Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hotel de Marseille

1944 | Nomidis and Schneider [1]| Archaeological and Topographical map of Galata

Early Istanbul hotels differed from the traditional han (caravanserai) and provided a bed instead of an empty room. Mostly operated by minority Christians and some other nationalities, the Galata hotels were the first to emerge due to the proximity of the port and they used western names to increase their appeal to foreigners. Some recorded names were Hotel de Marins (Sailors’ Hotel), Hotel de Voilier (Hotel of Sailboat) and Hotel de Marseille.

In 1874 Petri the Knife slashed his protector Lefteri Kaptan to death in Hotel de Marseille. He was about 17-18 years old. The hotel was described as a two story structure with two bed and three beds with a capacity of 24 guests. On the murder night the police recorded 58 inhabitants at the hotel.

Among them:
-a volunteer fire fighter (tulumbaci) Camur Salih of Uskudar (age 30)
-a volunteer fire fighter Ablasiguzel Mustafa (age 30)
-a navy private Yunus, (age 20)
-a ship record keeper of Hamburg and a young Greek kalopedi
-two Black Sea boatmen and a street prostitute

See: Ahmed Midhat Efendi’s novella “Durdane Hanim” has a colorful section where the heroine Ulviye cross dresses as a man and ends up in a Galata hotel with a Circassian man.

[1]Schneider-Nomidis, Galata = Schneider, A.M. - Nomidis, M.I., Galata, Estambul 1944.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Abstract | Children in Byzantine Monasteries

"Children in Byzantine Monasteries"
Richard Greenfield
Many, perhaps a majority, of those involved in the world of Byzantine monasticism clearly believed that the monastery or convent was no place for children, just as it was not a place for eunuchs or members of the opposite sex. Others, however, could not so easily forget the exhortation of Jesus in the Gospel to "Let the children come to me," nor the precedent set by influential individuals in the early history of monasticism who did permit children in their foundations. As a result, despite frequent prohibitions and dire warnings of the consequences, children appear quite regularly within the fabric of Byzantine monastic life. It is evident that they were present in many communities throughout the period, albeit usually in small numbers and under carefully controlled circumstances.

In the late seventh century, the Sixth Ecumenical Council established the age of ten as the minimum at which a child might begin life in a monastery, but most later monastic founders and commentators set the bar much higher at the mid-teens to the early twenties. The temptations of sexual misconduct were always prominent in the minds of ascetics and monastic regulators, and the fear that the presence of beardless youths might prove too much for the monks clearly lies behind most attempts to exclude them. Also at work in such prohibitions, however, was evidently a desire to prevent women or eunuchs slipping undetected into monasteries, to ensure that vows were taken only by those who knew what they were doing, to forestall the ordinary distractions that might be produced by frivolous and irresponsible youths and girls, and to keep monks and nuns from the attachments of family life. The ban on children was extended in some places to cover not only those testing a vocation but also those who might be brought to an institution out of need (orphans or beggars, for example), in the course of everyday life (on errands or on feast days, perhaps), or in the course of work (such as apprentices or the offspring of manual laborers).

Such attempts to exclude children ran largely counter to the practice and sentiment evident in monastic institutions of the early Byzantine period, however, and it is clear that many individuals and communities in the later centuries, even during the period of reform, still saw no need to comply with the wishes of the rigorists. Hagiographies thus abound with saints and monastic founders who flee their families at a very early age and find a welcome in the monastic communities for which they pine, while relatives of prominent monks and nuns are adopted in their infancy and reared within the institution, often becoming ascetics and monastic administrators in their own right. At the same time orphans are cared for, prospective monastic or clerical candidates are educated and trained, young relatives are allowed to visit, youthful servants and workers are employed, and sick or possessed children are treated. Typically in the Byzantine world, behind the rhetoric of principled declarations and legal documents requiring the exclusion of children from monasteries, lies a rather different reality where children flit through the shadows of the courtyard and peep from the doorways of the outbuildings and dependencies of the monastic community.
Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC | Byzantine Studies 2006 Spring Symposium |
April 28–30, 2006 Becoming Byzantine: Children and Childhood in Byzantium

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Knife Fighting in Nineteenth-Century Greece

Petri the Knife also belonged to this knife obsessed culture.

Honor, Masculinity, and Ritual Knife Fighting in Nineteenth-Century Greece

On the sweltering night of July 26, 1830, Tonia Theodoros from the village of Agios Theodoros on the island of Kerkyra brutally slashed the face of his fellow villager Gioragachi Mokastiriotis. Theodoros then spit on his prostrate victim and left the wine shop where the incident had occurred, while five other men, including the proprietor Panos Landates, looked on. Ten days later, Constable Andreas Sallas approached Theodoros, served him with an arrest warrant, and took him into custody on the charge of assault with a deadly weapon. At his trial in police court on August 28, the various versions of Theodoros's assault on Mokastiriotis were recounted. There had been bad blood between the men for some time; no one was quite sure why. That night at the bar, both had been drinking heavily when Theodoros called Mokastiriotis a fool and a braggart. Mokastiriotis loudly replied that he would rather be a fool than "the lord of a house full of Magdalenes." Theodoros erupted from his chair, drew his pruning knife, and demanded that Mokastiriotis stand and face him like a man. None of the other men in the room intervened as the knife-fighters traded parries and thrusts. Finally, Theodoros with a flick of his wrist delivered a telling blow that cut his victim from the tip of his chin to halfway up his cheek. As the blood flowed, Mokastiriotis fell to his knees cursing his assailant. When asked by the presiding magistrate at the police magistrate's court in the town of Kerkyra why he started fighting, Theodoros sternly replied that no man would call his wife and daughters whores and get away with it. His reputation would not allow it. As a man, he would not stand for it.
Full text archive


"Costak" soundtrack uses the sounds of the area Petri lived and includes a song played by a Greek lyra. A closely related instrument of of the Black Sea kemence. Here is a nice folk belief relating to music provess and a Cretan hilted dagger.

"Whoever wants to become a good lyra - player should go to an isolated crossroads at midnight. First he should trace a circle on the ground with a black - hilted dagger, then enter it, stay there and start playing the lyra. A little later the Fairies will come and start hanging around him. Their purpose is not good, they want to do him harm, but since they cannot enter the circle, which has been traced with a black - hilted dagger, they try to lure him out in every possible way. They use blarney, they sing him nice songs, they wheedle him in a thousand and one different ways, but if he is wise, he must remain calm and continue to play the lyra without leaving the circle. If they fail, they invite him out of the circle in order to teach him how to play the lyra better. He must refuse. Then they will ask him to give them the lyra. The lyra - player should give it, cautious to let his arm or other part of his body out of the circle, because it will be amputated or he will go insane.

Then a Fairy starts playing the lyra with great virtuosity and afterwards they return the lyra to him, hoping that he will be persuaded to leave the circle and they will be able to harm him". According to the description of Nikos Politis, the continuous interchange of the instrument between the Fairies and the lyra - player, without anyone of them passing the limits of the circle traced with the black - hilted dagger, continues all night long until the first cock crows. Then they ask him to give them something of his own and they promise to teach him how to play the lyra like them in return. The lyra - player usually gives them one of his nails and they in turn teach him how to play the lyra with great virtuosity and then disappear at daybreak.

For this reason, in earlier times, if a lyra player played his instrument with outstanding virtuosity, he used to say: "What do you think? I learnt to play the lyra at the crossroads".

Source: The Cretan Dagger

A Knife for Petri

Was that boy asleep, or did he stand waiting at the foot of Slightly's tree, with his dagger in his hand?
The Adventures of Peter Pan by Barrie, James Matthew

length: 10 3/4"
blade: 6 3/8"
blade width: 1 3/16"
grip: 4 1/4"
weight: 4.8 oz

Greek knife from the Isle of Crete. The knife was made in the city of Khanya and dated 1951. Hilt has traditional "two eared" style reminiscent of Turkish yataghan, and is most likely goat or cow bone with a working-life repair to one side of the v-notch. The Cretans have been known as "the people of the dagger" since knives are worn as part of male and female folk costume, and knife making and decoration is a handicraft relatively widely practised.

Another rare greek knife, from the greek island of Crete.The greek inscription says: Chania.The embossed silvered metal scabbard with 4 silver coins attached from 1800's.
length : 81/2 inches ( 211/2 cms)
blade: 43/4 inches (12 cms)
handle: 33/4 inches (91/2 cms)

A Knife to the Heart

Part of the "Costak" preproduction involves planning the visual style of the murders. The passion or the reason involved in the murder seems more to the point than blood being spilt everywhere. "Costak" is not about gore but things that might terrify us beyond gore. What helps in this view is the method used by Petri. Most of Petri's murders are committed with a knife to the heart. A side benefit to a murder like this is less blood squirting out since heart almost immediately stops pumping blood.

A found this tidbit in a book called "Mobspeak".

Mobspeak: The Dictionary of Crime Terms (Paperback) by Carl Sifakis
352 pages Checkmark Books (September 2003) ISBN: 0816045496

1880| Petri the Knife

Petri at a Kuledibi brothel
Night of flames at Horoz Street
Petri meets two lovers that night
Aliki, young prostitute her young lover Ahilea
They take Petri to Kalikratya fishermen's village
Petri hides at Kalikratya
Petri finds a peaceful existence
Ahilea Andoni "suslu balikci"
Aliki and Ahilea live in fear since they know who Petri is
Petri learns of Canto singer Peruz from the fishermen
Trip to Casino with the fishermen | Galata Avrupa Gazinosu
She is her Peruz and in the arms of a navy sailor at the bar
Murder #14 | Ahmed
Knife ?
Someone recognises and follows Petri
Murder #15 | Hasan
Knife to the heart
A few moments later petri is on board a ship
There is no hope of going back to Kalikratya
Andon Kaptan, a night thief helps Petri's escapeto Odessa
Petri finds work as a stoker. S/s Ayvazofski, a Russian ship
Kefalonians only works in Greek boats
Petri is safe from the Avengers from Kefaloniya
at sea
Captain's wife Alexandra is after Petri
Alexanda and Petri find a night of love in a lifeboat
Next day Petri runs away in Rumanian port of Köstence
Befriends Milolis of Sile
Petri returns to Istanbul on board a Greek boat
Petri's first sight is a young prostitute Magdalena
Magdalena is Kiryakica, Lefteri Kaptan's daughter
Petri can not recognize her
They make love at Magdalena's room
Early morning…Petri leaves
Lambo, a sailor and young brother of Lefteri kaptan waits
Petri was also Lambo's zenane for four years
Early morning ambush
Last Murder | Death of Petri by Lambo 8/28/1880
Petri file closes once more

1879| Petri the Knife

Mt. Athos
Murder #11 | Zahari
Knife ?
Murder #12 | Apostolos
Knife ?
at sea
Escape with a row boat
Petri looks for Nikola, Dragoman from Raguza
Nicola is an alcholic now
Kalyoncu Kullugu bar is their old place
Nicola is half mad with their photo in hand
"Bu ben, bu da Mavri, putana'm (fahisem)./This is me, this is mavri, my prostitute"
Perti appears at the door and shoots Nicola
Murder #13 | Nicola
Gun shot to the heart

1878| Petri the Knife

Mt. Athos
Petri stays at Haci Kosta Vatakis
Petri grows beard
Vatakis has a young priest's helper (comez) called Apostolos
Apostolos (Vatakis calls him Spartakus)
Petri and Apostolos are bed mates
Avenges look for Petri for more deaths
Zahari arrives and befriends Apostolos
The two plot a plan to kill Petri

1877| Petri the Knife

Mt. Athos
Petri lives with the Mt. Athos Fishermen

1876 | Petri the Knife

1876 s/s Galicya, Austrian ship arrives in Beirut
Beirut Petri meets a young prostitute in a bordello
Prostitute tips Petri about an avenger
Beirut Murder #4 | Anesti
at sea Escape as a sailor
Italian Ship of Captain Humberto
at sea Saloniki-Istanbul run of the ship
Esther the singer on the boat
Esther to sing at Princci Casiono
Petri and Esther make love
at sea Ester becomes Petri's kept woman
Petri never stays at Esther's over the night
Dolabdere Petri finds home at a Dolabdere shack
Petri sees an avenger at Cadde-i Kebir
Pera Murder #5 | Toma
Murder night at Esther's
Pera Following night at Pirincci Casino
A Turk harasses Esther
Galata Murder #6 | Turk
Gun murder
Galata Esther's police interrogation
Galata Murder closes Pirincci Casino
Galata Esther decides to return to Saloniki
Galata Gem stone to Kaloferia
Dolabdere Rape of Peruz
Pera Peruz at the photo studio
Galata Zambo finds about the avengers
Arnavudkoy Zambo sets a trap invites Petri
Petri arrives one night
Arnavudkoy Murder #7 | Argiri Papazi
Arnavudkoy Murder #8 | Zambo
Pera Raif identifies Petri based on Esther's description
Raif hesitates between arrest and shoot to kill
Pera Petri evades arrest by Raif
Pera Petri finds refuge at Russian Embassy
Authorities request Petri's delivery to police
Pera Petri has Austrian Passport
Pera Petri sent to Austrian Embassy
Pera Police kept in the dark by the Russian Embassy
Pera Petri meets Dragoman Nicola
Dragoman is in love with Petri just like Lefteri
Safe passege arranged in two days to Trieste
Galata Nicola takes Petri to a bar
Galata Petri wants to get picture of Peruz before the voyage
Dolapdere Petri returns to Dolapdere shack
Dolabdere Raif coming out of shack
Dolabdere Ambush at the well
Dolabdere Murder #9 | Raif
Knife to the heart
Galata Nicola waits. Petri returns to bar
Sirkeci? Nicola and Petri photo at Vafiadis
Embassy officers take Petri to s/s Tirol
Esther is a deck passanger on s/s Tirol
at sea Murder #10 | Esther
Knife to the heart
Dardanelles Petri jumps to dark waters
Galata Petri assumed dead due to strong currents of the straits
Galata Police report stamped "dead' and closed
Aegean sea Petri lives by grabbing a passing row boat
Cretan Huseyin Arnabudaki Kaptan finds Petri in the boat
Arnabudaki kaptan leaves Petri in a Sisam fisherman's village
Sisam Island Petri changes name to Kiryako
Sisam Island Petri in love with prostitute Aspasya
Sisam Island Avengers at Sisam and Kiryako knows that petri is in danger
Hristodolos is one of Kiryako's "beau"s
Sisam Island Escape from Sisam with Hristodolos
at sea Hristodolos agrees to take Petri to Mt. Athos
at sea Petri becomes Hristodolos' zenane
Mt. Athos Hristodolos becomes a monk

Thursday, June 01, 2006

1854-1875 | Petri the Knife

1854 Ayamavri
Petri's mother raped
1855 Ayamavri
Petri's birth
Mother works as a prostitute
Life with Petri
Mother has a client
Petri sent to Daskalos
Daskalos rapes Petri
Petri works at sailors café
Petri's mother killed
Petri lives at Daskalos' home
Ayamavri Murder #1 | Ispiro | Knife to the heart
Villagers support Petri
Lefteri takes Petri to his ship
Petri becomes Lefteri's zenane
Lefteri is a pirate
1872 at Sea
1873 at Sea
After 4 years as a zenane
Petri and Lefteri arrives to Galata
Murder #2 | Lefteri
Petri steals Lefteri's gem and gold belt
Kalopedi, a ruffian in a sailor's den
Murder #3 | Kalopedi | Gun murder
A bum introduces Zambo, the caviar vendor
Zambo finds an escape boat
Return to Ayamavri
Avangers after Petri
A fishermen helps Petri to escape
Petri goes to Catania
Petri goes to Trieste
Changes name to Pietri Mavri
Austrian Maritime Shipping hires Petri
Petri starts work as a stoker
at sea s/s Galicya

Costumes for Costak | 6

Cargees, or Watermen of the Bosphorus

Sketch in A Coffee-House, Constantinople

Seller of Sweetmeats, Constantinople
Sketches of character and costume in Constantinople, Ionian Islands &c. from the original drawings made on the spot by Capt'n. Forbes Mac Bean, 92nd Highlanders, lithographed by J. Sutcliffe (published 1854)

Costumes for Costak | 5

Greek bride from Pera (Turkey). 1799 & earlier
Published Date: 1859-1860 From Costumes anciens et modernes : habiti antichi e moderni di tutto il mondo. (Paris : Firmin Didot, 1859-1860.) Vecellio, Cesare (ca. 1521-1601), author.

Monastir ; Thessalien. Published Date: 1913

Costumes for Costak | 4

Greek woman late 19th--20th c.

Costumes for Costak | 3

Asia Minor-Pontus

Peloponnese- Mani

Costumes for Costak | 2

Greek Priest Constantinople 1878

Costumes for Costak | 1

Printed on border: "Trachten XX. Costumes XX." Written on border: "[fig.] 1. Greek Islands. [fig.] 2. Turkey in Europe. [fig.] 3. Druses, Turkey in Asia. [fig.] 4. Turkey in Asia."
Source: From Bilderbuch für Kinder : enthaltend eine angenehme Sammlung von Thieren, Pflanzen, Blumen, Fruchten, Mineralien, Trachten und allerhand andern unterrichtenden Gegenstanden aus dem Reiche der natur, der Kunste und Wissenschaften. (Weimar, Germany : Industrie-Comptoir, 1792-1843.) Bertuch, Friedrich Justin (1747-1822), author.

Costume that once belonged to an Aid-de-Camp of Capodistria, First Governor of Greece. Museum of Popular Art, Nafplio, Greece. Special features of this costume are the long foustanella and the silk turban worn by the wealthy around their fez. Over the red silk sash men wore a gold selachi finely embroidered.

This particular costume has three jackets: the inner ghileki, second the fermeli with sleeves worn properly (not thrown over the shoulders), and the fermeloto guileki worn on top.

Bride's costume, Attica, c. 1890, Museum of Folk Art, Athens

Life of Petri 1855-1880| An Ottoman Chronolgy

1853: Start of the Crimean War with Russia, which, though won with British, French and Sardinian aid, further demonstrated how backward the Ottoman military had become.
1856: Establishment of a united Romanian autonomous state.

Abdulmecid Ottoman sultan (ruled 1839-1861)
Abdülaziz Ottoman sultan (ruled 1861–76)

Balkan discontent was fanned by nationalist agitation supported by Serbia and by émigré Slav organizations. It culminated in uprisings largely of Christian peasants against Muslim lords in Bosnia and Herzegovina (July 1875) and in Bulgaria (August 1876). Ottoman efforts to suppress the uprisings led to war with Serbia and Montenegro (July 1876) and to attempts by European powers to force Ottoman reforms.
1876 : Occupation of Cyprus by Britain. Perhaps more significant than external changes were the internal political developments that brought about the first Ottoman constitution on Dec. 23, 1876

Mehmed Murad V Ottoman sultan (ruled May 30- August 31 1876).
Abdülhamid II Ottoman sultan (ruled 1876–1909)

(clipping above) Troops from Jerusalem arriving at Stamboul, Constantinople.

1877: Another war with Russia (Russo-Turkish War, 1877–1878).
1878: March 3 Treaty of San Stefano - recognition of Romanian and Serbian independence, as well as the establishment of an autonomous Bulgarian principality under nominal Ottoman protection. Austria-Hungary occupies Bosnia by default.
1881: As the Empire celebrates its 600th anniversary, Tunisia becomes a French colony. (December 1881) the Ottoman public debt was reduced from £191,000,000 to £106,000,000, certain revenues were assigned to debt service, and a European-controlled organization, the Ottoman Public Debt Administration (OPDA), was set up to collect the payments.

Palace of Venice, Constantinople

Austro Hungarian Embassy