Byzantium and the West

Coordinator: Charalambos Gasparis (Research Director)
Team members: Angeliki Panopoulou (Senior Researcher), Marina Koumanoudi (Associate Researcher), Kostas Tsiknakis (Functional Researcher B), Antonis Pardos (Functional Researcher B), Nikos G. Moschonas (Emeritus Research Director)


The purpose of the programme is to study the relations between the Byzantine world and the peoples of Western Europe, especially after the decisive year 1204 and the fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade; a period during which Latin lords and Italian city-states established long-lasting states in the former lands of the Byzantine Empire. The programme's research activity aims to contribute to the in-depth understanding of the multilateral relations between the two oblique-facing worlds of medieval Europe (wars, diplomatic, economic, cultural relations, the establishment of the Latins in the Greek lands and that of Greeks in Western Europe).

The ongoing research activity of the programme focuses on the study of the history of the Latin dominions in the Greek territories from the 13th to the 17th century.

The main objectives of the programme are:

  1. To conduct research in archives and libraries in Greece and abroad.
  2. To publish historical sources
  3. To disseminate the research results by way of research projects, scientific publications, conferences, lectures and seminars



The programme "Byzantium and the West" was conceived by now Research Director Emeritus N.G. Moschonas and began to take form in 1996.

The research conducted by members and collaborators of the programme so far has borne 16 volumes (see publications), numerous articles and papers in international congresses.

The programme members have also successfully organised 5 international congresses and 4 lecture series for the Special Educational Events "Society of Science".


  • International Academic Symposium: «Χρήμα και Αγορά στην εποχή των Παλαιολόγων» ["Money and Market in the Palaeologan Era"], Chalkis, 22-24 May 1998.
  • International Academic Symposium: «Το Δουκάτο των Αθηνών. 1204-1456/8» ["The Duchy of Athens. 1204-1456/8"], Athens, November 2006 (in collaboration with the Italian Institute of Athens and the Cervantes Institute of Athens).
  • Greco-Italian Academic Meeting: «Βυζαντινή και ιταλική ζωγραφική, δρόμοι και συναντήσεις. Από τις Σταυροφορίες έως την πτώση του Χάνδακα (1096-1669)» ["Byzantine and Italian Painting, Paths and Encounters. From the Crusades to the Fall of Candia (1096-1669)"], Athens, November 2006 (in collaboration with the Institute of Neo-Hellenic Research / programme "Greek Painters after the Fall of Constantinople").
  • International Academic Symposium: «Το δουκάτο του Αιγαίου» ["The Duchy of the Aegean"], Naxos, July 2007 – Athens, November 2007 (in collaboration with the Centre of Research of the Greek Society of the Academy of Athens and the cultural organisation «Αιών» of Naxos).
  • International Academic Symposium: «Ταβέρνες και πανδοχεία στον χώρο της Μεσογείου κατά τον όψιμο Μεσαίωνα (12ος-16ος αι.)» ["Taverns and Inns in the Mediterranean during the Late Middle Ages (12th-16th c.)"], Athens, April 2008.
  • International Academic Symposium: «Formes des autonomies urbaines dans le monde greco-latin des XIIIe-XVIe siecles», Athens, May 2009 (in collaboration with the French Archaeological School of Athens).



Lectures Series held at the NHRF: «Society of Science» - Special Educational Events.

  • Κύπρος, σταυροδρόμι της Μεσογείου [Cyprus: A Mediterranean Crossroad] (February 2000).
  • Το ενδιαφέρον των Ευρωπαίων για την Κύπρο και ο ευρωπαϊκός προσανατολισμός των Κυπρίων [European Interest in Cyprus and the European orientation of Cypriots] (December 2002).
  • Η Τέταρτη Σταυροφορία και ο βυζαντινός κόσμος [The Fourth Crusade and the Byzantine World] (March 2004).
  • Οι ναυτικές Πολιτείες της Ιταλίας (Αμάλφη, Πίζα, Γένουα, Βενετία) και ο ρόλος τους στην Ανατολική Μεσόγειο [The Italian Maritime States (Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa, Venice) and their Role in the Eastern Mediterranean] (May-June 2005).


Ongoing Projects

A. Collective Research Projects

1. "Prosopography of the Greco-Venetian East. 13th-16th centuries"
Charalambos Gasparis, Angeliki Panopoulou, Marina Koumanoudi, Kostas Tsiknakis

Prosopography provides us with a fund of predigested historical data in a permanent state of deconstruction; it is a powerful analytical tool which literally reduces history to atoms, for a πρόσωπον is an άτομον, the indivisible unit of human existence. A catalogue of all recorded historical persons is therefore as close as we can come to creating a complete, fully articulated and objective record of the past.
[Paul Magdalino, Prosopography and Byzantine identity, Fifty years of Prosopography. The Later Roman Empire, Byzantium and beyond, ed. Averil Cameron, Oxford University Press 2003, 46.]

The research project "Prosopography of the Greco-Venetian East. 13th-16th centuries" aims at creating an Open Access Database with information about all persons found in Latin, Italian and Greek archival sources concerning the Venetian colonies in the Greek territories (Crete, Methone and Korone, Euboea, Kythera). The project aspires to lay the foundations for a scientifically grounded database, which will be constantly fed with new information by the members of the programme and, at a later date, by external collaborators conducting research on the subject.

Prosopography constitutes an important field of contemporary historical research, which is why the "Prosopography of the Greco-Venetian East" intends to become an essential link in the chain of prosopographical projects dealing with the Byzantine Empire and Venice, some of which are already completed, others are ongoing or still being planned [Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire (250-641), Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire (PBΕ) (641-867), Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit. Abteilung II: 867-1025 (in preparation), Prosopography of the Byzantine World (PBW) (1025-1150), «Prosopography of the Latin Empire of Constantinople» (1204-1261) (in preparation), Prosopographisches Lexikon der Palaiologenzeit (1261-1453), The Rulers of Venice. 1332-1524. Database, The Medieval and Renaissance Italy Prosopographical Database: Venice, ]. Τhe designing of the database has began and collection of prosopographical data for 13th and 14th century Crete is underway as part of a pilot project.


2. "'A Basket of Consumables' Prices and wages in medieval and early modern Crete. 13th-16th centuries"
Marina Koumanoudi, Charalambos Gasparis, Angeliki Panopoulou, Kostas Tsiknakis

The aim of this research project is to construct a long-term commodity price index for Crete during the late middle ages and the early modern period (13th-16th c.). More specifically, the investigation will centre on defining a 'representative basket of consumables' which will allow for comparisons across time. The price of the composite unit of consumables (cuc) related to specific nominal wage-rates will be used for calculating the consumer price index and for measuring the cost-of-living in order to reveal changes in real wages and standards of living throughout the period under investigation.

The aims and objectives of the project are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research practice. The interdisciplinary nature of the project involves the combining of three academic disciplines: history, statistics and information technology. Funding opportunities are being sought in order to allow for the collaboration with the external partners and the scientific institutions that have agreed to join forces in the investigation and for the realization of the project in its full extent. In the meantime the collection of the relevant research literature and price-wage data is already underway.


B. Personal Research Projects

1. "The Venetian Cadastres of medieval Crete (Catastici Feudorum Crete). 13th-15th centuries. Edition of the text, Study and Electronic Data Processing".
Charalambos Gasparis.

The aim of this project is to publish the surviving Cadastres of Cretan fiefs (Catastici Feudorum) dating from the first three centuries of the Venetian rule on the island. These are four files preserved in the Duca di Candia series of the State Archive of Venice (Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Duca di Candia, b. 18, 19, 20, 21), which contain whole or parts of the Cadastres of the area comprising the modern-day prefecture of Herakleion, as well as part of the Cadastre of Chania. The Cadastres were used by the Venetian government to monitor feudal land tenure on the island, since the state retained the direct ownership. Each entry in the Cadastres concerns an individual fief including all its components and owners from the early thirteenth to the middle fifteenth century. This very important source highlights not only the Venetian landowning system, but also various aspects of the social and economic life of medieval Crete. Two of the four files have already been published (see below publications no. 5 and 6) and the edition of the remaining two is in preparation. At the same time an Open Access Database containing all the information of the Cadastres, and especially the rich prosopographical and topographical material, is under preparation.

2. "Acts written by Johannes Semergo, notary in Candia-Gergeri (1559-1560)".
Angeliki Panopoulou. Edition and commentary of the text.

3. "Τhe Commission of the Duke of Crete Leone Duodo (1459)".
Marina Koumanoudi. Edition and commentary of the text.

4. "The Reports of the Venetian officials of Crete. A. The officials of the territory of Chania (16th-17th centuries)". Kostas Tsiknakis.
Edition and commentary of the text.

5. "Archival documents and literary sources of 16th and 17th centuries". Antonis Pardos.
Edition and commentary of: an unpublished 17th century Italian text, the dispatches of Ottoman Governors to Venetian Provveditori in Greek language, a 16th century Report of a high-ranking Venetian official, a 16th century translation of the Marcus Mussurus' elegaic Hymn to Platon.

6. «Κύρτου Πλέγματα. Networks of economy, power and knowledge in the Greek territories from the prehistoric times to the modern era: documentation - mapping - synthetic approaches».

Research Programme of the Institute, individual or collaborative research projects of the members of the programme "Byzantium and the West":

  • "Trade networks. The maritime roads of the Venetian trade in the Eastern Mediterranean. 13th-14th centuries" - Charalambos Gasparis.
  • "Salt-pan networks in Mediterranean from antiquity to modern times" - Maria Gerolymatou, Panagiotis Michailaris, Evangelia Balta, Angeliki Panopoulou, Kostas Tsiknakis,.
  • "Rural networks for the production and the transport of products in the Peloponnese during the Byzantine period" - Ilias Anagnostakis, Anastasia Yangaki, Voula Konti, Anna Lambropoulou, Maria Leontsini, Angeliki Panopoulou.
  • "Western religious orders in the Greek territories (11th-19th c.)" - Marina Koumanoudi, George Koutzakiotis, Angeliki Panopoulou.
  • "Itineraries and routes of pirates and corsaires in 16th and 17th centuries" - Antonis Pardos.

7. "Dictionary of Paleographic and Diplomatic Terminology". Nikos G. Moschonas.
The Research project was planned and materialized by Emeritus Research Director N. G. Moschonas and the late Director of the Royal Holloway Hellenic Institute (University of London) Julian Chrysostomides in collaboration with Dr Ch. Dendrinos. The project is currently under way and, following the passing of Julian Chrysostomides, coordinated by N. G. Moschonas and Ch. Dendrinos, Lecturer in Byzantine Literature and Greek Palaeography at the Department of History of the Royal Holloway, University of London. Young researchers in Athens and London collaborate in the project.

8. Monographs in preparation:
"The embassies of Venetian-ruled Greek territories during the fifteenth century". Marina Koumanoudi
"Pirates and Corsaires in the 17th century Greek Seas". Antonis Pardos



The "Historical Sciences Seminar" offered every academic year since 1987 is addressed to graduate and postgraduate students, as well as to the general public, who wish to acquire the necessary special skills for historical research. The following courses are available: Theory and Methodology of History, Archival Science, Latin Paleography, Epigraphic Studies, Papyrology, Codicology, Numismatics, Sigillography, Diplomatics, Chronological Systems, Byzantine Ceramic, Introduction to Cartography, Heraldry, Ancient Greek Religion, Greek Mythology Geography, Byzantine Texts, Medieval History Archival Sources, Approaching the Western Middle Ages, Architectural Archives, Modern-Greek Enlightenment. The courses are taught by IHR researchers, academics and other specialists. The activities of the Seminar up to 2007 are recorded in a 20th anniversary volume. See Φροντιστήριο Ιστορικών Επιστημών. Απολογισμός εικοσαετίας 1987-2007 [Historical Sciences' Seminar. 1987-2007, 20 year Report], Athens 2008 (in Greek).




  • Ch. Gasparis, H γη και οι αγρότες στη μεσαιωνική Kρήτη. 13ος-14ος αι. [Land and Peasants in Medieval Crete], Institute for Byzantine Research/NHRF, Monographs 4, Athens 1997 (in Greek).
  • Ανδρέας Αμάραντος. Νοταριακές πράξεις. Αράκλι Κεφαλονιάς (1548-1562) [Andreas Amarandos. Notarial Acts. Arakli Cefalonia (1548-1562)], ed. by. Ch. Vagionakis, Olga Katsivela, Despoina Michalaga, Vasso Belavjeni, M. Bletas, under the direction of N. G. Moschonas, Institute for Byzantine Research/NHRF, Sources 5, Athens 2001 (in Greek).
  • Κύπρος: σταυροδρόμι της Μεσογείου [Cyprus: A Mediterranean Crossroad], ed. by N. G. Moschonas, «Society of Science» - Special Educational Events / NHRF, Athens 2001 (in Greek).
  • Χρήμα και Αγορά στην εποχή των Παλαιολόγων [Money and Market in the Palaeologan Era], Proceedings of the International Scientific Symposium, Chalkis, 22-24 May 1998, ed. by N. G. Moschonas, Institute for Byzantine Research/NHRF, Byzantium Today 4, Athens 2003 (articles in Greek-English-French-Italian).
  • Ch. Gasparis, Catastici Feudorum Crete. Catasticum Sexterii Dorsoduri. 1227-1428, v. 1-2, Institute for Byzantine Research/NHRF, Sources 6, Athens 2004 (Greek introduction, text in Latin with Greek summary).
  • Ch. Gasparis, Catastici Feudorum Crete. Catasticum Chanee. 1314-1396, Institute for Byzantine Research/NHRF, Sources 9, Athens 2008 (Greek introduction, text in Latin with Greek summary, English summary).
  • G. Pagratis, Οι εκθέσεις των Βενετών βαΐλων και προνοητών της Κέρκυρας (16ος αιώνας) [The Reports of the Venetian Baili and Provveditori of Corfu (16th c.)], Institute for Byzantine Research/NHRF, Sources 10, Athens 2008 (Greek introduction, text in Italian, English summary).
  • Νικόλαος Καπιάνος, Νοταριακές πράξεις. Κάστρο Κεφαλονιάς (1572-1576) [Nikolaos Kapianos, Notarial Acts, Castle of Cefalonia (1571-1576)], ed. by. Ch. Vagionakis, Despoina Michalaga, M. Bletas, under the direction of N. G. Moschonas, Institute for Byzantine Research/NHRF, Sources 11, Athens 2008 (in Greek).
  • Η Τέταρτη Σταυροφορία και ο ελληνικός κόσμος [The Fourth Crusade and the Greek World], ed. by N. G. Moschonas, Institute for Byzantine Research/NHRF, Byzantium Today 5, Athens 2008 (in Greek).
  • Οι ναυτικές Πoλιτείες της Ιταλίας, Αμάλφη, Πίζα, Γένουα, Βενετία και η Ανατολική Μεσόγειος [The Italian Maritime Republics, Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa, Venice and the Eastern Mediterranean], ed. by N. G. Moschonas, Institute for Byzantine Research/NHRF, International Symposium 19, Athens 2008 (articles in Greek and Italian).
  • K. G. Tsiknakis, Οι εκθέσεις των Βενετών προνοητών της Κεφαλονιάς (16ος αιώνας) [The Reports of the Venetian Provveditori of Cefalonia (16th c.)], Institute for Byzantine Research/NHRF, Sources 12, Athens 2008 (Greek introduction, text in Italian with Greek summary, Italian summary).
  • A. Pardos, Αρχείο βενετικής διοίκησης Λευκάδας. 1. Τα βιβλία των ανώτερων Προνοητών [Archivio dell'amministrazione veneta di Leucade. 1. I libri dei Provveditori Estraordinarii di Santa Maura], Institute for Byzantine Research/NHRF, Sources 13, Athens 2008 (Greek introduction, text in Italian).
  • Efstratia Synkellou, Ο πόλεμος στον δυτικό ελλαδικό χώρο κατά τον ύστερο Μεσαίωνα (13ος-15ος αι.) [War in western Greece in the Late Middle Ages (13th-15th centuries)], Institute for Byzantine Research/NHRF, Monographs 8, Athens 2008 (in Greek with English summary)
  • I. Giarenis, Η συγκρότηση και η εδραίωση της Αυτοκρατορίας της Νίκαιας. Ο αυτοκράτορας Θεόδωρος Α΄ Κομνηνός Λάσκαρις [Establishment and consolidation of the Empire of Nicaea. The emperor Theodoros I Komnenos Laskaris], Institute for Byzantine Research/NHRF, Monographs 12, Athens 2008 (in Greek with English summary).
  • G. Merianos, Οικονομικές ιδέες στο Βυζάντιο τον 12ο αιώνα. Οι περί οικονομίας απόψεις του Ευσταθίου Θεσσαλονίκης [Economic ideas in the 12th century Byzantium. The views of Eustathios of Thessaloniki on economy], Institute for Byzantine Research/NHRF, Monographs 13, Athens 2008 (in Greek with English summary).
  • Το δουκάτο του Αιγαίου [The Duchy of the Aegean], Proceedings of the International Meeting (Naxos-Athens 2007), ed. by N. G. Moschonas – M-G Lily Stylianoudi, Institute for Byzantine Research/NHRF, International Symposium 20, Athens 2009 (articles in Greek and Italian).





1. Research Projects

  • «Damned in Hell in the frescoes of Venetian Crete. 13th – 17th centuries» (The Open University, UK). ( Principal Investigators: Angeliki Lymberopoulou (The Open University, UK) and Vasiliki Tsamakda (University of Mainz, Germany). Charalambos Gasparis: member of the research team.
  • "Residential Network in Crete. Land and societies, 13th-20th centuries". Principal investigator: Nikos Skoutelis, Department of Architecture, Τechnical University of Crete. Charalambos Gasparis: Historical Consultant for the research project.
  • International research programme in marine history "Oceanides". Supervisor Professor Emeritus of the University of Paris-I Pantheon-Sorbonne Michel Balard. Angeliki Panopoulou: personal project: "The maritime life of Crete in the Middle Ages until 16th c.".
  • "Progetto Festos: Studi e Ricerche topografiche su Festos e il suo territorio". Research programme by the Italian Archaeological School at Athens. Kostas Tsiknakis: personal research project: "Le fondi documentarie. La storia degli studi e la documentazione letteraria, epigrafica, numismatica, cartografica e areotopografica".


2. Other scientific collaborations

  • "Groupe de travail sur la Mediterranee greco-latine au bas Moyen Age". A collaboration of the Research Programme "Byzantium and the West" of the Institute of Historical Research/Department of Byzantine Studies (Charalambos Gasparis) with the University of Rouen (France) (Prof. Gilles Grivaud) and the University of Strasbourg (Prof. Catherine Otten) for Conferences and Workshops on issues concerning the History of Latin Dominions in the Greek territories (13th-17th c.). Until now three symposiums have been organized in Rouen, Athens and Strasbourg: 1. Strategies familiales dans le monde greco-latin des XIIIe-XVIe siecles, Journee d'etude, Universite de Rouen, 21 mai 2008, 2. Formes des autonomies urbaines dans le monde greco-latin des XIIIe-XVIe siecles, Αθήνα, 25-26 Μαΐου 2009, 3. Journee d'etudes: Les activites professionelles dans les villes greco-latin (XIIIe-XVIe), Universite de Strasbourg, 12 Novembre 2010.
  • Byzantinische Zetitschrift - «Bibliographische notizen und mitteilungen». Biannual bibliographical indexing of the publications in Greece on subjects concerning the Greek territories under Latin dominion (13th-17th c.). Marina Koumanoudi.
  • Postgraduate Seminar "The Greek-Latin World. 13th-18th centuries". Collaborators: Department of History and Archaeology/University of Athens, Institute of Historical Research/NHRF/Department of Byzantine Studies/Research Programme "Byzantium and the West", Research Centre for Medieval and Modern Hellenism/Academy of Athens.
  • "Lectures Series for the Medieval History of the Mediterranean". Nafpaktos. Annual lectures series held by the Municipality of Nafpaktos in collaboration with the Research Project "Byzantium and the West" (Institute of Historical Research/Department of Byzantine Studies) and the Centre for Ionian Studies.



"The Athenian past is present in every corner of the basin. Apart from the illustrious monuments of antiquity, the elegant Byzantine churches and the neoclassic edifices combined in harmony with the natural environment constitute the link between the past the present. The presence of the past is continuous in modern Athens and the evidence of historical continuity is rich. The urban web of the city is still based on the ancient one; modern-day roads and highways were built on ancient ones or follow their axes. What is most impressive is the continuity in the use of the urban area. And it is exactly the historical duration and continuity of the Athenian landscape that both residents and sojourners should know and experience".
Nikos G. Moschonas, Emeritus Research Director of the Institute of Historical Research


Prizes - Honours

The Emeritus now Research Director of the Institute of Historical Research, Nikos G. Moschonas has received the following honours:

  • The main hall of the State Archive of Cefalonia was named after him, and a volume of the state archives dedicated to him.
  • He was honoured by the president of the Italian Republic with the Honor of the Cavaliere.
  • He was named Honorary Research Fellow of the Royal Holloway College of the University of London.





© National Hellenic Research Foundation (NHRF), 48 Vassileos Constantinou Ave., 11635 Athens, Greece, Tel. +302107273700, Fax. +302107246618