Elizabeth A. Zachariadou, Professor Emerita of the University of Crete and Honorary Researcher at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (IMS/FORTH), passed away in Athens, Greece, on December 26, 2018, at the age of 87. Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1931, she studied at the School of Philosophy of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, pursued graduate studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, under Paul Wittek, whom she greatly respected throughout her life, and received her Ph.D. from the Faculty of Philosophy of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Between 1960 and 1969 she worked at the Center for Byzantine Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation. She participated in the movement against the military dictatorship that ruled Greece in 1967–74, and was forced as a result of her political activism to flee to Canada in 1969. While in Canada, she taught classes at the Universities of Montreal, Sherbrooke, and McGill University. In 1985, she was appointed Associate Professor of Turkish Studies at the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Crete, in Rethymno, Greece. She became full professor in 1989 and retired in 1998. Together with Professor Vassilis Demetriades, she established Rethymno as an internationally distinguished center for the research and teaching of Ottoman history. She divided her research and teaching between the University of Crete and the IMS/FORTH, where she served as Collaborating Faculty Member. In 1988 Zachariadou and Demetriades established the Graduate Program in Turkish Studies at the IMS/FORTH, the first, and still the only, of its kind in Greece. Now known as the Graduate Program in Ottoman History, it is jointly run by the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Crete and the IMS/FORTH. Zachariadou also founded and remained the soul of the Halcyon Days in Crete Symposia of Ottoman History, which has been held every three years since 1991 at the IMS/FORTH. She also headed the research team that publishes summary Greek translations of the kadı court registers of Heraklion (Ott. Kandiye) that are kept at the local Vikelaia Municipal Library. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Ankara in 1990, and had been a member of Academia Europaea since 1993. She sat on the editorial board of the journal Archivum Ottomanicum, the international advisory committee of the journal Turcica, and the advisory board of the book series The Ottoman Empire and its Heritage (Brill). Volume 23 (2005/06) of Archivum Ottomanicum was published in her honor. The volume entitled The Eastern Mediterranean under Ottoman Rule: Crete, 1645–1840. Halcyon Days in Crete VI, ed. Antonis Anastasopoulos (Rethymno: Crete University Press, 2008) was also dedicated to her and Professor Demetriades.
Zachariadou is the author and editor of many books: Το Χρονικό των Τούρκων Σουλτάνων (του Βαρβɛρινού Ελλην. Κώδικα 111) και το ιταλικό του πρότυπο [The Chronicle of the Turkish Sultans (cod. Barberinianus Graecus 111) and its Italian original] (1960); Trade and Crusade: Venetian Crete and the Emirates of Menteshe and Aydin (1300–1415) (1983); Ιστορία και θρύλοι των παλαιών σουλτάνων (1300–1400) [History and legends of the old Sultans, 1300–1400] (1991; second ed.: 1999); (ed.) The Ottoman Emirate (1300–1389). Halcyon Days in Crete I (1993; Turkish translation: Osmanlı Beyliği (1300–1389), 1997); Δέκα τουρκικά έγγραφα για την Μɛγάλη Εκκλησία (1483–1567) [Ten Turkish documents for the Great Church (1483–1567) (1996); (ed.) The Via Egnatia under Ottoman Rule (1380–1699). Halcyon Days in Crete II (1996; Turkish translation: Sol Kol. Osmanlı Egemenliğinde Via Egnatia (1380–1699), 1999); (ed.) Natural Disasters in the Ottoman Empire. Halcyon Days in Crete III (1999; Turkish translation: Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nda Doğal Afetler, 2001); (ed.) The Kapudan Pasha: His Office and his Domain. Halcyon Days in Crete IV (2002); (ed.) Ιɛροδικɛίο Ηρακλɛίου [Kadı Court of Heraklion], volumes 2, parts I & II-5 (2003–2014); (with Gülsün Ayvali and Antonis Xanthynakis) Το Χρονικό των Ουγγροτουρκικών Πολέμων (1443–1444) [The Chronicle of the Hungarian-Turkish Wars (1443–1444)] (2005); (with Anthony Luttrell), Sources for Turkish History in the Hospitallers’ Rhodian Archive, 1389–1422 (2009); (with Nicolas Vatin and Gilles Veinstein) Catalogue du fonds ottoman des archives du Monastère de Saint-Jean à Patmos. Les vingt-deux premies dossiers (2011). She published over 100 articles in academic journals, edited volumes, and reference works, 42 of which have been reprinted in two volumes: Romania and the Turks (c. 1300 – c. 1500) (1985); Studies in Pre-Ottoman Turkey and the Ottomans (2007).
Elizabeth A. Zachariadou was justly considered a leading authority in matters related to the medieval Anatolian emirates, early Ottoman history, the Greek Orthodox ecclesiastical institutions, and Muslim–Christian relations, but her numerous publications span a much wider spectrum of topics. She was an erudite and passionate scholar with a great and internationally acknowledged contribution to Ottoman history, and a very generous person. She established Ottoman history as a distinct field of research and teaching in Greece, and trained generations of young Ottomanists. She was always available to offer help and advice to her younger colleagues and students. In 2016, she donated her personal library to the Institute for Mediterranean Studies. She will always be remembered with affection and great respect.
She was married to the late Nicolas Oikonomides, eminent Byzantinist historian. She is survived by two daughters and a granddaughter.