Cultural History

Economic and Social History

Political History


Historical Study of Settlements in Greece (15th-20th c.)

The Research Program seeks to study the historical demography and geography, the ekistics, the ethnocultural groups, the traditional economic activities and the administrative history of Greece, from the collapse of the Byzantine Empire until the creation of the Greek state and its gradual territorial expansion to its present boundaries (15th-20th c.).
Based on a systematic archival documentation, Research objectives are the following:

  • The historical study of settlements and geographical regions of Greece.
  • The collection, classification and processing of archival documentation on the history of settlements.
  • The creation of databases for the aforementioned archival material.

The Research Program has established a series of scientific collaborations with national and foreign Institutions and a significant part of the research has been published in volumes, scientific journals and conference proceedings. Additionally, as part of the Research Program, projects concerning the detection and classification of archives produced by municipalities and communities, as well as of other documents on the history of settlements have been carried out. The projects were implemented by young historians, research collaborators of the Institute of Historical Research, in collaboration with the regional and local authorities, and resulted in the rescue of significant municipal archives and the composition of archival catalogues and indexes.



The Research Program was founded by Vassilis Panayotopoulos, Research Director Emeritus, who worked for several years in the Laboratory of Historical Demography in Paris. His pioneering thesis (published in 1985) on the population and settlements of the Peloponnese (13th – 18th centuries) was the first and the most important scientific study of historical demography and geography in Modern Greek Historiography. A comprehensive approach of methodological problems and problems of sources for the study of historical geography and demography of Greece is available online. From 2002 to 2009 Leonidas Kallivretakis was the scientific supervisor of the Program and, after 2009, Dimitris Dimitropoulos.



Dimitris Dimitropoulos, Research Director (Program Coordinator)
Leonidas Kallivretakis, Research Director

Other members

Research Directors Emeriti and Former Researchers
Vassilis Panayotopoulos, Research Director Emeritus

Post-doctoral Researchers
Eleni Kyramargiou
Fransesco Scalora

External Collaborators
Maria Arvaniti, PhD Candidate
Anna Athanasouli, PhD Candidate
Christos Chrysanthopoulos, PhD Candidate
Olga Evangelidou, PhD Candidate
Michael Festas, PhD Candidate
Yiannis Papakondylis, PhD Candidate
Vallia Rapti, PhD Candidate
Vangelis Sarafis, PhD Candidate
Stefanos Vamiedakis, PhD Candidate


Research Projects

Historical Study of settlements in Greece (15th- 20th). Documentation – Research Activities.

“Refugee Neighborhoods of Piraeus. From silenced stories to History”

“Refugee Neighborhoods of Piraeus. From silenced stories to History” is a major interdisciplinary research project implemented by the National Hellenic Research Foundation, the National Technical University of Athens and funded by the Attica Region Administration, from January 2017 to April 2018.
The program aimed at creating a series of activities that could bring collective and individual historical memory to the spotlight. Thus, research began with the study of refugee settlements in Piraeus and its vicinity at the beginning of the 20th century. These settlements shaped the history of the area, as well as local collective identity. Additionally, the large number of new housing shelters triggered many difficulties that demanded solutions from the central government: interaction between newcomers and locals, lack of urban planning e.t.c.

The project aimed at investigating the urban development of Piraeus just after the arrival of the refugees in 1922 offering new contributions to Greek Historiography. Based on available archival material, the study concerned the ways these settlements were created and expanded in Piraeus.

Research dealt with the ways the refugees were settled, the relief (or its absence) provided by the Institutions and focused on the urban development of refugee settlements from the first makeshift shacks until the urban rehabilitation implemented by the government.

The data collected during research is available on The website will be updated with all the pertinent documentation, as well as with the research data produced by oral history groups. All the activities carried out during the research program (walking tours in neighborhoods of Drapetsona, Nikaia and Piraeus e.t.c.) had a lot of participants and media coverage from local and digital press, as well as from the Hellenic Broadcasting Cooperation (ERT).

Research Team:
Principal Investigators:
Dimitris Dimitropoulos, Research Director (IHR/NHRF)
Nikos Belavilas, Associate Professor (N.T.U.A)

Research Coordinator:
Eleni Kyramargiou, PhD in History, research associate, IHR/NHRF

Manos Avgeridis, Historian, PhD candidate at University of Athens, research associate, IHR/NHRF
Anna Lambrou, Msc Architecture and Planning, PhD candidate at N.T.U.A
Alexandra Mourgou, Msc Architecture and Planning, PhD candidate at N.T.U.A
Leonardos Stryfounias Polemis, Geographer
Polina Prentou, Msc Architecture and Planning, PhD candidate at N.T.U.A
Katerina Christoforaki, Msc Architecture and Planning, PhD candidate at N.T.U.A
Christos Chrysanthopoulos, Historian, PhD candidate at University of the Peloponnese, research associate, IHR/NHRF

Special Collaborator: George Veranis, digital mapping

Scientific Consultants:
Dimitra Lampropoulou, Lecturer in History, University of Athens
George Sarigiannis, Emeritus Professor, N.T.U.A
Vasso Trova, Professor, Department of Architecture / University of Thessaly


“Historical documents on settlement structure in Piraeus”
The research project focuses on the study of the settlements of Drapetsona, Keratsini, Perama, Nikaia and Aghios Ioannis Rentis. Built at the perimeter of the city of Piraeus, around its port, they hosted Asia Minor refugees who fled after the disaster of 1922, as well as internal migrants. The settlements became a driving force for industrial growth in the area, supplying the ever-growing local industry with the necessary labour force, providing staff for the ships, nourishing the city’s trade.

These settlements were constructed without sufficient urban planning, sometimes even without state support. The majority of the refugees that arrived at Piraeus sought temporary refuge in public buildings, schools, derelict warehouses or tents and later moved into self-built wooden shacks outside the town planning. The only exceptions were the few wooden rooms built by the Refugee Fund. The progressive expansion of the settlements and the associated population growth led to their division into separate Communities and Municipalities, beginning with the establishment of the Community of Aghios Ioannis Rentis in 1925 up to the founding of the Municipality of Drapetsona in 1951.

This research aims to study these five settlements, focusing mainly on issues such as population growth, residential development, economic activity and political behaviour. Some of the source material utilized to gather data on the population and its voting patterns are censuses (1920-1961) and business directories from 1927 and 1947. The gathering of such information proved to be exceptionally difficult due to the lack of accessible archival material and relevant bibliography. Despite these problems, we have succeeded in collecting an important corpus of archival records that allow an initial approach of these questions in a comparative perspective.

More information available on:

  • Municipality of Aghios Ioannis Rentis
  • Municipality of Drapetsona
  • Municipality of Keratsini
  • Municipality of Nikaia
  • Municipality of Perama


Island settlements in Cyclades – Archival documentation”

As far as the research of islands settlements in Cyclades is concerned, a great number of various actions regarding the detection, classification, cataloguing and digital processing of archival sources -particularly those produced by municipalities or communities- have been carried out by the research collaborators of the I.H.R. The ongoing research program is funded by the local insular authorities and other cultural institutions. The project is available on the Archeiothiki Cycladon website.

Archeiothiki Cycladon is a digital repository of archival material on the history of the Cyclades, from the end of the 17th to the 20th century. The repository offers catalogues of the archival records of each island available in local, as well as in other archival institutions, presents the progress of the field research missions and provides free access to databases of digitally processed documents. The digitized historical sources offered online (fiscal registers, electoral rolls, dimotologia, i.e. civil registers, and nominative lists of residents) contain information on settlement organization on the islands, the composition and demographic characteristics of their populations, the economy and social stratification of the local insular societies.


“New names – new map. Aspects of settlements renaming in Greece 1831-2011”

The research program aims at conducting a detailed study of settlements renaming in Greece from 1831 to 2011. The sum of name changes of the aforementioned period is recorded, in order to provide a comprehensive and thoroughly documented study.
One of the main focuses of the research is to trace the dialogue between central and local administrations regarding the selection of the new toponyms, as well as the origins and the sociopolitical impact of the selected names. Moreover, the study intends to examine how the practice of settlements renaming became part of the linguistic and philological debates during the 19th century and the Interwar period. Finally, the research seeks to be related to relevant studies on settlements renaming, which were conducted in Southeastern European Countries, in particular, Italy, Albania, and Turkey.
Research Team: Dimitris Dimitropoulos, Eleni Kyramargiou, Yannis Papakondylis and Francesco Scalora. The Research Program is funded by the Operational program “Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning 2014-2020”.


“The settlement network of the Peloponnese in the age of Greek Revolution”

Based on archival sources (General State Archives of Greece, Benaki Museum, Ioannis Kapodistrias Archive), records (travelogues and fighters’ memoirs) and data collected from the French Expedition to the Morea, the research program seeks to restore the settlement network of the time, as well as to present a cohesive and, as much as possible, detailed picture of the size, the location and the ethnocultural composition of the villages and the cities of the Peloponnese, not long ago before the outbreak of the Revolution, during it and during the age of the governor Kapodistrias, when peace is established in the area. Additionally, the research investigates the ramifications and the changes concerning the population, infrastructure and the evolution of the settlements during more than eight years of military conflict, as well as the particular context that was produced in the cities-fortresses which underwent long-lasting sieges.

The project aims at producing a historical study and creating a digital application that will contain a map and all the pertinent documentation collected during the survey.
The research constitutes part of the large scale project “The Greek Revolution of 1821: Digital Archive”,, coordinated by the Research Centre for the Humanities (RCH).
The project is being carried out under the scientific supervision of the Research Director Dimitris Dimitropoulos and the research associates Michael Festas and Anna Athanasouli.


“The Settlement structure of Attica – Documentation”
Since 2008, as part of the research program “Historical Study of Settlements in Greece (15th-20th c.)”, the SNR/IHR has undertaken a project which seeks to study the settlement structure of the Attica Basin, particularly the areas where refugee populations settled after 1922. The research concentrates on issues such as the rapid changes in the population and settlement structure of Attica effected by the arrival of refugees, the integration policies and the extent to which the refugees were in fact integrated into the Greek society, the demographic aspects of the communities and municipalities, their populations’ occupations and origins, the history of their proper names and naming practices.
This project led to a collaboration with the Municipalities of Ymittos, Drapetsona and Nea Smyrni, the goal of which was to rescue, organize and catalogue inactive archival records from the Municipal Archives in order to make them accessible to researchers.

  • Municipality of Ymittos
    In 2008, IHR external researchers Eleni Kyramargiou and Nikos Alevyzakis classified and catalogued archival material from the Archive of the Community (later Municipality) of Ymittos, dated between 1935 and 1980.
    The Archive’s catalogue is available (in Greek) at:  Ymittos Municipal Archives
    Editors: Nikos Alevyzakis, Eleni Kyramargiou.
  • Municipality of Drapetsona
    In 2009, the Municipality’s inactive archive (1951-1980) was classified by Eleni Kyramargiou and was relocated to the Municipal Library of Drapetsona. In June 2010, the IHR published, in collaboration with the Municipality, the “Index of the Drapetsona Archive, 1951-1980”.
    The catalogue can be found (in Greek) at: Drapetsona Municipal Archives
    Editor: Eleni Kyramargiou
    The site “Wandering in Drapetsona of the Interwar period” (webpage: created in 2017, is an effort to reconstruct the image of the working-class and refugee districts of Drapetsona during the interwar years, through pictorial and archival material.
  • Municipality of Nea Smyrni
    Archival material from the period 1930-1980 was recorded and classified between October 2012 and May 2013. Consisting of 1.500 folders (approximately 320.000 documents), 730 books and 21 archival boxes, the sources document in detail the Municipality’s activities. The project was carried out by IHR’s collaborators Nikos Alevyzakis and Stefanos Vamiedakis. To consult the index follow the link (in greek): Nea Smyrni Municipal Archives
    Editors: Nikos Alevyzakis, Stefanos Vamiedakis


“Data for the Greek settlements network. Settlements of Livadia (Central Greece)”

Settlements of Livadia: Database involving information, data and statistics on the settlements and the population evolution of the province. 
Editor: Dimitris Dimitropoulos

Settlements of “Meriki Geographia” by Argyris Fillipidis
Population data of Thessaly and Central Greece, recorded in “Meriki Geographia’ by Argyris Fillipidis (1815). Detailed description is given in the Greek version.
Editor: Dimitris Dimitropoulos.


Gortynia: archival detection and research”

From 2011 to 2013 the Institute of Historical Research, supported by the Municipality of Gortynia, carried out the project of archival detection produced by the local administrative communities.
The project of the Institute in collaboration with the General State Archives of Greece / Arcadia Prefecture aimed at rescuing archival documentation produced by the old municipalities and communities before they were incorporated in the Municipality of Gortynia.
After field research an abundance of archival material was found in warehouses, town halls and the seats of the old communities (Vitina, Dimitsana, Paloumpa, Mygdalia, Kondovazena, Langadia, Stemnitsa and Tropaia).
At a later stage the project aims at the digital dissemination of the collected archival material. The research was carried out by the research collaborator Christos Chrisanthopoulos.


The Ali Pasha Archives”

Over the past few years the self-sustained project of the “Ali Pasha Archive”, transcribed and annotated, has been part of the Research Program. From 2007 to 2009 the so-called “I. Hotzis Collection” part of the archive, kept at the Gennadius Library, was published in four massive volumes by Vassilis Panagiotopoulos with the collaboration of Dimitris Dimitropoulos and Panagiotis Michailaris. In 2018 the fifth volume of the archive, containing archival material kept at the General State Archives of Greece and the Benaki museum, was published. The project is being carried out under the scientific supervision of the Research Director Dimitris Dimitropoulos and the research collaborator Vallia Rapti.


Heraldic Monuments of Greece”

During our research, the study of the Heraldic monuments of Greece, as sources of the administrative and political history became gradually part of our interest. Our research associates have conducted an extensive archival and site-specific research, which has eventually established a methodically documented collection. This project is a joint effort of the Research Program with the Modern Political History Direction under the scientific supervision of Leonidas Kallivretakis.


Completed Projects


The research and field work of Giannis Saitas “Mani: society, settlements and cultural activities”, concerning the search for, documentation and presentation of the historical-geographical area of Mani (southern Peloponnese) was conducted within the context of the Research Program. This task was on both methods of fieldwork (schemas and analysis) and archival, historical, demographical and anthropological approaches.


“Local History: theory and methodology for research and educational actions”

Based on the emerging field of local history (research and teaching), the study aimed at highlighting methods of bringing together modern historiographical approaches in local history with history-teaching methods in schools.
The purposes of the research were threefold:

  • The examination and understanding of theory and methodology of local history as an interdisciplinary field.
  • Α specially designed online site to develop a paradigm that will serve as a guide for research or educational actions of local history from the users, researchers, teachers or collectives.
  • Coordination of communication and interaction of researchers, teachers and social activities related to local history.

Study group: Sophia Matthaiou (Coordinator, NHRF), Leonidas Kallivretakis (NHRF), Dimitris Dimitropoulos (NHRF), Maria Kamonahou (General State Archives), Christos Chrysanthopoulos (NHRF), Katerina Zografou (General State Archives).



Conferences and Events

“The Ermoupolis Seminars”

Since 1985, the research team of the Program has been organizing the “Ermoupolis Seminars” in the city of Ermoupoli, on the island of Syros. Inspired by Vassilis Panagiotopoulos, the Seminars take place every July and last about two weeks, including, apart from the seminars, interdisciplinary meetings, speeches and "round-table" discussions concerning various fields of social studies and humanities, with the participation of many scholars from all over the world, as well as from the local community. During the last years, the Seminars are co-organized with the General State Archives of Greece / Cyclades Prefecture and they are hosted at the building of the Historical Archive of the Cyclades. Past programs of the Ermoupoli's Seminars are available at


  • Permanent collaborations with the Laboratoire de Démographie Historique of «École des hautes Études en Sciences Sociales» in Paris and more specifically with the relative programs «Espace et territoire: representations géographiques, pratiques politiques, espace public et morphologie spatiale» and «Paroisses et Communes de France: Dictionnaire d'Histoire Administrative et Démographique». The joint research projects «Pratiques de l'espace et idéntites sociales dans l'Archipel grec», «Archipel grec et espaces régionaux en Méditerranée» and «Espace et societe: frontières comme enjeux sociaux» have already been launched.
  • Collaboration with the General State Archives of Albania and the Faculty of History and Philology/University of Tirana concerning the collection of archival material for Ali Pasha kept at Albanian Institutions.
  • Collaboration with the General State Archives of Greece concerning the detection, classification and cataloguing of archival sources, particularly those produced by municipalities or communities.
  • Collaboration with the Urban Environment Laboratory/School of Architecture/National and Technical University of Greece (N.T.U.A) concerning the study of Piraeus and its vicinity after the arrival of refugees from Asia Minor in 1922.
  • Collaboration with Stanford University, California and Boğaziçi University, Istanbul concerning the study and the mapping of the toponyms included in Ali Pasha’s correspondence.



Databases - Websites

Pandektis. Digital Thesaurus of Primary Sources for Greek History and Culture:

Name Changes of Settlements in Greece:

Heraldic Database of Greece:

Archeiothiki Cycladon:

Wandering in Drapetsona of the Interwar period:

Refugee Settlements in Piraeus:




  • Vassilis Panayotopoulos, Πληθυσμός και οικισμοί της Πελοποννήσου, 13ος - 18ος αιώνας : 13ος - 18ος αι. [Population and Settlements of Peloponnese, 13th-18th c.], Emporiki Bank, Athens 1985 414 pp.
  • Vassilis Panayotopoulos (ed.), L’eau et les hommes en Méditerranée et en Mer Noire dans l’antiquité de l'époque Mycénienne au règne de Justinien: actes de congres international, Athènes, 20 - 24 mai 1988, ed. Centre de Recherches Neohelleniques - Centre National de Recherches Sociales, Athens-Paris 1992.
  • Christina Agriantoni, Maria Christina Chatziioannou, Metaxourgeion, The Athens silkmill, INR/NHRF, Athens 1997, 171 pp.
  • Leonidas Kallivretakis, Υπόμνημα περί των νησίδων «Λιμνιά-Ιμια», bilingual ed. IHR/NHRF, Athens 1st ed. Feb 1996, 22pp. / 2nd ed. Nov 1996, 28 pp.
  • Μάνη. Μαρτυρίες για το χώρο και την κοινωνία. Περιηγητές και επιστημονικές αποστολές 15ος-19ος αι. [Mani. Testimonies on the space and the Society], Conference Proceedings, ed. G. Saitas INR/NHRF, Athens 1996, 720 pp.
  • Dimitris Dimitropoulos, Η Μύκονος τον 17ο αιώνα. Γαιοκτητικές σχέσεις και οικονομικές συναλλαγές [Myconos in the 17th century. Land possessions and economical transactions], INR/NHRF, Athens 1997, 540 pp.
  • Maria Christina Chatziioannou, Η ιστορική εξέλιξη των οικισμών στην περιοχή του Αλιάκμονα κατά την Τουρκοκρατία [The Historical Evolution of Settlements in the Region of Aliakmon During the Turkish Occupation], INR/NHRF publ. no. 75, Athens, 2000, pp. 358 & 11 photographs.
  • Evdokia Olympitou, Η οργάνωση του χώρου στο νησί της Πάτμου (16ος-19οςαιώνας) [The space structure in the island of Patmos, 16th-19th c.], Athens2002, PhD, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 340 pp. 
  • V. Panayiotopoulos, L. Kallivretakis, D. Dimitropoulos, M. Kokkolakis, E. Olympitou, Πληθυσμοί και οικισμοί του ελληνικού χώρουΙστορικάμελετήματα [Populations and settlements of Greece. Historical studies], Tetradia Ergasias 18, INR/NHRF, Athens 2003, 315 pp.
  • M. Kokkolakis, Το ύστερο γιαννιώτικο πασαλίκι: Μιχάλης Κοκολάκης, Το ύστερο γιαννιώτικο πασαλίκι. Χώρος, διοίκηση και πληθυσμός στην Τουρκοκρατούμενη Ήπειρο (1820-1913) [The late pasalik of Ioannina. Space, Administration and Population (1820-1913)], Athens 2003, 552 pp.
  • D. Dimitropoulos, Μαρτυρίες για τον πληθυσμό των νησιών του Αιγαίου, 15ος - αρχές 19ου αιώνα [Testimonies regarding the population of the Aegean islands, 15th-early 19th c.], Tetradia Ergasias 27, INR/NHRF, Athens 2004, 369 pp.
  • Archeío Alí pasá Syllogís I. Chótzi Gennadeíou Vivliothíkis tis Amerikanikís Scholís Athinón [Archive of Ali pasha, Collection I. Chotzi of the Gennadius Library], Collaboration on the volumes edited by V. Panayotopoulos with the contribution of Panayiotis Michailaris, INR/NHRF: v. I 1747-1808, Athens 2007, 809 pp., v. II 1809-1817, Athens 2007, 923 pp., v. III 1818-1821, Athens 2007, 709 pp., v. IV Introduction-Index-Glossary, Athens 2009, 718 pp.
  • Dimitris Dimitropoulos, Christina Agriantoni (eds), Σύρος και Ερμούπολη. Συμβολές στην ιστορία του νησιού, 15ος-20ός αι. [Syros and Ermoupolis. Contributions in the history of the island, 15th-20th c.], INR/NHRF, Athens 2008, 274 pp.
  • Dimitris Dimitropoulos, Evdokia Olympitou (eds), Ψαρεύοντας στις ελληνικές θάλασσες. Από τις μαρτυρίες του παρελθόντος στη σύγχρονη πραγματικότητα [Fishing in Greek seas. From past testimonies to contemporary reality], co-edition, with Evdokia Olympitou, Tetradia Ergasias 33, INR/NHRF, Athens 2010, 245 pp.
  • Eleni Kyramargiou, Ευρετήριο Δημοτικού Αρχείου Δραπετσώνας 1951-1980 [Drapetsona: Guide to the Municipal records 1951-1980], IHR/NFRF Drapetsona Municipality, Athens 2010, 158 pp.
  • Nikos Vassilopoulos, Eleni Beneki, Eleni Salouvardou, D. Dimitropoulos, Άνδρος. Κτίζοντας με το βλέμμα στη θάλασσα [Andros: buildings facing the sea], IHR/NFRF, Athens 2013, 95 pp.
  • Τήνος. Ανιχνεύοντας το λιθόκτιστο τοπίο [Tinos: Detecting the stone-built landscape], texts: T. Anastasiou, D. Dimitropoulos, I. Maratos, Nisiotika Themata 2, ed. INR/NHRF - South Aegean region, Athens 2014, 93 pp.
  • Νάξος. Περιδιαβαίνοντας τον Μπούργο [Naxos. Walking around Mpourgo], texts: L. Kallivretakis, Th. Kotsakis, St. Marinakis, Nisiotika Themata 3, ed. INR/NHRF - South Aegean region, Athens 2015, 85 pp.
  • D. Dimitropoulos,Όψεις της ιστορίας της Μυκόνου στα νεότερα χρόνια [Aspects of history of Mykonos in recent years],ed. IHR/NHRF & KDEPPAM, Athens 2018, 205 pp.
  • Αρχείο Αλή πασά Συλλογής Ι. Χώτζη Γενικών Αρχείων του Κράτους και Μουσείου Μπενάκη [Archive of Ali pasha, Collection I. Chotzi of General State Archives and Benaki Museum], collaboration in the volume edited by V. Panayotopoulos with the contribution of Panayiotis Michailaris, INR/NHRF: v. V, Athens 2018, 625 pp.




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