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Dionysios Kalliarchis of Ephesus

Author(s) : Touloumakos Pantelis (5/16/2005)
Translation : Korka Archonti

For citation: Touloumakos Pantelis , "Dionysios Kalliarchis of Ephesus",
Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor
URL: <http://www.ehw.gr/l.aspx?id=7798>

Διονύσιος Καλλιάρχης Εφέσου (1/23/2006 v.1) Dionysios Kalliarchis of Ephesus (2/15/2006 v.1) 

1. Introduction

Dionysios Kalliarchis was born into a wealthy family of Constantinople, but he probably descended from Chios. A family of Kalliarchis was in Chios in the 18th century and boasted some scholars among its members. The first Kalliarchis, Antonios Kalliarchos, is mentioned in the end of the 16th century and in particular in 1590, in a letter dated 5 August, published in ‘Turcograecia’ of Martinus Crucius (pp. 283-285).1 After Antonios, two more Kalliarchis are traced in the late 17th – early 18th century: Pantoleon Kalliarches and Ioannes Kalliarches, who were both doctors. Pantoleon was ‘head doctor of the serene princeof Wallachia.2 After the fall of Constantinople – and indeed, a few years later – many families from Chios began migrating to Constantinople; this immigration was particularly large-scale especially after the middle of the 18th century. It is more or less safe to assume that part of the Kalliarchis family moved within this framework. It is very difficult to trace the founder of the family of Kalliarchis in Constantinople. Although without certainty, Manuil Gedeon points to Ioannis Kalliarchis in the mid-18th century. However, there are many more Kalliarchis who can be traced around the same period and could be the founders of the family. Nevertheless, Grigorios Kalliarchis was the brother of Dionysios. He was appointed deputy of in the principality in Moldavia by its prince Konstantinos Ypsilantis, until the latter came to his seat.3

2. Activity of Dionysios

2. 1 Activity of Dionysios in the Diocese of Larissa

In 17934 Dionysios was elected metropolitan of Larissa ın Thessaly, succeeding his uncle, Meletios. At the time, the Diocese of Larissa was responsible for the entire Thessaly, as well as the dioceses of Gardiki, Trikki, Stages, Lidoriki, Litzas, Agrafa, Radobestia, Zitouni, Thaumakos, Skiathos and Skopelos. It had under its jurisdiction a wide area that extended over the islands as well.

The largest part of Thessaly was facing serious problems because of the looting of the Klephts, but also because of the oppression of the janissaries and the local rulers. It is reported that the governors of the area appropriated the properties of childless deceased Christians, without taking into consideration the families of the deceased. When he undertook his duties, Dionysios managed – by spending a large amount of money – to get a firman issued which ordered that the janissaries’ tax be reduced. Moreover, due to his connections in Constantinople, he managed to get another firman with which the wills of childless Christians were validated. At the same time, Dionysios accelerated the procedures for building the temple of St Achilleios, which had been ruined in 1770.5 At the same time, he also rebuilt in 1794 the old Greek school within the church’s courtyard, where the metropolitan’s house was. He also made generous donations to the school of Tyrnavos and founded many other schools within his territory.6 It is interesting that the reconstruction of the church of Saint Achilleios caused the rage of part of the Muslim population against Kalliarches. Some Muslims shot against him, but without success. Amantos believes that this is probably the reason why Dionysios spent most of his time in Constantinople7 –instead of staying in his province – but such an assumption is rather extravagant.

In Larissa, Dionysios met the then teenager Konstantinos Koumas. He appreciated his education and capabilities and took him to Constantinople, aiming to introduce him to higher circles.8 However, Koumas rejected the persistent proposals of the Great Interpreter, Konstantinos Ypsilantis, to serve on his side and returned to Larissa, where he became a teacher. Later on, he taught in Tsaritsani and Ambelakia. In 1814, he would become – following a recommendation of Scholi).

2. 2. Activity of Dionysios in the Diocese of Ephesus

In September 1803, Dionysios Kalliarchis was elected metropolitan of Ephesus, succeeding the deceased Makarios. Nevertheless, Dionysios was mostly in Constantinople, either as metropolitan of Larissa or as metropolitan of Ephesus.9 In the case of Ephesus, he had manned his ecclesiastical territory with bishops in his confidence. Paisios, a former collaborator of his, was elected bishop of Elaea in June 1814, following a request by Dionysios. It is also worth noting that in 1819, Patriarch Gregorios V wrote a letter to Anthimos of Smyrna – again following a request by Dionysios – and asked that the hieromonk Anthimos be ordained and be in charge of Dionysios’ provincial affairs.10

In Ephesus, Dionysios repeated the work he had done in Larissa; he built churches, the construction material of which had – in many cases – come from ancient Greek temples in the surrounding areas. He established the schools of Magnisia, Pergamon, Briulla and Ephesus and provided support to the Philological School of Smyrna, where the Oikonomos Brothers and Konstantinos Koumas11 were teaching. His contribution to the Academy of Cydoniae and Veniamin Lesvios is also very important. Nevertheless, Dionysios, under his capacity as a synodic member, continued living mostly in Constantinople, where he was particularly active.

2. 3. Activity of Dionysios in Constantinople

In Constantinople, Dionysios had a house in Therapeia (Tarapya), where local or foreign scholars often gathered to exchange views regarding the current political issues as well as issues of wider intellectual interest. Dionysios, nevertheless, stayed also in Kuruçeşme, where the senior prelates lived, including the Patriarch himself. He stayed there mostly in the summer, because of the better climate, but also because for the fear of plague – very few incidents had ever appeared in Kuruçeşme.12

In 1796, Kalliarchis and Hierotheos, metropolitan of Euripus, were elected by the Holy Synod provosts of the Great School of the Nation; the restructuring of the declining patriarchal Academy was successful, judging from the result of their actions. At the same time, in 1798, Dionysios contributed, by lending money, to the construction of the church of St Demetrios in Kuruçeşme.

In Constantinople, Dionysios, under his capacity as a member of the Holy Synod, was actively involved in the current ecclesiastical affairs. Among others, he was one of the synodic members who brought Gregorios V to the patriarchal throne in 1797. Moreover, in January 1800, after the assembly of notables and clergymen under the presidency of the Patriarch, it was decided that the Great School of the Nation be removed to Kuruçeşme; for this reason, on February 1, 1804, Dionysios compiled a document addressed to Joasaph, metropolitan of Belegrades (Berat) in Albania, in which he mentions that a residence was bought in Kuruçeşme, where the Patriarchal School would be housed.

In the beginning of 1805, Dionysios toured his province, without staying there for a long period. In October 1806 he was once again in Constantinople, contributing once more to the election of Gregorios V to the patriarchal throne. At the same time, in January 1807, he signed a patriarchal circular according to which the Christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire were called to remain faithful to the sultan during the war the Ottoman Empire against Russia. In September of the same year, he signed a circular of Gregorios V, under which the foundation of schools was approved.

After the second resignation of Gregorios V, Dionysios participated in appointing Kallinikos V as the new Patriarch of Constantinople, on September 10, 1808. In 1814, following a recommendation by Dionysios, Konstantinos Koumas undertook the management of the Great School of the Nation. He was summoned from Smyrna through a patriarchal letter.13 The preference shown by Dionysios towards Koumas and especially his contribution to the appointment of the latter at the Great School of the Nation demonstrate the progressive views and the intense interest shown by Kalliarches in educational matters.

According to Dionysios Pistis, Kalliarchis visited Ayvalık (Cydoniae) in 1817 or 1818, where he met the teachers of the School. He also met Evanthia Kairi – sister of Theofilos –, who offered him an ode in gratitude for his support towards the Academy of Cydoniae.14

3. Dionysios and Veniamin Lesvios

The teachings of Veniamin Lesvios in the Academy of Cydoniae were based on the principles of the Enlightenment and stood directly or indirectly against conservatism; not surprisingly, the fact caused reactions against him. Two of his main opponents were Dorotheos Boulismas and Athanasios Parios, around whom a small group of conservative scholars gathered.

The accusation against Veniamin to the Holy Synod of Constantinople in 1803 came from two other people, Samuil of Andros and Iakovos of Thira. Samuil was a student of Beniamin, but he must have belonged to the conservative circle of Parios. Iakovos was slandering Beniamin in Ayvalık and was expelled from the city following an intervention by the metropolitan of Troad. Angelou correlates the activity of the two aforementioned persons against Lesvios with Parios, implying that the latter was involved actively.15

With Samuıl’s help, Iakovos gathered the school notebooks from the classes of Lesvios and handed them over to Ioannıs Kallimaches, dragoman of the fleet. In turn, Kallimachıs sent the notebooks to Constantinople. This was shortly after Dionysios had occupied the throne of Ephesus. Therefore, Dionysios received the notebooks and brought forward the matter in the Synod.

The synodal decision was condemnatory. It ıs important that the issue came to the Synod secretly and hurriedly – it is worth noting that Beniamin was not even called to defend himself, in contrary to common practice in similar cases – nor had Dionysios been informed about Lesvios. It should not be forgotten that he had just undertaken his metropolitan duties in Ephesus. Nevertheless, Dionysios wrote to Lesvios asking him to send the notebooks from his classes at the School. Veniamin responded to this request, explaining the reasons that caused his persecution and recommended to Dionysios that he ask for information about Iakovos from Mount Athos, where the latter had been a monk for some time.

Slowly, the climate changed. The people in Ayvalık sided with Lesvios and even moved to a ‘mutiny’: they drove Iakovos and Samuil away, who had arrived in Cydoniae as representatives of Boulismas in order to implement the synodal decisions. Angelou believes that this reaction could not have taken place without the indirect support of Constantinople, suggesting, among others, Kalliarchis. Moreover, the inhabitants of Ayvalık sent letters to the Synod, in which they provide information about the intentions of Veniamin’s accusers. Parios and his accomplices faced the charge that they turned against Lesvios out of enmity. The support Dionysios offered to Lesvios is evident in the letter dated 10 May 1805, which Veniamin sent to the Synod referring to Dionysios’ testimony. With this letter, it sees that Veniamin’s case finally came to an end; Kalliarchis’ contribution was of decisive importance.16

4. The Outbreak of the Greek War of Independence and the End of Dionysios

According to Filimon, Dionysios became a member of the Society of Friends (Filiki Etaireia), when a letter made known in Constantinople that the leadership of the Etaireia was undertaken by Alexandros Ypsilantis.17 On 23 February 1821, the Greek Revolution broke out at Iasio (Romanian: Iaşi) and the news reached Constantinople 5 days later. Spyridon Trikoupis claims that on 9 March the Patriarch was ordered to send some prelates to the Sublime Porte, without however mentioning the cause for this order. Among the prelates was Dionysios Kalliarhis, who was the first to be imprisoned on March 10.18 A month later, on 10 April 1821, on Easter Sunday, and after Patriarch Gregorios V was hanged, Dionysios was also hanged at the fish market (balık pazarı).19

1. Κοντογιάννης, Π.Μ., ‘Διονύσιος Καλλιάρχης’, Αθηνά 18 (1905), pp. 146-148.

2. Άμαντος, Κ., ‘Οι Καλλιάρχαι της Εφέσου’, Ελληνικά 8 (1935), p. 73. Amantos (Άμαντος) provides some useful information about other members of the Kalliarches family. See also Κοντογιάννης, Π.Μ., ‘Διονύσιος Καλλιάρχης’, Αθηνά 18 (1905), pp. 148-149.

3. Κοντογιάννης, Π.Μ., ‘Διονύσιος Καλλιάρχης’, Αθηνά 18 (1905), pp. 148-149.

4. Kontogiannis (Κοντογιάννης) supports that Dionysios became metropolitan of Larissa in 1794. However, Amantos refutes this claim and mentions something published in 1929 by the metropolitan of Thessaliotida, Iezekiil Velanidiotis (see Θεολογία 7, 1929, p. 28). According to the latter, Kalliarches was already metropolitan of Larissa on 1 July 1793 and visited the monastery of Rentina. See Άμαντος, Κ., ‘Οι Καλλιάρχαι της Εφέσου’, Ελληνικά 8 (1935), p. 81, note 3.

5. The connections of Kalliarches in Constantinople are proven by the speed of the relative processes for the reconstruction of the church: the relevant firman was issued on 4 February 1794 and on 6 April, on Good Friday, the church was ready. Άμαντος, Κ., ‘Οι Καλλιάρχαι της Εφέσου’, Ελληνικά 8 (1935), pp. 81-82. According to a source, apart from the people who helped, more than 200 workers were involved in the reconstruction of the church. Φαρμακίδης, Ε., Η Λάρισα (Volos 1926), p. 190.

6. Κοντογιάννης, Π.Μ., ‘Διονύσιος Καλλιάρχης’, Αθηνά 18 (1905), pp. 153, 173.

7. Άμαντος, Κ., ‘Οι Καλλιάρχαι της Εφέσου’, Ελληνικά 8 (1935), p. 82.

8. Βέης, Ν.Α., ‘Επιστολαί Κωνσταντίνου Κούμα και Αδαμαντίου Κοραή σχετικαί προς την Σμύρνην’, Μικρασιατικά Χρονικά 2 (1939), p. 13.

9. Κοντογιάννης, Π.Μ., ‘Διονύσιος Καλλιάρχης’, Αθηνά 18 (1905), p. 173.

10. For more information, see Κοντογιάννης, Π.Μ., ‘Διονύσιος Καλλιάρχης’, Αθηνά 18 (1905), pp. 163-166. Note no. 4, p. 165, is also very useful: according to the English traveler Τurner, some of the bishops of Dionysios were not directly under him. Especially about the bishops of Crene and Heliopolis, Τurner implies that they paid only once or paid Dionysios every year a specific amount in return for the administration of their provinces, without reporting the management of the provincial matters to him.

11. Κοντογιάννης, Π.Μ., ‘Διονύσιος Καλλιάρχης’, Αθηνά 18 (1905), pp. 156-157, 173-174.

12. Κοντογιάννης, Π.Μ., ‘Διονύσιος Καλλιάρχης’, Αθηνά 18 (1905), pp. 168-170.

13. Κοντογιάννης, Π.Μ., ‘Διονύσιος Καλλιάρχης’, Αθηνά 18 (1905), pp. 159-161, 171.

14. Παναγιωτόπουλος, Β.Π., ‘Μία Ωδή της Ευανθίας Καΐρη στον Εφέσου Διονύσιο τον Καλλιάρχη’, Ο Ερανιστής 1 (Athens 1963), pp. 235-236.

15. Άγγελος, Α., ‘Των Φώτων. Όψεις του Νεοελληνικού Διαφωτισμού’, Ερμής (Athens 1988), pp. 265-266.

16. About this and a thorough description of the conflict between Beniamin and Parios and his associates, see Άγγελος, Α., ‘Των Φώτων. Όψεις του Νεοελληνικού Διαφωτισμού’, Ερμής (Athens 1988), pp. 260-284. See also Βαλέτα, Γ., ‘Ιστορία της Ακαδημίας Κυδωνιών’, Μικρασιατικά Χρονικά 4, (Athens 1948), pp. 145-208.

17. Κοντογιάννης, Π.Μ., ‘Διονύσιος Καλλιάρχης’, Αθηνά 18 (1905), pp. 193-194.

18. Lappas reports that probably Dionysios was arrested because of his liberal views, which were a potential threat against the status quo and must have annoyed the well-informed Ottoman authorities. Λάππας, Κ., ‘Πατριαρχική Σύνοδος “περί καθαιρέσεως των φιλοσοφικών μαθημάτων” το Μάρτιο του 1821’, Μνήμων 11 (Athens 1987), pp. 128-129.

19. Θωμόπουλος, Σ.Ν., ‘Ο Μέγας Δέρκων Γρηγόριος (1800-1821)’, Δελτίον της Ιστορικής και Εθνολογικής Εταιρείας της Ελλάδος (Athens 1928), vol. I, issue II, pp. 89-90, 96-97.


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