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submitted by George N Leontsinis on 08.11.2007

The Island of Kythera. A Social History. (1700-1863).

Author: George N Leontsinis

Notable Kytherian. Professor George N Leontsinis

When Published: 1987, 2000

Publisher:
National and Capostrian University of Athens
Faculty of Arts
S. Saripolos' Library
Athens

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Description: Paperback. 452 pages.

A thesis submitted for the degree of
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
(History)
in the School of Modern Languages and European History
at the University of East Anglia, Norfolk, England.
August, 1981.


PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


The purpose of this study is to examine the social history of the island of Kythera from the beginning of the eighteenth century to 1863.

Particular attention will be given to the relationship between social change on the island and foreign domination and to such factors as revo­lutionary behavior, rural rioting, emigration, population growth, econ­omy, education and welfare.
Some may consider the year 1700, the starting point of this study, somewhat arbitrary, but as the eighteenth century has seen the decline of European aristocracy and the displacement of the middle and the land­less peasants, this year was chosen both for convenience and mostly to mark the beginning of an era of social transformation; politics and ideas, besides uncertainty and the awakening consciousness of miserable living conditions, moved the common people of a small island in Western Greece towards a change in the pattern of their society.

While in its broadest outline, this work is placed within a chronolog­ical framework, the subject lends itself more readily to a topical treat­ment. Then, too, it is the writer’s conviction that historical processes do not take place in a fragmented socio-political framework, but in a milieu of dynamic, often conflicting, human aspirations where social, political and economic forces are interdependent. Consequently, the vital areas of demographic change and consolidation, economic and political devel­opment, social evolution, and the rise of educational institutions will be treated not only as self- contained units possessing significant and intrin­sic characteristics, but as integral parts in the evolutionary process of Kytherean society.

The first chapter is an introductory one giving an account of the geographical position and the chronological frame of successive foreign dominations and providing an analysis of the constituent groups of Kytherean society according to the position they occupy in the land tenure and the social division of labour.

Part one which starts with the second chapter examines in broad outline the establishment of the ancien régime during the period of Vene­tian domination, with particular emphasis on the last century of its development. This part also examines the background, origin, evolution and the political and social conditions imposed on the Kythereans by successive Venetian regimes. The object of this chapter is to present a general outline of the inner workings of Venetian governmental institu­tions and their relationships with the island’s political leadership.

The third chapter deals with the revolutionary activity of the lower classes (1780- 1817) — a series of uprisings by the burgesses and peasants
from the last quarter of the eighteenth century to the imposition by the British of the 1817 Constitution. It concludes with a discussion of the results of the changes that came about after these revolts and a survey of the political aftermath of this revolutionary period.

The object of the last two chapters of part one, then, is to focus attention on the ethos of the foreign rulers and of the local population insofar as the interaction of different cultural traditions effected funda­mental social change in the island.

Consequently, three interrelated themes are analysed for illustrative purposes. The first defines the salient features of the ancien régime; the second is concerned with the ancien régime’s essential characteristics, its decline, and revolutionary activity; while the third delves into the political aftermath of the uprisings against foreign domination.

These themes are alternating phases of one and the same political process. They display reciprocity and mutual interaction, so that they cannot be treated as self-contained, isolated subjects, but, rather, the essence of the period under examination.

Part two consists of six chapters dealing severally with certain sub­jects of basic importance to the evolution of Kytherean society. That is to say, they study the functioning of certain structural elements of Kytherean society as it developed with the passage of time. Some ele­ments were discarded, others altered; and some new elements connected politically with four successive foreign occupations were introduced, especially, those connected with the British Protectorate, since this was the longest and because it had an opportunity to adapt itself to the new political and social situation that came in the wake of a transitional peri­od of continuous rebellion by the lower classes against the nobles.

This part also examines the decisive role played by the régime of the
British Protectorate. Following the struggle for supremacy in the Eastern Mediterranean between the Great Powers, each of which used the islands as a strategic outpost, the Ionians accepted British ‘protection’ as inevit­able. For them there was no alternative to protectorate status, especially as they had previously had a taste of the policies of the other great European powers of that time, which in practice meant economic, politi­cal and cultural dependence. The limited mobility that ensued in various fields of activity went just as far as was necessary to serve the working needs of British policy. On the basis of this principle and of the changed socio-political situation then prevailing on the Continent and in Britain, an ostensibly parliamentary system of government was devised and an administrative nobility in a new guise was created, effectively perpetuat­ing the structures of the ancien régime but with broader representation. In education, emphasis was now placed by both sides (foreign rulers and the local leadership) on the need for Europeanisation, but only as much of it as was needed to serve the interests of British policy, to mollify ideological dissenters and to give an impression of the supremacy of the British régime in the Eastern Mediterranean (the Ionian Islands.

This work, apart from some modifications and additions, was pres­ented in its present form as a doctoral dissertation to the University of East Anglia in November 1981 and was accepted by the Department of Social Studies as satisfying the thesis requirements for the degree of Doc­tor of Philosophy. It is based mainly on unpublished archives.

Other primary sources include published archives and documents, monographs, articles, chronicles, memoirs and diaries (published or unpublished). The sources regarded as being of primary importance are those that illustrate the evolution of Kytherean society from the seventeenth century onw­ards. However, equal importance has been attached to certain other sources such as oral tradition, folk songs, proverbs, and the various his­torical monuments and other material objects (churches, schools, librar­ies, lazarettos, fortresses and other buildings, household material, etc.) that have survived on Kythera to the present day.

There is no other scholarly study in existence on the subject of this thesis.

The existing historical writings about the island are based on general works dealing with the Ionian Islands as a whole. They are brief summaries; most of them merely descriptive, and they are therefore listed among the secondary sources for the thesis.

The Kythera Archives, the Bishopric Archives and the private ones contain an enormous quantity of material relating to all periods of for­eign rule. The Kythera Archives especially contain duplicates of the doc­uments of the Central Archives of Venice, and further more a considera­ble number of documents from the latter exists in published form, most notably in the works of G. Pojaco, K. Sathas, S. Spanakis, D. Seremetis, S.M. Theotokis and S.P. Lambros. As far as Kythera Archives are con­cerned, research here was extremely hard work, because the papers are completely unclassified and the various documents were traced from material which was heaped in random piles wherever there was room for it in the building. In the footnotes, if one of these documents is untitled or if its title is excessively long and unwieldy, it is referred to by a concise description of its contents, while every reference lists the date and place of issue and the name of the author or issuing office.

Statistics have been drawn from a wide range of sources, either from censuses cited in the Kythera Archives or from censuses and other doc­uments cited in the Public Record Office.

In the spelling of places, names and surnames, I have attempted to remain as faithful to the original as possible. Italian names are spelled in the original; titles of Greek books and articles are retained in the original language with an English translation in brackets. The titles of Greek periodicals remain in the original but at the end of the Bibliography a list of periodicals, newspapers and other miscellaneous Greek titles is pres­ented transcribed in Latin characters, as well as translated into English. In addition, Greek titles or résumés of Greek Archival material are translated into English; titles of documents in other languages are pres­ented in their original form.

I am indebted to a number of people and institutions for their help with this work. I want, first, to express my gratitude to my supervisor Dr. Morley Cooper, Senior Lecturer of the University of East Anglia; without his assistance, this study could have never been realized. I also wish to thank Professor W.E. Mosse of the University of East Anglia who kindly read the original draft of the first part of my thesis suggest­ing many improvements and Dr. David Barrass for stimulating discus­sions; my examiners Dr. Jim Casey and Professor Robert Rowland for painstaking and helpful criticism; the historian Dr. Louis Kassimatis for his trouble in reading the manuscript and his welcomed criticism; Profes­sor Emm. Protopsaltis of the University of Athens, who was responsible to the Greek “State Scholarship Foundation” for guiding my studies. His encouragement and suggestions helped me to continue my research with much optimism.

A special debt should be expressed to Mr. Spyridon Logothetis who helped me by offering his private archive; also with his knowledge on historical matters.

I should also like to thank all those people of the various libraries and public archives as well as the owners of the private ones who were of assistance to me in my archival work. Also I thank the librarian and staff of the University of East Anglia for all their help, and Mrs I. Copeman for the typing of the thesis.

Special thanks are due to the “State Scholarship Foundation” of Greece for the financial support of my postgraduate studies as well as to the Administrative Committee of the “Saripolos Foundation” of the University of Athens for granting financial assistance to help me to con­clude my research; I also wish to thank the latter for subsidizing the publication of this book.

Last but not least, I wish to thank my wife Dr. Athanassia Glycofry­di-Leontsini, Lecturer at the University of Athens for her understanding, patience and advice over the years. By her critical reading of the manus­cript and her suggestions many short - comings have fortunately been overcome. It is to her and to my daughter Helen that this thesis is dedicated.

July, 1981.

Chapter 1: Introduction.

Kythera (Cerigo) belongs to a group of seven islands in western Greece known as the Ionian Islands. The remaining six are: Kerkyra (Corfu), Kefallinia (Cephalonia), Zakynthos (Zante), Lefkas (Santa Mau­ra), Ithaki (Ithaca) and Paxos together with their out-lying islets. These islands were acquired, piecemeal by Venice between 1363 and 1684. As a result of the fall of Crete (1669) and the Peloponnese (1715) to the Otto­man Turks the Venetians had to confine themselves to the Jonian Islands and their mainland appendages (the small towns of Butrinto, Parga, Preveza and Vonitsa) which are scattered along the Greek coast opposite the northern islands of the Ionian chain.
After the collapse of the Venetian Republic in 1797 the fortune of the Ionian Islands underwent a rapid succession of changes. By the Trea­ty of Campo-Formio (17th October, 1797) the islands were ceded to France by Venice, but the period of French rule was very brief. The Turks were so alarmed by the military campaigns of the French in the Mediterranean during the Napoleonic Wars that they formed an alliance with Alexander I of Russia on 3rd January, 1799 to prevent the further encroachment of Napoleon into Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Near East. The significance of this treaty lies in the fact that it led to a convention between the two countries which established the Septinsular Republic (Treaty of Constantinople, 21st March, 1800). This Republic constituted the first autonomous Greek state of modern times. The influ­ence of French political thought at the beginning of the nineteenth cen­tury is reflected in the constitutions of the Septinsular Republic, the pro­visions of which are full of French egalitarian sentiments and phraseol­ogy. As a consequence of this development the Western Powers became alarmed lest the establishment of the Republic open the way for the Rus­sians to expand into the Mediterranean. Thus, when the Napoleonic armies defeated the Russian forces in the battle of Friedland (14th June, 1807) the subsequent Treaties of Tilsit (7th-9th July, 1807) ceded the Islands to France. They remained under French rule only briefly, how­ever, for they later fell into the hands of the British. In the Second Peace of Paris (20th November, 1815) the Islands were placed officially under British “protection” and were declared to be a “united, free and inde­pendent state”, the United States of the Ionian Islands. Finally, under the terms of two agreements dated 2nd and 14th November, 1862 and 17th and 29th March, 1864, the Ionian Islands were united with the rest of Greece)
This brief historical résumé applies to the Ionian Islands as a whole, and there is no particular connection between the dates of the successive foreign occupations and the chronological sequence of events on Kythe­ra. Nevertheless, it is important for one to be aware of the significant diplomatic developments which allow events on Kythera to be viewed in their proper historical perspective.
Kythera lies off Cape Maleas, the south-eastern point of the Pelop­onnese. It is over 180 miles from Zakynthos and 35 miles from Crete. The smaller island of Antikythera, which has always been a Kytherean administrative dependency, lies midway between Kythera and Crete. Geographically, the two islands are not part of the Ionian chain, nor do they have strong historical connection with it. The geographical and pol­it4cal union of Kythera with the rest of the Ionian Islands came about by chance under the Venetian Republic, but the term “Ionian Islands” was first used in the proclamations of the Russian Admiral Theodore Ushak­ov after the islands were captured by the Russo-Turkish forces in 1798. Kythera was included in the Ionian possessions after the loss of Crete (1669) and the Peloponnese (1715). Until then it had been attached first to Crete and then to the Peloponnese for administrative purposes. Its subsequent dependence on the central government at Corfu (the seat of the Venetian Levant administration) was more a matter of belonging to a political community than an expression of political and economic sub­servience. Kythera’s position, vis-à-vis Corfu, simply meant that the island’s political and cultural links with the Ionian Islands were limited to the Ionian Sea, whereas the bulk of Kytherean trade was still with neighbouring areas under Turkish rule. This situation was made possible by the island’s geographical position which precluded close social and commercial intercourse with the remaining islands in the Ionian chain.
Kythera is a geographically isolated island with barren, stony soil for the most part but, nevertheless, strategically important during times of war and international instability. For this reason fortifications and other defence-works were systematically constructed on the island through­out the period of Venetian domination.
The long period of Venetian occupation saw the introduction and consolidation of an aristocratic régime on Kythera which gradually evolved into its settled form in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The establishment in 1363 of an unusual system of “co-partnership” between the Venetian Republic and the Venier, an aristocratic Venetian family to whom the island had been ceded by Venice immediately after the fall of Constantinople to the crusaders in 1204, was a major date in the era of Venetian domination. Under this system the Venier kept the revenue from thirteen of the twenty-four lots (carati) into which the island was divided, while the Venetian Republic retained suzerainty and administrative control over the whole island and received the revenue from the remaining eleven carati.2
Another decisive turning-point was the introduction in 1573, with official approval from the Government of Venice, of the “Libro d’ Oro”, the “Golden Book” containing the names of the elite who belonged to the “Council of the Community of Nobles”. The Book, similar to the other Ionian Islands, e.g. Corfu, Zante, embodied a socio-political sys­tem loosely modelled on that of Venice. Hitherto the local nobility had been a loosely-defined group with no charter or specific legislation to regulate the conditions of membership.

The Venetians sought from the outset to consolidate their authority. Accordingly, they adopted a tolerant attitude towards the Greek Ortho­dox Church and a patronizing benevolence towards the island’s nobility. In return, these two bodies were expected to control the populace. As a result an oppressive oligarchic rule developed characterized by social inequality, corruption, and venality. The exploitation of the people earn­ing their living from the land, a category commonly described as pea­sants, was a well-established practice.
For more than four centuries, noble rank was reserved exclusively for those who were recognised by the local Venetian authorities as citta­dm1 of Chora i.e. the local nobles of the island’s capital.4 The nobility was the second-highest class in terms of power and civil rights, the high­est consisting of the small number of resident Venetians who kept for themselves the title of “noble” (the local Provveditore, the Venier as partners” of the Republic, and a few settlers or senior officials).
The cittadini were characterized by the high incomes they received from their large holdings of land, and they were also the only persons eligible for the few public offices which the Venetians made available to the local inhabitants. In time the cittadini managed to broaden their civil authority and their social standing but the inferior standing of the citta­dinanza of Kythera compared with the cittadinanza veneta was clear. The former was the offspring of the latter.
Nobility, a social group enjoying some form of legally established hereditary superiority was considerably blurred, like all social categories with an infinite number of local variations. Therefore, it is not surprising that there are differences between the structure and the function of the Kytherean nobility and that of Crete and even more that of the other Ionian Islands; that is why the researcher should direct his attention to the specific characteristics of the local nobility, in order to specify the• particular reasons determining it. To this point, it is necessary to men­tion some ascertainments concerning the creation of this particular social reality and the function thereof, in order to become possible to investi­gate the political will of the foreign and local authorities that, at a cer­tain time, decided to allow to a social reality, harboured since a long time under the influences of the régime of the Venetian dominion, to be officially expressed in the greater area (Crete, Kythera, PeloponneSSe and the other Ionian Islands). This particular social class organized in the Ionian islands acquires its own characteristics within the frame of the function of the foreign régime.
The Venetian nobility of the Metropolis differs from that of Kythera and that of the other Ionian Islands because the latter is shaped, on the basis of the difference of the dominant, sovereign régime and that of the conquered areas of the East. Furthermore, the inherent reality is differ­ent from that of Venice or the other European cities, mainly to the base of the social and economical reality and discriminance, as this was pro­gressively formed in the area of the Metropolis. On the other hand, there are in Venice, during that period, two distinguished social classes, the “nobilità”, to which are destined the higher political and other dignities and a second one, the “cittadinanza veneta”, destined to lower rank positions.
It may be said that the nobility in Kythera, as well as that in the other Greek areas under the Venetian dominion, presents common points with the cittadinanza of Venice. As starting point for the determi­nation of the nobility in the Ionian Islands can be taken a body of nota­bles, formed like the cittadini class in Venice. It is from this lowest start­ingp oint in the organization of the first distinguished class in the Ionian Islands that will be progressively shaped the provincial gentry represent­ing a type of lesser nobility which inevitably expressed itself in terms of certain social distinctions —symbols, dress, diet, education— and often in terms of a certain attitude more or less similar to that of the higher class of the aristocratic régime in the Metropolis.
That is why, it should be stressed here that the establishement act of the Kytherean cittadinanza, or also that of the other Ionian Islands, pro­gressively overhauled its specifications and this means thai the notables (cittadini) of the islands progressively ended to the appropriation of the term of nobles, although the Venetian administration, concerning Kythe­ra and as this is proved by the Code, insists upon characteriSiflg the members of the council as cittadini, a term translated in the manuscript translation by the Greek term polites (iroXirec))

The persistance of the foreign administration in preserving the local cittadinanza as the prevailing class did not mean that the scope of devel­opment of this particular class could remain unchanged. The title of “politls” (iro~~irjç) obtained, within the social system, the most distin­guished position and is opposed to the class of the populani of the quar­ters of the Borgo and the country. On the contrary with Venice, where the new admissions to the nobility were made from the class of the citta­dm1, in Kythera, in Corfu and the other Ionian islands, the admissions of new members in the councils of the “nobles” were made from the class of the populanl.6 But the appropriation of the term of nobles and the formation, in the meantime, of the character of this class as the class of the local nobilità, are elements determining the new social reality. On the other hand, there is not yet any relative petition of this particular class for the redetermination of this specified social starting point. On the contrary, a social self-determination is born, satisfying the members of the community as the distinguished class in their place of residence.
On the other hand, the “bourgeoisie” will progressively emerge from the middle class, as the symptom and the generative cause of the new social and economic facts that are taking a more complete figure in the modern times (18th century). This class did never side with what the Venetian and the local government had specified for the local cittadinan­za from the year (1572) of its official recognition as the first class. Its determination to the social hierarchy had been determined by the term of “cittadinanza
In the course of the time, the Kytherean cittadinanza progresses into a nobilità which forms its own characteristics. The character of the local nobility is formed within a scope of interactions and efforts of self-ad­ministration and acquirement of its proper identity. The word cittadi­nanza has no more its original meaning in the official administration terminology. Now, its content is inherent with a reality establishing it as the first in the social hierarchy. Actually, the term nobllltà, substitutes the term cittadinanza and is combined with the development of a legal status protecting it and progressively differentiating it from the uprising class of the burgesses.

Later on, the nobilità of Kythera will also receive its relative influ­ences from the respective social reality of Crete to which Kythera is sub­ject from 1206 until 1669. The “nobiità cretense” as it exists from the end of the fifteenth century, is influencing Kythera due to the political, social and economic relations of the two areas, while Cretan immigrants are also admitted to the Council of the Nobles, mainly after the subjugation of Crete to the Turks.
During that period, the members of the nobility are trying to find out elements to be imposed and established as the first class in the area, given that the members of the foreign leadership and the Venetian offi­cials are recognized as the governing body. That is why the administra­tion form that is shaped during that stage included the meaning of the self-administration of the foreign and local authorities.
The middle class was numerically small and existed only in Chora. This group consisted of large landowners and what few merchants, tra­desmen and professionals there were there. The remainder of Chora’ s population, together with the villagers in the rural areas, constituted the popolo, the poorest and most humble class of all, while the clergy were included in one of these three classes according to their social back­ground and financial circumstances. Those landowners and other mem­bers of the middle class who were able to support themselves on the income derived from their own property sought the opportunity to be enrolled in the “Libro d’ Oro” as members of the Community whenever a vacancy occurred in the ranks of the nobility.7
At about the beginning of the eighteenth century the middle class started to acquire the characteristics of a European-type bourgeoisie. This development was made possible by the decline of the Venetian Republic, starting about 1700. This decline diminished the size of the island’s nobility so that the subsequent social vacuum enabled the middle class to assert itself politically and economically.
Kytherean society, which had already begun to change by the early eighteenth century as a symptom and a generative cause of the economic revival of the Greeks, generally consisted of the following leading classes; the foreign governing nobility, the governing local nobility, the bour­geoisie, and the class of Notables (Proesti, Protogeri and Commessi), who viewed their presence in public affairs as a necessary part of the institutions of local self- government.
After the middle of the eighteenth century the bourgeoisie was gradually divided into an upper middle class, consisting of the wealthiest burgesses, and into a much lower middle class. Owing to the steady and accelerating pace of the island’s economic development and to the lack of natural resources for productive investment, this class division tended to foster an alliance between the nobility and the upper middle class. This tendency, however, did not always man absolute identity of ideolog­ical aims. Fundamental differences between the two classes continued to exist.
In the early years of the eighteenth century a petit bourgeois class emerged in the small town of Potamos, near the north-easternmost point of the island. From then on the middle class as a whole gradually grew in number both at Chora and at Potamos. Besides those commoners who had substantial holdings of land, the middle class now included people engaged in commerce, shipping and manufacturing, all of which had previously been so underdeveloped as to be almost negligible.8
Because of their privileged social position, the nobility tended to take the Venetian aristocracy as a model for their own code of conduct. Consequently, noble families of the Libro d’ Oro, “who dominated the rest of the people,... habitually mimicked the braggadocio and arrogance of the great aristocrats of the West in their own small circle.. .“.~ The local nobles, therefore, made every effort to think, speak, and live like their Venetian overlords. The Italian language, in fact, remained the offi­cial language of politics and government. It was replaced by Greek only after the last decade of the British Protectorate.
In this scheme of things the lower classes had virtually no vehicle for the expression of their cultural identity. Only the Church remained as a vehicle for the social and political expression of the peasants. The histor­ical animosities between the Latin West and the Byzantine East did much to promote the role of the Greek Orthodox Church as an instru­ment in the awakening of latent Greek nationalism. Then, too, the Catholics on the island were greatly outnumbered by Orthodox Greeks, so that most Venetians preferred the larger Ionian Islands. The few who did live on Kythera were gradually assimilated into the local population by intermarriage. Many even managed to gain admission into the ranks of the local nobility.
In the course of the eighteenth century, open conflict broke out between the middle class and the nobles. From 1780 to 1818, when the British-devised constitution came into force, there occurred a series of overtly rebellious acts which reflected the overall pattern of the decline of the Venetian Republic and the political and social changes sweeping across Europe at that time. By the last years of the eighteenth century, it had become obvious that the Venetian régime was crumbling socially and politically. This was apparent in the inefficiency of the local admini­stration and in the anachronistic policies of the Community of Nobles. The latter appeared oblivious to the need for the inclusion of dynamic, progressive middle-class elements into its ranks. By mid-eighteenth century, however, the local administration had begun to allow members of the middle class to be appointed to certain government posts in a bid to pacify their strong feelings, but so far from abating the class conflict this action served only to intensify it, because the Council of Nobles had begun to be ineffectual; firstly, because active dissension had broken out among its members; and secondly, because they continued to refuse to admit new members to the Community to keep it at full strength.
What ultimately happened was a combined uprising of the burgesses and peasants in 1780. The islanders’ rebellious spirit was strengthened during the brief period of French occupation (1797- 1798) and events came to a climax during the Russo-Turkish occupation, when a second revolt of the burgesses and peasants broke out (1798- 1800). This revolt enabled the peasants to gain control of the Government for the next two years. During this short period the revolutionaries administered the island in accordance with a charter of their own, drawn up by a revol­utionary committee. Russia’s protectorate over the Septinsular Republic provided Kytherean liberals (including émigrés and local residents) with an opportunity to take active steps to change the existing social stratifi­cation. During this period the Ionian islanders made three attempts at constitutional government but a series of local rebellions proved abor­tive. ~
The two-year French occupation promised an immediate end to Venetian oppression, so the Ionians began to view the French revolutio­naries as liberators.1 i Consequently, an undercurrent of opposition deve­loped, encouraged by the ideas of the Enlightenment in Western Europe and by the subsequent rise of nationalism within the Greek-speaking world.i2
The rebellions on Kythera might also be explained partly as the result of the degree of liberalism which Admiral Ushakov displayed in the Ionian Islands and partly as a concomitant of Russian political thou­ght at the beginning of the nineteenth century, which is reflected in the constitutions of the Septinsular Republic. These foreign influences and the concurrent collapse of the Ottoman Empire were viewed with appre­hension by the Powers of Europe for fear that Russia would exploit the situation to make important inroads in Southeastern Europe. i3
The unsettled political situation in the Ionian Islands during the period of their occupation (1807- 1809) by the forces of the French Empire and the provisional British occupation (1809- 1815), coupled with the imposition of a new constitution by the British Protectorate, helped to perpetuate class conflict on the island, leading to another rising, this time of the peasants only (1812). During the provisional Briti­sh occupation the lower classes were able to resist the conservatives’ at­tempts to reintroduce features of the ancien régime,’4 and thus they succeeded in consolidating certain gains they had made during the succession of previous foreign occupations. Under the British Protectora­te (1817- 1863) these gains formed a solid foundation for the new régime, which had come about as a result of the rivalry between the Great Powers.’5 The Charter of 1817 was given the political aims of the British presence and the military background of Sir Thomas Maitland, the first Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands, and many elements which may appear novel on the programme of the Commission had their root in the earlier three Russian Constitutional Charters. In fact, the period of the British Protectorate (1817- 1863) and the long period of Venetian domination are the two salient features in the historical framew­ork of the period covered by this study.
Between 1780 and 1817 the Kythereans who travelled outside Greece and lived in émigré communities abroad made their influence felt by means of remittances to their relatives and friends in the island. Indeed, many self- made businessmen and even scholars displayed political aspi­rations as soon as they returned to Kythera. They often tried to obtain posts in the government and exercise political influence. But even before the French Revolution, conservatives and liberals had already begun to clash over the questions of social awakening, national aims and the modernisation of education.
From the last decades of the eighteenth century onwards, the bourgeoisie were engaged in a concerted campaign with the twofold objective of improving their own social and political standing and resuscitating the Greek nation. As long as social conditions kept them confined within a circumscribed social milieu they directed their efforts at undermining the nobility. Then, as those conditions altered and the supporters of social change started to gain a foothold, they broke down the barriers around them and embarked on an active class struggle against two adversaries, who joined forces to form a united front: the local land-owning oligarchy and the foreign rulers. The fierce opposition of the adherents of the ancien régime and the introduction of a constit­utional charter eventually proved too much for the unity of the bourge­oisie, which lasted only until 1799. The upper middle class then went over to the alliance of landowners and foreign overlords, while the lower middle class made common cause with the lower class. Their alliance lasted for the duration of the struggle, one of their aims now being the reintegration of the islands with the Greek state, which came about in 1863 as a byproduct of the Radical European movements from 1848 onwards.
The middle class was never recognised as a separate class by the government except during the brief revolutionary period (1797- 1802), when first the French and then the Russo - Turkish administration al­lowed representatives of all three classes to participate in the government.’6 Even so, the activation of the bourgeoisie of Chora and Potamos from the eighteenth century onwards was a factor to be reckoned with. It was because of the gradual emergence of the middle class that the opposition to the nobility was pushed into devising a form of “constitutional nobili­ty” as mentioned above, and that the voting for delegates was in the hands of an electoral college which accounted for three per cent of the local population. Obviously the new status quo could not neutralise poli­tical and social conflict, which by now had spread to the rural popula­tion, which was divided under the constitution into “constitutional nobles” (a high-sounding title which, in effect, simply meant those with the right to vote) and ordinary peasants. And so in 1850, after thirty years of precarious stability, a radical movement for the union with mainland Greece, already in existence in the order Ionian Islands, emer­ged on Kythera. This political development delivered the coup de grace to the nobility with the result that the middle class finally emerged victo­rious, as it had in mainland Greece and other European countries.



Footnotes

1. D.A. Zakythinos, ~Ai iotoptKai tüxat t~ç ‘E7rtav1~oou)) (“The Historical For­tunes of the Heptanese”) in rlpaKrtKd F’ Hctvioviou 2vv&5piov (Proceedings of the third Panionion Congress), vol. 2, (1965) Athens, 1969, pp. 359-80.
2. G. Pojaco, Le Leggi Municipali delle Jsole Ionie, Corfu, 1848, vol. 3, pp. 1-64; Kytherean Code, a collection of the Laws, Decrees and Privileges in force in the Com­munity of Kythera, in A.H.E.S., No. 91, hereafter referred to as Codex.
3. G. Pojaco, op. cit., pp. 34 ff.; E. Lunzi, FIepi Tfic HoRüri,aic Karauráuecoç ri~ç ‘E7rrav4oov ~zri ‘Evcui3v (Political Conditions in the Heptanese under the Venetians), Greek translation by A. Lunzi-Nikokavoura, Athens, 1956.
4. The Greek word Chora, which means “a country”, is also applied by common usage to the chief town of most of the Greek islands including Kythera.
5. Codex, op. cit., p. 8.
6. Ch. N. Karapidakis, UH KapKupaiK~ Ei’)y~VCtQ Tü)V ~PX~V tot) IZ ato)Vco, (The Corfu nobility at the beginning of 17th Century) in ‘IatoptKci, 3 (l98S),pp. 95 ff.
7. For a further discussion on these matters see below, chapt. two, pp. 48 ff.
8. K.H.A., Revolutionary papers of the period 1797- 1800 (unclassified); G. Pojaco, op. cit.; Codex, op. cit.
9. P. Chiotis, ‘IcnoplKd ‘Aropvi~~uovetipata Za~iivOou (Historical Memoirs of Zakynthos), Corfu, 1863, vol. 3, p. 427.
10. K.H.A., Proclamations of G. Levouni, French Vice-Consul on Kythera, dated
8th August, 1797; K.H.A., Revolutionary papers..., op. cit.; D. Saradopoulo, Constituzi­one della Republica Settinsulare, Corfu, 1803, 71 pp.
11. Ibid.; J. McKnight, Admiral Ushakov and the Ionian Republic: The Genesis of Russia’s first Balkan Satellite, Ph.D. thesis, University of Wisconsin, 1965, pp. 250 ff.
12. Ibid.; A.H.E.S., No. 7150, A panegyric delivered in Greek by Theodore Stathi of Kythera in the first year of the French Republic, Kythera, 1797. Cf. A. Tsitsas, (~At13EX-
Xot ti~iv KCpKt)pahov ‘Aot~v iutd ti)v tc)~eutaia pdoi~ tf~ç 8txi~tdxiic touç ~ toéc eO~veiç (I 786- I 792)~, (“Tracts published by the Burghers of Corfu in the Final Phase of their Conflict with the Nobles”) in AcRriov Inc ‘AVaVVUKrTIKnc ‘Eraipcictg KrpK~Spaç. 16 (1980), pp. 99 ff.
13. 1. McKnight, op. cit.; K.H.A., Revolutionary papers..., op. cit.
14. The term Ancien Régime is most commonly applied to the way of life and government in France before the Revolution but it is now often held that the Ancien Régime was rather a European than merely a French phenomenon and in this sense the term is used in this work (Ch. C.B.A. Behrens, The Ancien Régime, Thames and Hud­son, 1974, p. 9; G. Dupeux, French Society, 1789-1970, London: Methuen, New York: Barnes and Noble, 6th edition, 1972, pp. 46 ff.).
15. J.J. Tumelty, The British Administration of the Ionian Islands, 1815-1864,
Ph.D. thesis, University of Cambridge, 1953; W.F. Lord, Sir Thomas Maitland, London, 1897; G.W. Dixon, The Colonial Administrations of Sir Thomas Maitland, London, 1939.
16. K.H.A., Proclamations of G. Levouni..., op. cit.; K.H.A., Revolutionary pap­ers..., op. cit.; J. McKnight, op. cit., pp. 48 ff.
17. K.H.A., Revolutionary papers dating from the period of the Radical movement on Kythera, 1850 onwards (unclassified).

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by Kristina Williamson on 07.11.2007

EXHIBITION OF PHOTOGRAPHS FROM KYTHERA IN NEW YORK CITY

"ONE YEAR ON KYTHERA" a photographic exhibition by KRISTINA WILLIAMSON will be held at the Consulate General of Greece in New York
NOVEMBER 15TH - NOVEMBER 30TH, 2007

Under the auspices of a J. William Fulbright grant, Ms. Williamson spent over one calender year living and photographing on Kythera. This body of work was first exhibited in Kythera as a part of the Photographic Encounters of Kythera 2005, and is now making its New York debut.

If you are in the New York area, you are cordially invited to join the artist for an opening reception on
Thursday, November 15th, 2007 6-8 PM at the
CONSULATE GENERAL OF GREECE
69 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10021

And if you cannot make the exhibition a selection of images from "One Year on Kythera" can be viewed at www.kristinawilliamson.com

To view/download a copy of the exhibition press release go to
KWilliamson_PressRelease.pdf

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by Mick Georgas on 24.12.2007

Acropolis Cafe Gannedah 1946 ? 1948 George Critharis & Peter Venardos

At Gunnedah, NSW. Behind The Milk Bar counter at the Acropolis Cafe. [Maybe 1946-48]. George Critharis [Catharos], (left) & Peter Venardos [Yaloupos], (right).

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by Mick Georgas on 27.08.2014

Diakopoulianika Karava

Photo taken 1972 -74 from left Eleni H Georgas [ My Mother] Panagiotitsa P Georgas [Siganouli]
Haralampos P Georgas[My Father Senior ][Mbambis P Georgas Junior]Dimitra Theodorou Georgas , Theodoros P Georgas Junior] Panagiotis Theodorou Georgas, & Theodoros P Georgas [Senior][ Eleni Panagiotitsa Haralambos Dimitra Deceasad]

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by Mick Georgas on 21.10.2007

Gitonia Xalikoura [ Diakopoulianika] Karava

From Left to Right: Kaliopi G Diakopoulou [deceased]
Basso M Passakou, Metaksia D Souri, Ioanna H Kapsali [deceased], Eleftheria I Georga, [deceased], Ifigenia A Souri, kai Eggoni Ioannas from Athens

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by Mick Georgas on 30.10.2007

Fishing At Limniona 1972 [Good catch ] 2 Large Cods

Mick Georgas [Eleftheria M Georgas [deceased] Vlahogeni, from Mylopotamo, Stavroula T Cominou, Theodoros Cominos, Gloria Contoleou from ACT, [all deceased], at Limniona 1972

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by Ted J. Leonis on 05.12.2007

Jim Leonis - Artist/Creator of Panagia Myrtidiotissa Icon Mosiac

Jim Leonis, from Walnut Creek, California, holding a photograph of a mosaic icon he created of the Panagia Myrtidioitissa. The icon was donated to the Annunciation Cathedral in San Francisco, CA where it is on display in the narthex.

See also:

Panagia Myrtidiotissa Mosiac by Jim Leonis

Annunciation Cathedral HERALD, news article

Calliope Calokerinos

Mia and Cleo Mattis

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by James Victor Prineas on 24.08.2007

Maria Politis

...daughter of George & Aryiro Politis.

At the party hosted by Manuel & Matina Samios, in Mitata, Kythera, held in George Miller's honour.

July, 2007

George & Aryiro Politis & Family. Lottery win, 1958

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by George Poulos on 24.08.2007

Mrs Aryiro Politis (nee, Venardos),

...mother of Nick & Maria Politis.

At the party hosted by Manuel & Matina Samios, in Mitata, Kythera, held in George Miller's honour.

July, 2007

George & Aryiro Politis & Family. Lottery win, 1958

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by George Poulos on 24.08.2007

Mr Nick Politis, looking particularly relaxed...

...second from left, with parea...

At the party hosted by Manuel & Matina Samios, in Mitata, Kythera, held in George Miller's honour.

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by George Poulos on 24.08.2007

Mrs Matina Samios (nee Protopsaltis), and Peter Kapitanios (Tzortzo)Poulos

At the party hosted by Manuel & Matina Samios, in Mitata, Kythera, held in George Miller's honour.

July 2007.

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by George Poulos on 24.08.2007

Mrs Matina Samios (nee, Protopsaltis), Mrs George Miller, & Mr Manuel Samios.

At the party hosted by Manuel & Matina Samios, in Mitata, Kythera, held in George Miller's honour.

July, 2007.

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by George Poulos on 24.08.2007

George Miller. July 2007.

Flanked by .......Protopsaltis, and George's wife.

At the party hosted by Manuel & Matina Samios, in Mitata, Kythera, held in his honour.

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by George Poulos on 24.08.2007

George Miller. Presented with a superb award from the Thimo (local government) of Kythera

At the superb party hosted by Manuel and Matina Samios (nee, Protopsaltis, Makras).

On George's immediate right is Mr Peter Mageros (interpreter for the evening, Greek-English; English-Greek), and Matina Samios.

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by Vikki Vrettos Fraioli on 28.05.2007

Andreas Kotakis with daughter Paula & Vikki Vrettos Fraioli

Andreas and Paula along with Vikki enjoyed a wonderful day at the Greek Festival at the Ascension Cathedral in Oakland, CA, USA on Sunday, May 20, 2007.

Andreas' mother, Stavroula A . Galakatos (1901-1983), was from Christoforianika as was Vikki's grandmother Maria (Chletnzos) Alfieris (1882-1968).

Paula and Vikki met through the Kythera-family.net message board and discovered many family connections.

See also:

Galakatos Family Portrait

Maria Chlentzos Alfieris

Kythera Connections

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by John Carras on 25.04.2007

The name tags worn by all participants of the big Brisbane panayiri. The 8-sheet.

Categories included

Name:

Mothers name: (Wife, mother)

Village: (Of origin)

Parachoukli: (Nickname)

The labels were printed on Avery size 8 labels.

The Avery Code is:

Inkjet: J8165

Laser: L7165

If you want to print some Name & Parachoukli labels off for your next function you can download the template here:

LABELS NAME TAGS Website.rtf

Of course, you can always change the web-site banner to the Kytherian Association of California, or whatever other Kytherian or Hellenic organisation that you happen to belong to.


Guests displayed their name tags proudly, at the greatest of Kytherian-Brisbane events which was held on Sunday the 15th April, 2007, from 11:30 - 5:00pm.

The venue was the Cyprus Club, also known as the
West End Club,
2 Vulture Street,
West End 4101
(07) 3844 7965
Fax(07) 3844 7757

westendc@bigpond.net.au

The event was held for 3 reasons:
1. to mark the official Queensland launch of www.kythera-family.net
2. to mark the official Queensland launch of Katsehamos and the Great Idea
3. to forge a new and inviolable union between the Kytherian Association of Queensland Inc, and the Kytherian Association of Australia, (ostensibly the Kytherian Association of NSW).

The occasion became known as the Brisbane panayiri and mega-event.

Ultimately, demand for seats was so high, that the event had to be moved from Kapsali Restaurant to the Cyprus Club.

Attendance was c. 500

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by John Carras on 25.04.2007

The Governor of Queensland, Ms Quentin Bryce, AC...

.....enters the Cyprus Club, also known as the
West End Club,
2 Vulture Street,
West End 4101
(07) 3844 7965
Fax(07) 3844 7757

westendc@bigpond.net.au.

On her immediate right, is the Honorary Consul for Greece in Queensland, & dynamic Greek businessman, and civic leader in Queensland, Jim Raptis, OAM.

On her left, at the rear, is the Governors Aide-de-Camp, Lieutenant Commander Mathew Rowe, RANR.

He is speaking to, on the right, Mr Angelo Notaras, Team Leader, Australia, www.kythera-family.net

On the far left an onlooker doffs his cap, as the entourage passes by.

At the greatest of Kytherian-Brisbane events which was held on Sunday the 15th April, 2007, from 11:30 - 5:00pm.

The venue was the Cyprus Club, also known as the
West End Club,
2 Vulture Street,
West End 4101
(07) 3844 7965
Fax(07) 3844 7757

westendc@bigpond.net.au

The event was held for 3 reasons:
1. to mark the official Queensland launch of www.kythera-family.net
2. to mark the official Queensland launch of Katsehamos and the Great Idea
3. to forge a new and inviolable union between the Kytherian Association of Queensland Inc, and the Kytherian Association of Australia, (ostensibly the Kytherian Association of NSW).

The occasion became known as the Brisbane panayiri and mega-event.

Ultimately, demand for seats was so high, that the event had to be moved from Kapsali Restaurant to the Cyprus Club.

Attendance was c. 500

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by KCA Admin on 29.03.2007

Stratis Theodorakakis' 80th birthday celebration

Celebrating the 80th birthday of maestro Stratis Theodorokakis. 24 March 2007, Potamos. Photo by Kosmas Megalokonomos.

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by Kytherian Religious Consciousness on 18.02.2007

Two donkeys and a sheep grazing in the surounds of the Monastery at Geelong.

Very "hellenic" stables in the background.

Greek Orthodox Monastery of Panagia Gorgoepikoos,
Cnr Cox and Rollins Rds,
Lovely Banks,
Geelong, 3221.
Victoria,

P.O. Box 219
Corio. 3214.
Victoria.
Australia.

(03) 52761221
Fax: (03) 5276 1074

The Monastery is situated approximately one hour, by car or public transport, from Melbourne, in the beautiful seaside city of Geelong.

Geelong is the gateway to one of Australia's environmental treasures - The Great Ocean Road.

If you go the very large and attractive Information Centre in Geelong, and look due North, the Monastery lies 3 blocks away, on the hill.

To create privacy for the monastery, the direct route, Cox Road, the road running outside the Monastery, has recently been "closed off". This initiative was instigated by Mother Kallistheni.

The view back to the ocean from the high hill is magnificent.

Initially the Monastery stood on 17 acres of land, but subsequent land purchases, have extended the size to 20 acres.

It is a very substantial property holding.

The name Panagia Gorgoepikoos is pronounced -
"war-yo-epiko-os".

Gorgoepikoos literally translates to "the all-hearing."

The Feast Days for the Monastery are

2 January, St Seraphim of Saraov

1 October, Panagia Gorgoepikoos


Programme of the Monastery

Pilgrims can visit the monastery daily (except Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays), and are able to attend the services chanted by the sisters.

"Pilgrims" are encouraged. The following testimony from Noura Cheded, at

http://www.stnicholas.org.au/Contact/Feb2003.htm

is typical of the responses of many "pilgrims":

"I spent...5 days at the Holy Monastery of Panagia Gorgoepikoos, a Greek Orthodox Monastery for ladies in Geelong. On arrival I participated in an English Liturgy held at the Monastery. I enjoyed my stay with Mother Kallisthene and the sisters immensely. I had the opportunity to meet other Christian ladies who were staying at the monastery at the same time. We discussed our life in Christ and in the world, we prayed together, talked about books we’ve read, and worked together. It was truly a joy to meet them.

In such a busy world, a monastery is a great place to be able to relax and spend time to reflect, read and pray. Also not to forget to mention the invaluable spiritual advice you receive by talking with Mother Kallistheni and the sisters. I recommend a visit by ALL".

MONDAY CLOSED Open 2pm Public & School Holidays

TUESDAY 9:00am-5:00pm 9:00am Divine Liturgy

WEDNESDAY CLOSED

THURSDAY 9:00am-5:00pm 3:00Pm Vespers

FRIDAY CLOSED

SATURDAY 9:00am-5:00pm 3:00Pm Paraklesis

SUNDAY 2:00am-5:00pm 3:00Pm Paraklesis

The DIVINE LITURGY in the English Language is celebrated at the Monastery on Saturday Mornings once a Month

8:00am -9:00am - Matins (Greek/English)

9:00 am - 10:00am - Divine Liturgy (English)

The Dates for 2007 are:

20 January 3 February 10th March
21 April 12 May 16 June
14 July 11 August 15 September
13 October 10 November 8 December

Refreshments are provided after the Divine Liturgy

Religious Items

Various Religious items are available for sale.

Some are handmade by the Mother and the three Sisters who have taken "orders" at the Monastery -

Sister Makrina
Sister Nikodimi
Sister Natalia

These include Greek, English and Children's books, Icons, incence, charcoal, pottery, prayer ropes, crosses, bonbonieres, stefana, lambades, ladopana, keyrings, agiasmos bottles, savana, etc....

Covered eating areas and picnic grounds are available.

(No barbecues or alcohol are permitted)

Servants of God...servants of (Wo)Man

The Mother and her 3 Sisters take a very "hands on" approach to the maintenance of the property. They perform tasks that most men could not perform.

Most importantly they involve themselves in social justice issues, such as providing support for parishioners in Melbourne & Victoria, who live in poverty, are homeless, who have been abused, or been subjected to violence. They take on the "too hard" cases; often neglected by established agencies.

They perform these tasks with purpose, devotion & equanimity.

Mother Kallistheni's attitude is always -"can do".

Mother Kallistheni is a woman of presence, and gravitas.

Establishing the Monastery

The Holy Monastery of Panagia Gorgeopikoos was established by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia in May 1993.

Although you will never hear this from Mother Kallistheni herself: much of the initial seed capital for the Monastery derived from the Zantis family of Goulburn - in particular Mother Kallistheni's (deceased) father Angelo Zantis, and Mother Kallistheni herself.

A Karavas & Kytherian religious tradition continues

Mother Kallistheni's great-grandfather, "Papa Vangelli" was for 4 decades, the village priest in Karavas, Kythera.

Edited version of Father Evangelos Crithary the priest of Karavas and his wife Stamatia (nee Panaretos)

Pappa Vagelli as he was known was priest, (as well as the schoolmaster) in Karavas for four decades.
Most Karavites (and Kytherians from surrounding villages, such as Ayia Anastasia, Broggi, Petrouni, Plattia Ammos, and many more) aged between 100 and 60 - living in Australia, and the USA, would have been christened by Papa Vagelli - including almost all Karavites who attend the annual Karavitiko Symposium, in Sydney, Australia, on the Feast Day of Ayios Haralambos.

Learn more about the Karavitiko, and its history and iconography

Pappa Vangelli, and presvia Stamatia, are the great-grandparents of Mother Kallistheni - Geelong.

We witness, therefore, the completion of a religious cycle.

Pappa Vagelli and Stamatia had 8 children.
Peter (Warialda)
Harry (Doctor, Greece)
Theothoros
Georgitsa
Maria
Kanella
Kalomira
Louisa (married Protopsaltis - affectionately known by many as "Theia Louisa" - even by non-relatives - and a patron for many decades of the Karavtiko Symposium).
Kalomira married Sarandos Zantiotis (from the "Vouno" (Panagia Thespina)). (Parachoukli "Sarandakos".)
Sarandos & Kalomira had 4 children
George (deceased), wife Effie (nee, Souris), lives Mullimbimby
Angelo, (deceased), (Jeweller, Goulburn, NSW) (who married Nina Souris, from Armidale)

Angelo Zantis, Obituary

Jim (deceased),
Maria (married John Nikoforides (Forides, Canberra.))

Angelo and Nina had three children
Sheridan (Sarandos), Jeweller, Bondi Junction
Corrine (Kalomira) [Mother Kallistheni]
Peter, Jeweller, Goulburn

This genealogy explains the relationship between Pappa Vagelli and Mother Kallistheni.

Hence, a religious tradition continues.

It could be argued that Mother Kallestheni, as a Greek Orthodox Abbess - is the highest status Greek WOMAN officer of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia; and one of the highest status Greek WOMAN officers of the Greek Orthodox Church in the World.

Panagia Gorgoepikoos Church in Plaka, Athens

This Church is not related to the Monastery in Geelong, which bears the same name. However Kytherians, particularly those living in Athens & Pireaus, as well as diaspora Kytherians who visit Greece, may be aware of this iconic church.

The Panagia Gorgoepikoos Church in Plaka is not particularly attractive, but it is one of Athen's ancient treasures. From the 1100's this church has stood here as a beacon to those practicing the Orthodox faith. In the interwoven past of Athens, there was a temple on this spot named Isis-Eileithyia (Isis being an Egyptian goddess; ideas traveled through trade contact). The church has its own hidden treasure, as all historic sites do. The marble murals you will notice upon entering are more than decoration. At least one of the murals was commissioned hundreds of years before the birth of Christ and shows elements of Greek's old pagan culture.

This article has been written to introduce Kytherians in Sydney & NSW, other parts of Australia, and around the world, to the superb Greek Orthodox Monastery in Geelong Victoria, and to its Kytherian Mother Superior, or Abbess - Mother Kallistheni.

It has also been written to encourage Kytherians from around the world to "make the pilgrimage" to Geelong.

In 19th & 20th century Kythera, Kytherians who had spent some time in the Middle east were often given the parachoukli "hatzithes" - indicating that they had "undertaken the haj".

Will we devise another 21st century parachoukli for those Kytherians who make the "pilgrimage to Panagia Gorgoepikoos?"

Photos > Island Social Life

submitted by Kytherian Religious Consciousness on 16.02.2007

Looking South from the main entrance, across the city of Geelong, to the sea.

Greek Orthodox Monastery of Panagia Gorgoepikoos,
Cnr Cox and Rollins Rds,
Lovely Banks,
Geelong, 3221.
Victoria,

P.O. Box 219
Corio. 3214.
Victoria.
Australia.

(03) 52761221
Fax: (03) 5276 1074

The Monastery is situated approximately one hour, by car or public transport, from Melbourne, in the beautiful seaside city of Geelong.

Geelong is the gateway to one of Australia's environmental treasures - The Great Ocean Road.

If you go the very large and attractive Information Centre in Geelong, and look due North, the Monastery lies 3 blocks away, on the hill.

To create privacy for the monastery, the direct route, Cox Road, the road running outside the Monastery, has recently been "closed off". This initiative was instigated by Mother Kallistheni.

The view back to the ocean from the high hill is magnificent.

Initially the Monastery stood on 17 acres of land, but subsequent land purchases, have extended the size to 20 acres.

It is a very substantial property holding.

The name Panagia Gorgoepikoos is pronounced -
"war-yo-epiko-os".

Gorgoepikoos literally translates to "the all-hearing."

The Feast Days for the Monastery are

2 January, St Seraphim of Saraov

1 October, Panagia Gorgoepikoos


Programme of the Monastery

Pilgrims can visit the monastery daily (except Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays), and are able to attend the services chanted by the sisters.

"Pilgrims" are encouraged. The following testimony from Noura Cheded, at

http://www.stnicholas.org.au/Contact/Feb2003.htm

is typical of the responses of many "pilgrims":

"I spent...5 days at the Holy Monastery of Panagia Gorgoepikoos, a Greek Orthodox Monastery for ladies in Geelong. On arrival I participated in an English Liturgy held at the Monastery. I enjoyed my stay with Mother Kallisthene and the sisters immensely. I had the opportunity to meet other Christian ladies who were staying at the monastery at the same time. We discussed our life in Christ and in the world, we prayed together, talked about books we’ve read, and worked together. It was truly a joy to meet them.

In such a busy world, a monastery is a great place to be able to relax and spend time to reflect, read and pray. Also not to forget to mention the invaluable spiritual advice you receive by talking with Mother Kallistheni and the sisters. I recommend a visit by ALL".

MONDAY CLOSED Open 2pm Public & School Holidays

TUESDAY 9:00am-5:00pm 9:00am Divine Liturgy

WEDNESDAY CLOSED

THURSDAY 9:00am-5:00pm 3:00Pm Vespers

FRIDAY CLOSED

SATURDAY 9:00am-5:00pm 3:00Pm Paraklesis

SUNDAY 2:00am-5:00pm 3:00Pm Paraklesis

The DIVINE LITURGY in the English Language is celebrated at the Monastery on Saturday Mornings once a Month

8:00am -9:00am - Matins (Greek/English)

9:00 am - 10:00am - Divine Liturgy (English)

The Dates for 2007 are:

20 January 3 February 10th March
21 April 12 May 16 June
14 July 11 August 15 September
13 October 10 November 8 December

Refreshments are provided after the Divine Liturgy

Religious Items

Various Religious items are available for sale.

Some are handmade by the Mother and the three Sisters who have taken "orders" at the Monastery -

Sister Makrina
Sister Nikodimi
Sister Natalia

These include Greek, English and Children's books, Icons, incence, charcoal, pottery, prayer ropes, crosses, bonbonieres, stefana, lambades, ladopana, keyrings, agiasmos bottles, savana, etc....

Covered eating areas and picnic grounds are available.

(No barbecues or alcohol are permitted)

Servants of God...servants of (Wo)Man

The Mother and her 3 Sisters take a very "hands on" approach to the maintenance of the property. They perform tasks that most men could not perform.

Most importantly they involve themselves in social justice issues, such as providing support for parishioners in Melbourne & Victoria, who live in poverty, are homeless, who have been abused, or been subjected to violence. They take on the "too hard" cases; often neglected by established agencies.

They perform these tasks with purpose, devotion & equanimity.

Mother Kallistheni's attitude is always -"can do".

Mother Kallistheni is a woman of presence, and gravitas.

Establishing the Monastery

The Holy Monastery of Panagia Gorgeopikoos was established by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia in May 1993.

Although you will never hear this from Mother Kallistheni herself: much of the initial seed capital for the Monastery derived from the Zantis family of Goulburn - in particular Mother Kallistheni's (deceased) father Angelo Zantis, and Mother Kallistheni herself.

A Karavas & Kytherian religious tradition continues

Mother Kallistheni's great-grandfather, "Papa Vangelli" was for 4 decades, the village priest in Karavas, Kythera.

Edited version of Father Evangelos Crithary the priest of Karavas and his wife Stamatia (nee Panaretos)

Pappa Vagelli as he was known was priest, (as well as the schoolmaster) in Karavas for four decades.
Most Karavites (and Kytherians from surrounding villages, such as Ayia Anastasia, Broggi, Petrouni, Plattia Ammos, and many more) aged between 100 and 60 - living in Australia, and the USA, would have been christened by Papa Vagelli - including almost all Karavites who attend the annual Karavitiko Symposium, in Sydney, Australia, on the Feast Day of Ayios Haralambos.

Learn more about the Karavitiko, and its history and iconography

Pappa Vangelli, and presvia Stamatia, are the great-grandparents of Mother Kallistheni - Geelong.

We witness, therefore, the completion of a religious cycle.

Pappa Vagelli and Stamatia had 8 children.
Peter (Warialda)
Harry (Doctor, Greece)
Theothoros
Georgitsa
Maria
Kanella
Kalomira
Louisa (married Protopsaltis - affectionately known by many as "Theia Louisa" - even by non-relatives - and a patron for many decades of the Karavtiko Symposium).
Kalomira married Sarandos Zantiotis (from the "Vouno" (Panagia Thespina)). (Parachoukli "Sarandakos".)
Sarandos & Kalomira had 4 children
George (deceased), wife Effie (nee, Souris), lives Mullimbimby
Angelo, (deceased), (Jeweller, Goulburn, NSW) (who married Nina Souris, from Armidale)

Angelo Zantis, Obituary

Jim (deceased),
Maria (married John Nikoforides (Forides, Canberra.))

Angelo and Nina had three children
Sheridan (Sarandos), Jeweller, Bondi Junction
Corrine (Kalomira) [Mother Kallistheni]
Peter, Jeweller, Goulburn

This genealogy explains the relationship between Pappa Vagelli and Mother Kallistheni.

Hence, a religious tradition continues.

It could be argued that Mother Kallestheni, as a Greek Orthodox Abbess - is the highest status Greek WOMAN officer of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia; and one of the highest status Greek WOMAN officers of the Greek Orthodox Church in the World.

Panagia Gorgoepikoos Church in Plaka, Athens

This Church is not related to the Monastery in Geelong, which bears the same name. However Kytherians, particularly those living in Athens & Pireaus, as well as diaspora Kytherians who visit Greece, may be aware of this iconic church.

The Panagia Gorgoepikoos Church in Plaka is not particularly attractive, but it is one of Athen's ancient treasures. From the 1100's this church has stood here as a beacon to those practicing the Orthodox faith. In the interwoven past of Athens, there was a temple on this spot named Isis-Eileithyia (Isis being an Egyptian goddess; ideas traveled through trade contact). The church has its own hidden treasure, as all historic sites do. The marble murals you will notice upon entering are more than decoration. At least one of the murals was commissioned hundreds of years before the birth of Christ and shows elements of Greek's old pagan culture.

This article has been written to introduce Kytherians in Sydney & NSW, other parts of Australia, and around the world, to the superb Greek Orthodox Monastery in Geelong Victoria, and to its Kytherian Mother Superior, or Abbess - Mother Kallistheni.

It has also been written to encourage Kytherians from around the world to "make the pilgrimage" to Geelong.

In 19th & 20th century Kythera, Kytherians who had spent some time in the Middle east were often given the parachoukli "hatzithes" - indicating that they had "undertaken the haj".

Will we devise another 21st century parachoukli for those Kytherians who make the "pilgrimage to Panagia Gorgoepikoos?"