Marriage contracts in the Greek world 1500-1830

Academic supervisor: Aglaia Kasdagli, assistant professor, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete

e-mail: kasdagli@phl.uoc.gr

Duration of project / time frame: 2000-2010

The project is a pilot scheme responding to the general need to consider as a historical source the surviving notarial documents from various regions in Greece from the end of the Middle Ages to the 20th century in toto. The objective will be to allow a quantitative analysis and subsequent interpretation of the documents and to chart significant issues of medieval and modern Greek history. The data should be subsequently compared with information obtained from other sources. Comparisons with similar primary sources from other European Mediterranean countries would be desirable.

Objectives

The aim of the specific project is to produce a computerised data base which will be fed with data contained in marriage contracts of the period 1500-1830 from any region of Greece. The limited number of later contracts included are indicative of the persistence of the institution but also of the changes that took place in the 20th century.
The ultimate objective is to investigate the spectrum of variations in the system of inheritance and the type of family in their development and in their actual social and economic dimensions, at a Pan-Hellenic and ideally a comparative European level. However,the database contains all retrievable data, much of which may be used to address other types of issues, for example linguistic issues, questions of material culture, and so on.

Manner of implementation

At this stage, mainly published marriage contracts and other marriage settlements have been used. In view of the fact that in the last century many documents of this kind have been printed in various professional or local publications, students of the University of Crete helped to conduct extensive bibliographical research and card-indexing in order to collect the greatest possible volume of available material. Subsequently, the documents were photocopied and scanned At the same time, a system of subject classification of the marriage contracts was designed and developed, and consists of a relational data base (extended ER model) with the thesaurus tool MultiTes incorporated.

Classification system of marriage documents.

The development of the system of subject classification of marriage documents was created to facilitate their management and study by researchers. During the semantic approach to the inner structure of the texts of the documents, the intention was to deconstruct the information and subsequently to recompose it in a practical conceptual tool which would allow speedy classification of the material and retrieval of data and information.
In view of the needs of the programme and the special nature of the archival material (volume, variety of subjects, language) the basic criteria as regards the development of the system were: rapid classification, giving precedence to the completeness of the retrieved information and the greatest possible accuracy of retrieval, retrieval speed, clarity of information and user-friendliness of the system.
An extended entity-relationship model - EER - was created in which a thesaurus of terms was incorporated and developed with the multi-lingual thesaurus MultiTes. The system supports the uniform semantic alphabetization of the documents and represents a new application of the design model of APXON (1999-2000, ITE) in a relationship data base, with the capability of data access via the Internet. The operating platform of the application is Windows XP.
There were four stages in the implementation of the project: requirements analysis, conceptual design, technical design and implementation (with an indicative number of entries, checking and evaluation of the system).

Collaborators

Aglaia Kasdagli

Aglaia Kasdagli teaches European medieval history. Her main research interests concern the family, agrarian history and more generally the economic and social history of both medieval Europe and the early modern Greek island societies. The social history of the Greek islands as well as the overall evaluation of notary public documents for researching a variety of issues regarding economic, social and cultural history. Her long involvement with notary public documents led her to re-evaluate this valuable source, which owing to its sheer volume and multifariousness has not yet been evaluated as much as it should have, either in Greece or elsewhere. Her concern resulted in the conception, elaboration and realization of the programme in collaboration with her associates.

Theofania Aggelopoulou

Theofania Aggelopoulou is a graduate of the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Athens and holds a specialist diploma in "Systems of cultural information and cultural heritage management" of the Interdepartmental Postgraduate Studies Programme of the Departments of History-Archaeology and Computer Sciences of the University of Crete. She has completed successfully a doctoral thesis on 'Household items in the Aegean societies in the 17th-18th centuries: a tentative approach to material culture(University of Crete). Regarding the project, she undertook the design and realization of the thesaurus of terms and the marriage contract data base.

Panagiotis Stathis

Panagiotis Stathis was born in Athens in 1966. He is a graduate of the Department of History and Archaeology, University of Athens, and completed postgraduate studies in Modern History at the University of Athens and the University of Crete, where he is currently reading for his doctoral thesis. He worked at the Historical Archive of the Agricultural Bank of Greece and the University of Crete Library (in the Rare Editions and Historical Archive sections). He taught Modern History at the Tourist Guide School in Heraklio, Crete. He is a member of the editorial committee of the journal Historein. His research interests centre on robbery and the protection offered by armed Christians against thieves during the 1821 revolution as well as the revolution in general and the history of Modern Greek historiography. Articles by him on these subjects have been published in academic journals and collective volumes.
In connection with the "Marriage Documents" project, he undertook the collection, organisation and classification of the material, thus making a major contribution to the first stage of the programme.

Meropi Vaggeli

Meropi Vaggeli is a graduate of the Department of History and Archaeology of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Crete, in the Ancient and Medieval History section. She is a postgraduate student of the Interdepartmental Byzantine Studies Programme of the University of Crete, specialising in western Medieval History. She has participated in excavations conducted by the University of Crete in the area of Ancient Eleftherna in the Prefecture of Rethymnon, and completed in practical work at τηε State Archives (Syros branch). In connection with the "Marriage Documents" project, she participated actively in all stages, from the collection of primary material, to scanning, and classifying the natural archive. She has had a significant contribution not just in feeding the database with data from a great number of documents but also in bibliographical documentation and in checking errors and omissions.

Stathoula Chartomatsidou

Stathoula Chartomatsidou is a graduate of the Department of History and Archaeology of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Crete, in the Ancient and Medieval History section. She is a postgraduate student of the Interdepartmental Byzantine Studies Programme of the University of Crete, specialising in western Medieval History. She has participated in practical work at the State Archives in Amorgos and has conducted research in Venice (Erasmus Programme). She joined the "Marriage Documents" project at a later stage. Since then she has greatly contributed to the realisation of the electronic database not only entering a great amount of data but also in bibliographical documentation and in checking errors and omissions.

Katerina Alexopoulou

The following also assisted in various ways:

Stamatoula Zapadi, director of GAK Kefallinia
Charalabos Flouris, Accounts Department IMS, Rethymnon

View all images

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF MARRIAGE CONTRACTS PROCESSED

  • Ionian Islands
  • Crete
  • Cyclades - Dodecanese – North East Aegean – N. Sporades – Saronikos Islands
  • N. Greece – Central Greece – Peloponnese – Asia Minor – Cyprus
SEARCH
IDdoc:
Place:
Recorded Place Name:
Modern Place Name:
Region:
Geographical Unit:
Document Type :
Date From:
Date To:
Creator:
Object Type:
Object Category:
  

Copyright © 2016 Wedding Contracts - ITE - FORTH