Anti-Jewish Greek literature in late Medieval Crete (15th c.)

The aim of this project is to explore the unknown literary tradition of anti-Jewish Greek texts linked to the island of Crete during the 15th century. The deliverables of this work will partially fill the knowledge gaps for a) anti-Jewish literature in the Levant during the late Byzantine and early post-Byzantine period, b) the historical context in the literature surrounding the coexistence of Christians and Jews in a key cultural centre of the eastern Mediterranean (Crete under Venetian rule, and c) the contribution of Crete to the production of anti-Jewish texts in the 15th century.

To accomplish the above, the investigator will:

  • Research the literature tracks of acceptance by the local bipolar religious society.
  • Investigate the interest, not only in composing, but also in transcribing Greek anti-Jewish texts (e.g. St. John Chrysostom, Euthymios Zigabenus etc.), in comparison with the wider “antirretical” tendency against the Latins in Crete during the Late-Byzantine Era (Joseph Filagris, Joseph Bryennios, Neilos Damilas etc.);
  • Deliver enriched prosopographical records of the local society, aiming to present the religious landscape of anti-Jewish authors, readers and scribes;
  • Present an editio princeps of the anti-Jewish treatises of unionist Manuel Savios and the Orthodox monk Athanasios, and introduce other essays found to be significant to my research; and
  • Prepare a checklist of the anti-Jewish Greek manuscripts produced in Crete during the 15th century.


Dr. Eleftherios Despotakis

B. Cultural Contacts and Cultural Transfer