Venetians and Greeks - The Defense of Corfù previous 2/5 next

Corfù: the Greek and Latin churches


In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries another central concern of the governors sent to Corfù was that of the relationship between the Greek and Roman Catholic clergies. A Latin-rite archbishop of the same rite followed by the bishops of Zante  and Cephalonia  was sent to Corfù . The same hierarchical structure operated in the Greek clergy, and the Greek Orthodox pope , who presided over the bishops of Zante and Cephalonia, corresponded to the Latin archbishop in Corfù. Subordinate to this governing structure was the parochial clergy, a numerous Greek contingent which was widely spread throughout the countryside, where there were few followers of the Latin rite. These last were instead primarily concentrated in the city of Corfù, its fortress, and the ships of the fleet. These contrasting styles, traditions, and languages were reflected on countless public occasions, in both religious rites and civil ceremonies. An example in point was the dispute over precedence at the arrival of a new Provveditore Generale , involving a controversy over who was to be the first to pay him homage. These were conflicts and demands that rarely reached the courts and city councils, which were resolved instead by the practical mediation of the Provveditore in loco. In 1632, for example, Provveditore Vendramin settled a dispute which might have had dangerous consequences. This involved Greeks and Latins, who both felt strongly about the removal of the relics of Sant'Arsenio, from the old cathedral located in the citadel, to the new cathedral of San Giacomo built in the city.

start toc back

previous 2/5 next

Viaggio virtuale tra le fonti storiche veneziane
Rotta: Venezia e il Levante (sec XV - sec XVIII)
© 1996 by the VENIVA consortium