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The Frankish Towers of Central Greece

Abstract

The Medieval towers of the former Duchy of Athens and Thebes—that is, the modern Nomes of Attica, Boeotia, Phokis, and Phthiotis—are described and analysed.

With reference to their siting, their architectural details, and any associated features, together with an examination of any relevant documentary material, the dating, the affinities, and the function of the towers within the feudal landscape of mainland central Greece are discussed.

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Acknowledgements. I wish to thank the Directors of the Cambridge and Bradford Boeotian Expedition for help and encouragement in the early days of this work; the College of Ripon and York St John for a grant towards the cost of travel and photographic materials; Ms Nancy Stedman and Mr Jon Pavely for help with the field-work; Mr Keith Maude for advice and help with matters photographic, and Dr Peter Burridge for much useful discussion.

1 Bon A., ‘Fortresses Médiévales de la Gréce Centrale’, BCH 61 (1937) 136208. For a recent following of these views, Hazard H. W. (ed.), A History of the Crusades iv (University of Wisconsin 1977) 213.

2 Bon, op. cit. 143.

3 Ibid., 148.

4 The works and maps found most useful in locating the towers have been: Clarke Edward, Travels in Various Countries of Europe, Asia and Africa ii (London 1816); Dodwell Edward, A Classical and Topographical Tour through Greece during the Years 1801, 1805, and 18061 (London 1819); Leake W. M., Travels in Northern Greece ii (London 1835); Ulrichs Heinrich, Riesen und Forschungen in Griechenland … Erster Thiel. Riese üher Delphi durch Phocis und Boeotien bis Theben (Bremen 1840); SirWheeler George , A Journey into Greece … (London 1682). Of the maps the most useful by far has been Carte de la Grèce redigée et gravée an dépôt de la guerre d'aprés la triangulation et les levés executés par les officiers du corps d'état-major à l'Echelle de 1: 200,000 (Paris 1852). It shows most of the medieval towers as ‘tour’ and is cited hereafter as ‘the French map’. Of modern works: Koder J. and Hild F., Tabula Imperii Byzantini: Hellas und Thessalia (Wien 1976), records many towers and gives useful background information.

5 Philippson A., ‘Der Kopaïs-See in Griechenland und seine Umgebung’, Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Berlin (1894) 72; ADelt 29 (1973–4) B 453.

6 Philippson, op. cit. 494.

7 Amandry P., BCH 68–9 (1945) 429.

8 Koder and Hild, op. cit. 123.

9 Bommeljé L. S. and Doorn P. K. (eds.), Strouza Region Project: Second Interim Report (Utrecht 1984) 25–6.

10 See p. 123 below.

11 Bon, op. cit. 143.

12 Ramm H. G. et al., Shielings and Bastles (London 1970) pl. 2136.

13 Traquair Ramsey, ‘Frankish Architecture in Greece’, Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects 31 (19231924) 3348, 73–86.

14 Coulson Charles, ‘Structural Symbolism in Medieval Castle Architecture’, Journal of the British Archaeological Association 132 (1979) 7390.

15 ADelt 20 (1965) B206.

16 Miller William, Latins in the Levant (London 1908) 402.

17 The ground floor of the monastic towers of Athos were used for storage purposes. The Serbian chronicler Daniel records an attack by Catalan raiders on the Russian monastery of St Panteleimon in 1307. All the buildings were burned except the tower where the monks had taken refuge. The raiders built a fire around the base of the tower to force the monks out. They, however, extinguished the fire with wine stored in the basement of the tower. Soloviev Alexander, Byzantion 8 (1933) 223–4. I am grateful to Dr Peter Burridge for this reference.

18 Chandler L., JHS 46 (1926) 19.

19 Leake, op. cit. 144.

20 Andrews K., Castles of the Morea (Princeton 1953) 219.

21 Koder and Hild, op. cit. 187.

22 Schmitt J. (ed.), The Chronicle of the Morea (London 1904) L 1774.

23 Leake, op. cit. 369.

24 Ibid. 328.

25 Aristides Kollia P., Αρβννιτεζ και Η Καταγωγη των Ελληνων (Athens 1983) 180.

26 Thiriet F., Régestes des délibérations du Sénat de Venise concernant la Romanie i (Paris 1958) no. 371.

27 Ibid. no. 850.

28 Ibid. ii (1959) no. 1172.

29 Miller, op. cit. 401.

30 Miller, EHR 22 (1907) 572.

31 Butler H. C., Publications of the Princeton University Archaeological Expedition to Syria ii (B) (Leiden 1920) 235.

32 Leake, op. cit. 144.

33 Chandler, ‘The North-west Frontier of Attica’, JHS 46 (1926) 126.

34 References collected in Ormerod H. A., Piracy in the Ancient World (Liverpool 1924) 4158.

35 Thiriet, op. cit. i (1958) no. 371.

36 Miller, Latins in the Levant (London 1908) 74.

37 Id., Essays on the Latin Orient (Cambridge 1921) 132–4.

38 Bon, op. cit. 144 following Rubio y Lluch.

39 Goodenough E., The Chronicle of Muntaner ii (London 1921) 586 (chapter 244 of Muntaner).

40 Mark 12: 1; Luke 14: 28.

41 Longnon J. and Topping P. (eds.), Documents sur le régime des terres dans la principauté de Morée au XIV siècle (Paris 1969) 160. The account is preserved in the State Archives, Florence.

42 Hopf Charles (ed.), Chroniques gréco-romanes inédites ou peu connues (Paris 1873) 229–30.

43 Longnon and Topping, op. cit. 66.

44 Ibid. 70–1.

45 Chandler, op. cit.; Butler, op. cit., and Rogan D. E., Mani, History and Monuments (Athens 1973) 145–7.

46 Anderson W., Castles of Europe (London 1970) 24, 65, 69.

47 Thompson A. H., Military Architecture in England in the Middle Ages (London 1912) 160; Toy Sidney, The Castles of Great Britain, 2nd edn. (London 1954) 103.

48 K. Andrews, op. cit. 222–3.

49 Luke 14: 28.

50 Simpson W. D., ‘The Affinities of Lord Cromwell's Tower-House at Tattershall’, Journal of the British Archaeological Association 40 (1935) 172–92.

51 Miller, Latins in the Levant (London 1908) 401–2.

52 Conveniently reproduced in Tsikagou Fani-Maria, The Rediscovery of Greece (London 1981) 124–5.

53 Chandler, op. cit. 19.

54 Philippson, op. cit. 72. A sketch-map of the area showing all the places mentioned can be seen in ADelt 29 (1973–4) B453.

55 Koder and Hild, op. cit. 123.

56 Philippson, op. cit. 72.

57 Bon, op. cit. 146; Koder and Hild, op. cit. 170; Miller, EHR 22 (1907) 572.

58 Bon, op. cit. 144 n. 4.

59 Philippson, op. cit. 494.

60 Koder and Hild, op. cit. 193.

61 Ibid. 252; Miller, Latins in the Levant (London 1908) 67.

62 Koder and Hild, op. cit. 273.

63 Clarke, op. cit. 121.

64 Wheeler, op. cit. 476.

65 Chandler, op. cit. 6, for a plan of the site.

66 e.g. Melissochori and Tanagra. On storage see n. 18 above.

67 Amandry, BCH 68–9 (1945) 429. According to Leake (op. cit. 464) the towers at both Schematari and Grimada (Tanagra) had been converted into churches. At Tanagra there is no surviving evidence for this reuse.

68 Winter F. E., Greek Fortifications (London 1971) 123 has a plan of the classical tower and adjoining wall.

69 Bon, op. cit. 147; Miller, op. cit. 227. See also the entry for Amphikleia on p. 122 below.

70 See p. 108 above; ADelt 16 (1960) B167.

71 Blue Guide: Greece (1981) 467.

72 Winter, op. cit. 140–1; Tillard L. B., BSA 17 (19101911) 60–4.

73 See p. 110 above.

74 ADelt 17 (1961–2) B169.

75 Bon, op. cit. 148; ADelt 21 (1966) B246.

76 Tillard, op. cit. 56–60.

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Annual of the British School at Athens
  • ISSN: 0068-2454
  • EISSN: 2045-2403
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