Josef Strzygowski's ungedrucktes Ms. aus dem Jahre 1888 über den Heiligen Berg Athos

Main Article Content

Polychronis K. Enepekides


In 1888, at the age of 26, Joseph Strzygowsky, the subsequently famous
art historian of the University of Vienna, visited Mount Athos for the first
time, and stayed there for seven weeks. The present study is the first publication of his detailed report about his research in the monasteries of Athos.
The manuscript of this report still lies unpublished in the State Archives of
Vienna (Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv. PA XII. Türkei, Karton 276, Liasse
XXVII) among a great mass of other official documents mainly concerning
Russian infiltration in the area of Mount Athos. Its author had been ordered
by the Austrian government to give an on-the-spot account of the situation
in this sensitive area with regard to the spread of the tenets of Pan-Slavism.
Leaving aside the Strzygowski report’s probable impact on Austrian
policy towards Mount Athos, it comprises a complete description of Mount
Athos with respect to its physical geography, flora, road network, anchorages,
and future ports. The Vienna delegate’s main contribution lies in his account
of the internal history of the monasteries and the constitution of the monastic
republic. He was especially concerned with the problem of nationalities and
the obvious infiltration of the Russian element, which was doing its utmost
to replace the other nationalities and particularly the Greeks, who were
numerous. In the brief table at the end of the report, Strzygowski’s general
conclusions about Athos a century ago are expressed in numerical terms.

Article Details