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2. Archives
 
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2. Archives



Sigillion issued by the Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremiah II the Tranos. 1583.
The archive, which for the greater part of the monastery’s history has been kept in the tower, contains 670 Greek documents, several Ottoman documents and one Rumanian document, not to mention a large number of documents dealing with the monastery’s financial relations with its dependent kellia and the transactions of the Fathers during Turkish rule and after.

The organization of a good archive was a fundamental task for Pantokrator (and indeed for all Athonite monasteries) as only with the preservation of original grants and ratifying deeds and their copies could the monastery safeguard its properties and protect its metochia against encroachment.

Despite the vicissitudes caused by extraordinary events such as the destructive fire of 1392 or historical circumstances such as Turkish rule, the archive of the monastery continued to be enriched. At the same time efforts never ceased to be made for its proper organisation and use throughout the period from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Additionally, during the last centuries of Turkish rule the deeds relating to the foundation of the monastery were translated and the library’s capacity was increased to include a large number of documents primarily of a financial nature (bonds, contracts and so on) as well as official correspondence.




Print of the lead seal of the Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremiah II. 1583.


Some very important work on the classification of archive documents was done in the early nineteenth century by a three-member “Committee for the Classification of the Monastery’s Archive” consisting of Prohegoumeni Joachim, Alexios and Archimandrite Athanasius. This committee worked systematically and completed its task in July 29, 1926 with the classification and registration of the documents pertaining to “the freedom of the Monastery as well as the proprietorship and possession and the history in general” of its metochia up to 1926. The catalogue of the relevant documents filed in Codex 4 and entitled “Codex of the Archive of the Holy Monastery of Pantokrator” includes 24 sections, divided according to the geographical location of the monastery’s metochia, and is considered to be a work ahead of its time.

The most important documents of the archive have been published by M. Gedeon in 1889 and 1899, by L. Petit in 1903 and by V. Kravari in 1991. Sixteen of the published documents of the Byzantine period are originals, the oldest being a document of 1107 regulating the boundaries of the monastery of St Demetrios the Kynopodes. Three of them are chrysobulls of the Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus. Another thirteen are old copies, the oldest being a document dated February 1039 and pertaining to the monastery of Phalakrou.
Recently the first part of the work by A. Pardos was published, containing epitomes of documents from the monastery’s archives covering the period 1039 to 1801. Publication of the second part is pending, as is the publication of Ottoman documents of the fifteenth century.


Detail from an Ottoman firman. 1790.