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Two Graffiti of Sailing Vessels at Paliachora on Aigina1

  • E. Stamatatou (a1)


Graffiti have been found in a number of the churches in the medieval town of Paliachora on Aigina and elsewhere on the island. Recently two graffiti of sailing vessels were noted in the church of Agioi Anargyroi in Paliachora and it is suggested that their presence may be related to the maritime activities of the medieval inhabitants, pirate raids on the town, and the beliefs of fishermen and sailors.



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2 Kyrou, A., ‘Περιπλανήσεις αγίων λειψάνων ϰαι μία άγνωστη ϰαστροπολιτεία στον Αργολιϰό’. Πελοποννησιαϰά, xxi (1995), 97–48, at 115.

3 In the local dialect the names Αὶγενα and Αιγενὶτης are still in use.

4 Moutsopoulos, N., ᾙ Παληαχώρα τῆζ Αἰγίνηζ (Athens, 1962), 30.

5 G. D. R. Sanders, ‘Two Kastra on Melos and their relations in the Archipelago’The Archaeology of Medieval Greece (Oxbow Monograph 59, 1996).

6 Moutsopoulos (n. 4), 276.

7 Furtwängler, A., Aegina: das Heiligtum der Aphaia (Munich, 1906), 163 n. 4.

8 Gitakos, M., ᾈνέϰδοτοι ἐπιγραφαὶ ϰαὶ χαράγματα Βυζαντινῶν ϰαἰ μεταβυζαντινῶν μνημείων τῆζ Έλλάδος (Corpus ὲπιγρραφῶν ϰαὶ χαργμάτων; Athens, 1957), 58, pl. 51.

9 The surname Ghaldaios is still used in Aigina.

10 In the church of Agios Nikolaos at Paliachora is incised a similar inscription: ῾῾Αϊ Νιχὸλα θαυματουργὲ. Χριστὲ μου σῶσὲ μας ἀπὸ τοὺς χουρσαὶους 2 Αβγοὺστου 1572 Gitakos (n. 8)59.

11 Concina, E., Navis (Turin, 1990), fig. 72.

12 Tzamtzi, A., ‘Ναυτιϰοί, ϰαράβια ϰαὶ λμυάνια’ in National Bank of Greece, Ἑλληνιϰῂ Ἐμποριϰὴ Ναυτιλία (1453–1850) (Athens, 1972), 57178, at 117.

13 Ovcharov, N., Ships and Shipping in the Black Sea XIV-XIX Centuries (Sofia, 1993), figs. 8, 10, 86; Gitakos, M., Συμβολὴ εἰζ τήν μελήτην ϰαὶ έρμηνείαν τῶν ἀϰιδογραφημάτων (Athens, 1956), figs. 4, 16; A. Karakatsani, ῾Ναυτιχὰ θὲματα στὴν Μεταβυζαντινὴ Τὲχνη χαὶ στὴν Δυτιχὴ Χαραχτιχἢ in National Bank of Greece (n. 12), 233–70, figs. 160–1.

14 E. Dummer, A voyage into the Mediterranean Seas containing (by way of journal) the views & descriptions of such remarkable lands, cities, towns, and Arsenals finished in the year 1685.

15 Tsamtzi (n. 12), fig. 69 (‘barca Genovese’).

16 G. Leon, ‘Μεσαιωνιϰὰ Ἐμποριϰὴ Ναυτιλία’, in National Bank of Greece (n. 12), 13–56, at 31.

17 Goudas, M., ‘Μεσαιωνιϰὰ χαράγματα πλοίων ἐπί του Θησείου’, Βυζαντίς, ii (1911), 329–57.

18 Delouka, K., Inventaires des graffiti navals des églises byzantines et post-byzantines, Mémoires de D.E.A. (1991), pp. i—ii.

19 Ovcharov (n. 13), III.

20 Maltezou, Ch., “Αγνωσταὶ εἰδήσεις περὶ μητροφάνους Μονεμβασίας’, Θησαυρίσματα, 5–6 (19681969), 3244.

21 Μιχαἠλ Ἀϰομινάτον τοῦ Χωνιάτοτ τἀ σωζμενα ed. Lambros, Sp. P., ii (Athens, 1880), 43, 75; cf. Ahrweiler, H., Byzance et la mer (Paris, 1966), 288.

22 Krandonelli, A., Ιστορία τηζ Πειρατείαζ (Athens, 1991), 123.

23 Ibid. 449.

24 Boblay, M. Puillon, Description d'êgine (Paris, 1835), 35.

25 Krandonelli (n. 22), 129.

26 Satha, K., Εἰδῆσεις τινὲζ περὶ Ἐμπορίου Φορολογίας ἐν Ἐλλάδι ἐπὶ Τουρϰοϰρατίας (Athens, 1977), 48.

1 This article is the first presentation of the two graffiti and a small contribution to the study of Byzantine and post-Byzantine graffiti of sailing vessels. I should like to thank Dr Kostas Damianidis for his help in the typological characterization of the two sailing vessels.

Two Graffiti of Sailing Vessels at Paliachora on Aigina1

  • E. Stamatatou (a1)


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