of reasons to think he was writing in Constantinople.

Exhilarated by Gemistos' confidence, Chalkokondyles wrote at the end of the Herodotos – you can barely see it above on folio 340v – “[Belonging to] Laonikos the Athenian. It seems to me that the Greeks displayed a virtue greater than what is merely human, and that they made a demonstration of deeds such as to amaze us when we learn about them in our inquiries.  They were also fortunate to have a herald who himself did not fall far short in worth of the deeds themselves, I mean Herodotos of Halikarnassos, who recounted these events in the way in which each happened, in a manner akin to a divine procession." 

He was going to be the new herald, and he began: Laonikos the Athenian has written here the events that came to his attention during his lifetime, both those that he witnessed and those he heard about. . . . In my opinion, those events are in no way less worthy of being remembered than any that have ever taken place anywhere in the world. I am referring to the fall of the Greeks and the events surrounding the end of their realm, and to the rise of the Turks to great power, greater than that of any other powerful people to date.”

I have recently been delighted to acquire copies of Anthony Kaldellis' new two-volume translation of Chalkokondyles, and a third companion volume, A New Herodotos which is a gracefully-written analysis of what we can know about Chalkokondyles, his ideas, and his sources.  Kaldellis has wrestled with Chalkokondyles' murky prose -- if he was writing a new Herodotos, he was trying to use Thucycides' language -- and made it lucid. Working back and forth with these books has provoked my speculations.

It is the ending, though, that gives a memorable view of Chalkokondyles.  He had intended to write nine books, like Herodotos, and Book 9:78 has a sort of ending, one he would have improved had he had time to revise and clean up his text.  But August 1461 was not the end of the history of the Ottomans and the Greeks, and he kept writing. (He had also acquired good material on Vlad the Impaler he had to use.)  But the Histories sputter to an unplanned ending early in 1464 with the Ottoman-Venetian war, and the last several pages are a feverish jumble of remarkable fragments of information and errors.  Kaldellis comments in his notes, on the incoherence of the last sentences.  In these last pages we are watching Chalkokondyles forcing himself to write until he knows he has come to his end. His last sentence is a formal act of reverence to Thucydides.  He wrote:ταῦτα μὲν τοῦ χειμῶνος ἐς τὴν Πελοπόννησου ἐγένετο / That, then, was what was happening that winter in the Peloponessos." Thucydides had ended his third book:  “ταῦτα μὲν κατα τὸν χειμῶνα τοῦτον ἐγένετο . . .," and other books similarly.

It has been thought he died of plague but we don't know: plague arrived in the Morea in August 1464 and travelled north, although it is not reported in Constantinople until 1467. It could have been plague.  There is certainly an impression of the effects of  high fever on the mind. 

The manuscript of his book got into the hands of George Amiroutzes, who stuffed in a great deal more information about Trebizond than Chalkokondyles had found it necessary to include. (The first copy was made after Amiroutzes had finished.) This makes me wonder whether Chalkokondyles had heard about the incident in Florence (he himself would have been only about 7 then), an intense discussion between John VIII, Amiroutzes, Bessarion, and Isidore of Moscow who were supporters of Union, against Mark Eugenikos and Gemistos who opposed it. Amiroutzes berated Eugenikos so humiliatingly that Gemistos intervened, only to be shouted down. John said nothing to stop or reproach Amiroutzes, "nothing of solace" (πρὸς θεραπείαν) to Gemistos. Cyriaco of Ancona was at the Council of Union: he met young Chalkokondyles nine years later at Mistra when the boy was about 17. Already interested in history, Chalkokondyles showed him the ruins of ancient Sparta.

The manuscript of Herodotos you see above was in Rome in 1480, in the hands of the copyist Demetrios Rallis Kavakes who was from Mistra. 


06 March 2015

For my guests


I think of my readers as my guests, and so often – as on my trip to Greece in late fall – I have been your guest. If you were my guest in Seattle, depending on when you arrive, some of these might please you as much as they do me.


Spring flowers.




The Queen and her frog. 





 Dried  plants from the yard.




The new book table.
                                                                                                                                      
                                              

            

Feelie stones in Peter's bowl.




 Oilcloth and sweetpeas.




Theo's owl . . .





. . . and our walking sticks.





Cuneiform written by juncos.




 Legs.




 Theo's pig.




Dutch flower arrangements.




Christmas.








27 February 2015

Restorations at Mistra: Questions

Palace, August 1994




Palace 2001.



Palace 1978 to help explain reconstruction below.


Palace, October 2014


So I took my grandchildren to see Mistra last October. Readers of this blog know that Mistra is my passion and the focus of my scholarship. No one can be blamed for the rain: it had already rained in Nauplion for a week, and it continued raining in Monemvasia.

But once again the palace was behind barricades. It has been closed to visitors for more than 20 years. A whole generation of scholars has written about Mistra without ever being inside its single most important secular building. A whole generation of tourists has been turned away from the most comprehensible structure on the site. It is all well and good to publicize that Mistra is a World Heritage Site (and that produced a great deal of funding), but despite the interminable restoration, stabilization, and reconstruction projects, there is less to see than when I was a regular visitor in the late 70s.

A great many houses are being rebuilt, but they were well along in the rebuilding process according to The Monuments of Mystras, edited and mostly written by Stephanos Sinos, published in 2009, and very expensive and very heavy. These house are still not completed and open to visitors.  I will not get into the disappearance of the rest room from the Pantanassa, or the majority of the walkways that are extremely dangerous to those of us who are no longer young.


So this entry is an inquiry: What is going on at Mistra? I hope readers will tell me what they know, either in the Comment section below, or privately at nauplion@gmail.com.



19 February 2015

Excavations at Nauplion's Castle of the Franks


The Castle of the Franks, Grimani map ca. 1712.

Wall and tower shown below directly in the center.


The Greek Archaeological Service has after many years taken up work again on Akro-Nauplion with large projects in the Castle of the Franks. In November, thanks to Ioanna Christoforaki, I was shown over the sites by archaologist Natassa Basileiou and two of her colleagues.  It could not have been a more inconvenient day for them because of organizational changes, but they were generous with their time and humor and information, and it is a great pleasure to know that these are the people who are the future of the Archaeological Service.


 Archaeologists Eirini Oikonomopoulou,  
Kostis Boundouris,and Anastasia Basileiou. 


Visitors to Akro-Nauplion have a certain familiarity with the great merloned Venetian cross-wall built in 1470 during the Venetian-Ottoman War because there the road is forced to turn abruptly right and go through a narrow bend to gain access to the bell tower and then the hotel further down. Up on the hill behind this Venetian wall is a cross-wall with a large square tower in the center built by the Franks probably 250 years earlier to defend against Greek Nauplion. The Archaeological Service has uncovered the remains of the square tower, and has identified remains of the cross-wall at the bell tower.



The Castle of the Franks, Francis Schaefer, 1936.
Cross-wall and tower, left; central tower with frescoes, right.
Bell tower, top left.




Remains of square Frankish tower. 





                                                                   End of Frankish cross-wall at bell tower.




Inner entrance to tower with frescos.


As part of the restoration project for the tower, the interior fill deposited over the centuries has been removed, and the inner approach to the tower cleared down to the base. I did not ask where Schaefer had found the child sacrifice but it was much on my mind.


View of frescoed chamber with Angel barely visible above
on plaster over arch of Roman brick.




When Francis Schaefer saw the tower frescos in 1956, he thought them in good-enough condition so as to need no restoration work. When I saw them first in 1977 – knowing only that they were “Frankish” – I could make out almost no details. That winter the tower chamber was sealed and the subsequent deterioration was rapid. In the last two years they have been restored to the extent possible -- and the photo above shows how very pale they are now.  None have the color or show the marvelous detail of the small Angel of the Ascension on the overhead arch.  

The photographs below that I was able to take are underwhelming, but they have been much brightened and the colors intensified with Gimp.  The identifications are those made by Francis Schaefer. The frescos are dated between 1291 and 1311, and were probably created by Greek painters for Frankish employers.


Ornamentation shown on right of previous photograph.



Warrior before Gimp.




Warrior after Gimp.




St. Anthony.




 Bishop. 




Saint.





Some information thanks to Monika Hirschbischler, “The Crusader Paintings in the Frankish Gate at Nauplia, Greece,” in Gesta XLVI/1 (2005) 13-30.