Post-Byzantine ruling elite in the Ottoman Empire in the second half of the XV century

Authors: Krylov A.O. Published: 23.05.2023
Published in issue: #3(101)/2023  
DOI: 10.18698/2306-8477-2023-3-848  
Category: The Humanities in Technical University | Chapter: Historical Sciences and Archaeology  
Keywords: post-Byzantine elite, Ottoman Empire, Gennadius Scholarius, Ottoman elite, Byzantine aristocracy, Iltizam, Patriarchate of Constantinople

The paper considers fate of the ruling elite of the Greek and Slavic states conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the XV century. It shows that representatives of the former Byzantine nobility of the Orthodox elite were able to maintain power and influence under the rule of the sultans. Certain Byzantine aristocratic archons converted to Islam and joined the ranks of the Ottoman ruling elite. Others tried to secure positions without sacrificing their faith, i.e. the way passed by tax-farmers, merchants and financiers. At the same time, descendants of the archons, Christians and Muslims maintained connections and supported each other. The Patriarchate of Constantinople was in the eyes of the Ottomans the biggest payoff. This led to the fact that the Orthodox episcopate in the empire was completely dependent on influential laymen connected to the finances. “Financialization” affected the life of the monasteries. The Byzantine intellectuals’ community suffered the most from the conquests, only Gennadius Scholarius and his student Matfey Kamaryot remained from the luminaries of education in the 1440s in the Ottoman Empire.

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