The sources

The sources I have used for Project COPIS are preserved in the Ottoman Archives of the Prime Minister’s Office at Istanbul (Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi) and date from the period of the first Ottoman conquest of the Peloponnese (1460) to 1780. They include the census and tax registers (Tapu Tahrir Defterleri) which, provided they are detailed (Mufassal), inform us about the type of landholdings, the number of taxable households, the religion and sometimes the ‘ethnicity’ of the inhabitants, the names of tax-payers, the kind of crops cultivated, the quantities of crops produced and the taxes related to each kind of produce. Apart from agricultural production, the registers give information on other economic activities, such as fishing, bee-keeping and silk production, as well as on number and types of mills, which are differentiated according to their source of energy (i.e. water, wind etc.) and the products they milled. In the synoptic registers (İcmal) are listed only the names of those who receive the revenues of the villages, although sometimes the total number of tax-payers is also mentioned along with the number of estates and the sizes of land properties. Another category of sources constitute the lists of holders of fiefs or timars and military personnel (Zeamet, Yoklama), and also the catalogues of registers of non-Muslim tax-payers who paid the poll-tax (cizye) which was renewed every four years. 

In addition to the above I used sources such as Bâb-ı Defterî Mevkufat Kalemi Defterleri, Cevdet Maliye, Cevdet Tasnifi Askeriye, Kamil Kepeci, Maliyeden Müdevver Defter and documents from the Topkapı Sarayı in order to get a more detailed picture of the kaza of Corinth in the 17th and 18th century. Here it should be mentioned that the nature of these sources allows us to gain information only on individuals who were liable to taxation, on the practiced trades and on crops cultivated in the villages and hamlets both within the framework of the fief system and within that of the special regime that applied to certain districts, for example the mountain pass (Derbend) villages. I have also used the published sources from the Venetian Archives, which supplement our view of the situation of the area.

Seyyed Mohammad Taghi Shariat-Panahi

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