History in high places: Tatarna Monastery and the Pindus Mountains

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1 Scopus citations


Monasteries and the records they produced are a promising source base for writing a history of the mountains of the western Balkans. These mountains are, by and large, absent from accounts of the Ottoman presence in the Balkans and, as with mountainous areas more generally, are often considered to exist outside of the main historical narrative. Using the example of a monastery that was founded in the Pindus mountains in 1556, I argue that the monastery’s beginnings are best understood within the context of the Ottoman sixteenth century, even as due regard for Byzantine precedent must also be made. In addition, I pay close attention to the monastery’s location, for two reasons. First, this opens up a new set of questions for the history of monasteries during the Ottoman period; to date most studies have focused on taxation, land ownership and the relationship to the central state. Second, the monastery’s location offers a way into the environmental history of these mountains at the Empire’s western edge. This article aspires to extend the nascent field of Ottoman environmental history into mountainous terrain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


  • Balkans
  • Environment
  • Monasteries
  • Mountains
  • Ottoman
  • Roads


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