Fragments from early Ottoman Zagori: resilience, adaptation, and transformation within a montane cultural landscape
Current understanding of the early modern montane Greek cultural landscapes focusses on the post-17th century realities of the mountains. For it is in that period the exogenous, mercantile wealth of montane elites is expressed in exceptional domestic and religious architecture and material culture. Zagori, among other regions, is a prime example of that. However, it is often the case that explanations for the “emergence” of this exceptional material culture are lost in simplistic models related, for example, to carrying capacity, or foundational myths positioned ideologically against the Ottoman (Turk) Other. In this seminar we will trace the history of Zagori from the final decades of the “Despotate” of Epirus (early 15th c.) up to the 18th century, investigating change through the agency of those dwelling in the mountains. Issues of resilience, adaptation and transformation will be raised through a combination of archival (local and imperial) sources, ethnography and landscape archaeology.