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Diocese of Lampsacus and the Dardanelles

Author(s) : Charitopoulos Evangelos (9/15/2005)
Translation : Panourgia Klio

For citation: Charitopoulos Evangelos , "Diocese of Lampsacus and the Dardanelles",
Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor
URL: <http://www.ehw.gr/l.aspx?id=7631>

Δαρδανελίων και Λαμψάκου Μητρόπολις (2/22/2006 v.1) Diocese of Lampsacus and the Dardanelles (2/15/2006 v.1) 

1. The area – historical evidence

The first bishop mentioned in Lampsacus was St. Parthenios during the reign of Constantine the Great. Lampsacus is mentioned as a bishopric from the Early Christian period until its disappearance as a bishopric See during the 14th century, despite the account offered by a hagiological text which described it as a metropolis.1

The advanced situation of the city of Abydos during the Byzantine era led to the establishment of the metropolis of Abydos from as early as the 7th century, which moreover, held the 8th place of honour. Over the next centuries its position of honour fell as low as 90th (during the reign of Andronikos II Palaiologos). Over the course of time it was re-incorporated into the metropolis of Cyzicus but not as its bishopric as it was before it rose to diocese.2

The destruction of these old ecclesiastical authorities, which was the result of the Ottoman conquest, and a significant decline in the Christian population in the area resulted in the ecclesiastical subordination of the areas of the Dardanelles and Hellespont Mysia to the diocese of Cyzicus, under which they remained for much of the Ottoman era.

The diocese of Lampsacus and the Dardanelles was established fairly recently, at the beginning of the 20th century, due to the gradual increase of the Greek Orthodox population in the area. With its establishment in 1913, its area of jurisdiction which was extracted from the diocese of Cyzicus included an area of the Dardanelles which had Lampsakos as its See and included 23 Christian communities. Its first bishop was Eirineos Papadopoulos.3

In more recent times, Lampsakos (Lâpseki) was the kaymakamlıkseat of the independent mutasarrıflık of Biğa or Kale-i Sultaniye, having been surpassed both financially and in population by the town of the Dardanelles (Çanakkale). The Dardanelles was the capital of the mutasarrıflık. Its official name was Kale–i Syltaniye (sultan fort) although the town is widely known as Çanakkale (fort of earthen pots), as the area was a famous pottery centre. Biğa (Pigai), 70 kms. from the Dardanelles, was a kaza seat. Renköy (Ofrynio) was entirely inhabited by Orthodox Greeks. 40 kms. from the Dardanelles was Ezine, built on the left bank of the Skamandros (Karamenderes) river. It was a kaza seat – while Bayramiç which came under its jurisdiction was a nahiye seat. Ayvacık, to the south of the sanjak was also a kaza seat.4

2. Population information

According to E. Zambathas, in the years leading up to the forced departure of the Greek element in 1922, the Biğa mutasarrıflık was inhabited by 38.830 Greek Orthodox among a total population of 177.489. The Muslim population numbered 138.902, while 2.336 were Armenians and 3.340 were Jews.5

The Dardanelles, according to P. Kontogiannis, had a population of 20.000, of which 8.000 were Greek Orthodox (although according to other sources the population was smaller);6 Lampsakos had a population of 2.000 of whom 800 were Greek Orthodox. Biğa had 2.000 Greek Orthodox among a total population of 10.000 inhabitants. Renköy had 5.000 Greek Orthodox, Ezine had 7.000 inhabitants and 2.000 Greek Orthodox, Bayramiç 5.000 inhabitants – 1.000 Greek Orthodox – and Ayvacık had 1.052 Muslims and 768 Greek Orthodox.7

3. Economy

The port of the Dardanelles was situated at a strategic area of the straits, thus forming an important commercial junction; the presence of numerous vice-consulates and consular offices in the town was irrefutable proof of this. Lampsakos boasted rich agricultural production. At Renköy at the beginning of the 20th century there functioned two flour mills, one steam powered and one petrol powered. Ayvacık was a local commercial centre and the venue for a carpet trade fair every Friday. The area produced grains, oil, fruit and acorns and boasted rich forests and salt-pans.8

The mutasarrıflık had important agricultural production (grains, olive oil, acorns and tanning materials, sesame, pulses, nuts, honey and wax, silk, tobacco and some cotton). The grape production reached 8.340 tons per year. There were also two gold mines (which had been conceded to a British company) as well as lead and copper mines (which had been conceded to the American vice-consul F. Calvert). A number of mines remained unexploited. The exploitation of a natural mineral water spring situated in the Ezine kaza had been conceded to a private businessman. The mutasarrıflık’s Greek Orthodox women produced embroideries, a number of which were promoted for export. The region was known as a pottery centre which boasted a particular type of earthenware. Also of note were a number of light industry units: soap factories (e.g. one in the Dardanelles was founded in 1888), oil mills, two steam mills and wood splitting units in Bayramiç.9

The “Benevolent Women’s Society” had been founded in the Dardanelles. It established a carpet workshop which aimed to teach the art of carpet making to impoverished young girls.10

1. Θρησκευτική Ηθική Εγκυκλοπαίδεια 8 (1966), p. 112, see entry «Λάμψακος» (V. Laurent).

2. Θρησκευτική Ηθική Εγκυκλοπαίδεια 1 (1962), p. 76, see entry «Άβυδος» (Τ. Γριτσόπουλος).

3. Μακρής, Ι., «Πνευματική και εκπαιδευτική κατάσταση εν Αρτάκη και τοις πέριξ από της Τουρκικής κατακτήσεως μέχρι του 1922», Μικρασιατικά Χρονικά 10 (1963), p. 373· Αναγνωστοπούλου, Σ., Μικρά Ασία, 19ος αι. – 1919. Οι Ελληνορθόδοξες κοινότητες (Athens 1997), p. 220. In that book it is falsely stated that diocese of Dardanelia and Lampsacus was founded at the second half of 19th century.

4. Κοντογιάννης, Π., Γεωγραφία της Μικράς Ασίας (Athens 1921), pp. 208-211.

5. Ζαμπαθάς, Ε., Οι εκ Μικράς Ασίας Ελληνορθόδοξοι πρόσφυγες (Athens 1969), p. 23.

6. Αναγνωστοπούλου, Σ., Μικρά Ασία, 19ος αι. – 1919. Οι Ελληνορθόδοξες κοινότητες (Athens 1997), p. 150.

7. Κοντογιάννης, Π., Γεωγραφία της Μικράς Ασίας (Athens 1921), pp. 208-211.

8. Κοντογιάννης, Π., Γεωγραφία της Μικράς Ασίας (Athens 1921), pp. 209-211.

9. Κοντογιάννης, Π., Γεωγραφία της Μικράς Ασίας (Athens 1921), pp. 213-214.

10. Ιστικοπούλου, Λ., Η ελληνική ταπητουργία και η ταπητουργός στη Μικρά Ασία (1860-1922) (Athens 2000), p. 216.


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