Ottomanizing Symbols, Projecting Ottoman Imperial Power: The Archbishops of Cyprus and the Regalia Privileges

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Michalis N. Michael

Abstract

According to tradition, and not historical sources, the Byzantine emperor Zeno granted to the Archbishop of Cyprus, Anthemios, and his successors three important privileges; the right to carry a gold orbed sceptre, to wear a robe in imperial purple and to sign his official documents with imperial red ink. The main argument of this paper is that the use of the archbishop’s regalia privileges on a first level and the effort to promote a Greek-speaking civilization in Ottoman Cyprus, from the second half of the 18th century and onwards, are part of an effort to differentiate, but not cancel the Ottoman character of the political power of the clergy and, accordingly, the Ottoman character of the island. In such a framework it seems that these symbols used by the archbishop of Cyprus reproduce the Ottoman — and not the non-Ottoman — character of political power in Cyprus and maintain, if not reinforce, an Ottoman reality for the island.

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How to Cite
Michael, M. N. (2021). Ottomanizing Symbols, Projecting Ottoman Imperial Power: The Archbishops of Cyprus and the Regalia Privileges. Chronos, 41, 37-62. https://doi.org/10.31377/chr.v41i.688
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Articles in English