Institute for Mediterranean Studies

Marriage contracts in the Greek world 1500-1830

Marriage contracts in the Greek world 1500-1830

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.

Principal Investigator Aglaia Kasdagli
Research Team

  • Theofania Aggelopouloy
  • Panayotis Stathis
  • Meropi Vaggeli
  • Stathoula Chartomatsidou
  • Katerina Alexopoulou

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

This project produced 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).


Products of the project

Database


Publications

  • Αγλαΐα Κάσδαγλη 2000, Γαμήλιες παροχές στη βενετοκρατούμενη Κρήτη και αλλού: μία πρώτη ανάγνωση των κρητικών προικώων εγγράφων της ύστερης βενετοκρατίας, στο Πεπραγμένα Η’ Διεθνούς Κρητολογικού Συνεδρίου, Ηράκλειο, τ. Β1, 321-32.
  • Αγλαΐα Κάσδαγλη 2004, Family and Inheritance in the Cyclades 1500-1800: Present knowledge and unanswered questions, Journal of Family History 9, 257-274.
  • Αγλαΐα Κάσδαγλη 2005, Dowry and Inheritance, Gender and Empowerment in the “Notarial Societies” of the Early Modern Greek World’ / «Προίκα και κληρονομιά, κοινωνικό φύλο καιάσκηση δικαιωμάτων στις ‘νοταριακές κοινωνίες’ του ελληνικού κόσμου κατά τους πρώιμους νεότερους χρόνους» , Conference on the theme Less favoured – more favoured in law and legal practice: Gender, power and authority, 12th – 19th centuries, organised by members of the electronic site Gender in European Legal History, 12th - 19th centuries,Κοπεγχάγη 27- 29 Σεπτεμβρίου 2004, 7 σελ. Ηλεκτρονική έκδοση [α’ ανάρτηση 2005, τελευταία ανάγνωση 20/8/2012] στη διεύθυνση http://www.kb.dk/export/sites/kb_dk/da/publikationer/online/fund_og_forskning/download/A09_Kasdagli.pdf
  • Αγλαΐα Κάσδαγλη 2006, ‘Sexe et parenté dans les îles de l’ Égée (1500-1800) : le témoignage des actes notariés’ / «Κοινωνικό φύλο και συγγένεια στα νησιά του Αιγαίου (1500-1800. Οι μαρτυρίες των νοταριακών εγγράφων)», σε Parenté et société dans le monde grec de l’ antiquité à l’ âge moderne, επιμ. Α. Bresson, M.-P. Masson, S. Perentidis και J. Wilgaux, Μπορντό 2006 (Ausonius – Études 12), σελ. 327-334.
  • Αγλαΐα Κάσδαγλη 2006, ‘Notarial acts as sources for social and cultural history: the Greek world under Venetian rule’/ «Οι νοταριακές πράξεις ως πηγή κοινωνικής και πολιτισμικήςΙστορίας». Διεπιστημονικό συνέδριο (Unlocking the potential of texts: interdisciplinary perspectives on Medieval Greek) του ερευνητικού προγράμματος για τη σύνταξη γραμματικήςτης δημώδους μεσαιωνικής ελληνικής γλώσσας, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities University of Cambridge, 18-19 Ιουλίου2006. http://www.mml.cam.ac.uk/greek/grammarofmedievalgreek/unlocking/pdf/Kasdagli.pdf
  • Αγλαΐα Κάσδαγλη 2006, ‘Notarial archives concerning the Greek world: a chaotic and vastly unexplored wealth’ / «Νοταριακά αρχεία σχετικά με τον ελληνικό κόσμο. Ένας χαοτικός και ανεκμετάλλευτος πλούτος», L'Homme. Europaeische Zeitschrift fuer Feministische Geschichtswissenschaft, 17 (2006/2 ): 141-144.
  • Αγλαΐα Κάσδαγλη 2007, «Συλλογική μνήμη και κοινωνική πραγματικότητα. Οι αρχοντικές οικογένειες της Νάξου Μετά την πτώση του δουκάτου» / ‘Memoria collettiva e realtà sociale. Lefamiglie nobili di Nasso dopo la caduta del ducato’, στο Το δουκάτο του Αιγαίου, Πρακτικά Επιστημονικής Συνάντησης / Il ducato dell’ Egeo, Atti dell’ Incontro diStudio, Ακαδημία Αθηνών – Εθνικό Ίδρυμα Ερευνών / Academia di Atene / IBE– Fondazione Nazionale delle Ricerche / IBE, Athens: 447-454.
  • Αγλαΐα Κάσδαγλη 2012, ‘Custom and law in the early modern Aegean islands: the case of marriage payments’, επιμ. Karin Gottschalk, Gender Difference in European Legal Cultures. Historical Perspectives. Dedicated to Heide Wunder on the occasion of her 70th birthday. Στουτγάρδη, Franz Steiner Verlag, 2012.
  • Αγλαΐα Κάσδαγλη Custom, Tradition and “The Law” in the Post-Medieval Cyclades’, κεφ. 5 στο Imperial Lineages and Legacies in the Eastern Mediterranean – Recording the Imprint of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Rule, επιμ. Rhoads Murphy [υπό δημοσίευση], Farnham (U.K.): Ashgate Publishing [to be published]

Project Team

Aglaia Kasdagli

Professor of medieval history
Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete
Curriculum vitae

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