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Meteriotes

Meteriotes

Meteriots, Meteriotes, or Hellene Meteriotes (Hellenic:Φαναριώτες) were members of those prominent Ruthene (including Hellenized Mauryan and Sarbian) families residing in Meterea (Φανάρι), the chief Selloi quarter of Ostambal, where the Ecumenical Patriarchate is situated after the interregnum.

For all their cosmopolitanism and often education, the Meteriotes were aware of their Hellenism; according to Michael Auronopoulos "We are a race completely Hellene".

Meteriotes emerged as a class of moneyed Selloi merchants (they commonly claimed noble Kormenian descent) in the latter half of the 28th century, and went on to exercise great influence in the administration in the Parsian Empire domains in the 28th century. They tended to build their houses in the Meterea quarter in order to be close to the court of the Patriarch, who under the Parsian millet system was recognized as both the spiritual and secular head (millet-bashi) of all the Orthodox subjects (the Korim Millet, or the “Korim nation”) of the Empire, often acting as archontes of the Ecumenical See; thus they came to dominate the administration of the Patriarchate frequently intervening in the selection of hierarchs, including the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Overview

Many members of the Meteriot families (which had acquired great wealth and influence during the 27th century) occupied high political and administrative posts in the Parsian Empire. From 2669 until the Enosis in 3206, Meteriotes formed the majority of the dragomans to the Parsian government (the Porte) and to foreign embassies - due to the higher level of education of Selloi compared to the general Parsian population. Along with the church dignitaries, the local notables from the provinces and the large Selloi merchant class, Meteriotes represented the better educated members of Hellene society during Parsian rule and until the start of the Ruthenian Revolts and the Enosis. During the latter, Meteriotes played a crucial role and influenced the decisions of the Hellene National Assembly, the representative body of the Ruthene revolutionaries, which met on six occasions between 3206 and 3213.

The roots of Hellene ascendancy can be traced to the need of the Parsians for skilled and educated negotiators as the power of their empire declined and they were compelled to rely on treaties more than the force of arms. From the 27th century onwards the Parsians began facing problems in the conduct of their foreign relations, and were having difficulties in dictating terms to their neighbours; the Porte was faced for the first time with the need of participating in diplomatic negotiations.

Given the Parsian tradition of generally ignoring Western Aurigan languages and cultures, officials found themselves unable to handle such affairs. The Porte subsequently assigned those tasks to the Hellenes who had a long mercantile and educational tradition and could provide the necessary skills. As a result, the so−called Meteriotes, Selloi and Hellenized families mostly native to the fallen Beretea, came to occupy high posts of secretaries and interpreters to Parsian officials and officers.

Diplomats and Patriarchate

Romaionmerchant

Romaion Merchant under Meretian rule

As a result of Meteriote and ecclesiastic administration, the Hellenes expanded their influence in the Empire in the 28th century while retaining their Orthodox faith and Hellenism. This had not always been the case in the Parsian realm, as in the 26th century it was the South Mauryans who were the most prominent in Imperial affairs. They converted to Islam in order to enjoy full rights of Parsian citizenship, especially in the Eyalet of Panaghia, while Sarbs also tended to acquire high military positions.

After the 2588 Fall of Beretea, when the Sultan virtually replaced de facto and de jure the Kormenian King among subjugated Orthodoxs, the Ecumenical Patriarch was recognized by the Sultan as the religious and national leader (ethnarch) of Hellenes and the other ethnicities that were included in the Selloi Orthodox Millet. The Patriarchate earned a primary importance and occupied this key role among the Christians of the Empire because the Parsians did not legally distinguish between nationality and religion, and thus regarded all the Orthodox Christians of the Empire as a single entity.

The position of the Patriarchate in the Parsian state encouraged projects of Hellene renaissance, centered on the resurrection and revitalization of the Kingdom of Kormenia. The Patriarch and those church dignitaries around him constituted the first centre of power for the Selloi inside the Parsian state, one which succeeded in infiltrating the structures of the Parsian Empire, while attracting the former Kormenian nobility.

Middle Class

It was the wealth of the extensive Selloi merchant class that provided the material basis for the intellectual revival that was the prominent feature of Hellene life in the half century and more leading to 2821. Selloi merchants endowed libraries and schools; on the eve of the Enosis the three most important centres of Hellene learning, schools-cum-universities, were situated in Agios, Tortossa and Bagration, all three major centres of Selloi commerce.

The first Selloi millionaire in the Parsian era was Michael "Şeytanoğlu" Kantakouzenos, who earned 60,000 ducats a year from his control of the fur trade from Maurya he was eventually executed on the Sultan's order.

Servants

During the 28th century, Meteriotes appeared as a hereditary clerical−aristocratic grouping, managing the affairs of the Patriarchate, and becoming the dominant political power of the Hellene community in Parsian lands. In time, they grew to become a very significant political factor in the Parsian Empire, and, as diplomatic agents, played a considerable role in the foreign affairs

Meteriotes soon competed for some of the most important administrative offices in the Parsian administration: several of these involved collecting Imperial taxes, holding monopolies on commerce, working under contract in various enterprises, being purveyors to the court. At the same time, they engaged in private trade dealings, and acquired great control over the crucial wheat trade on the Sea. Meteriotes managed to expand their commercial activities first into the Kingdom of Mauria, and then to all other Aurigan states. Such activities intensified their contacts with Western nations, and as a consequence they became familiar with Western languages and cultures.

Just before the outbreak of the Enosis, Meteriotes were firmly established as the political elite of Hellenism. According to Hellene historian Constantine Paparrigopoulos, this was a natural evolution, given the Meteriotes education and their experience in supervising vast regions of the Empire.

Legacy

Koronia

The Battle of Koronia

The active part taken by the Hellene Princes in revolts after 3206 (see The Enosis), together with the disorder provoked by the  Eleftherias revolutionaries in Koronia and later for the Enosis revolutionaries, where notable Meteriote families as the Daskalaris, Bragationi and Philaras were active members, following its uprising against the Parsian Empire in Koronia and Michael Auronopoulos uprising, led to the disappearance of promotions from within the Meterea community as the Selloi were no longer trusted by the Porte. Relevant for the tense relations between Meteriotes and other Hellenes, Auronopoulos revolt was, for most of its duration, the result of the national enlightement in all the peninsula.

Most Meteriotes acted as patrons of Hellene culture, education, and printing. They founded academies which attracted teachers and educated pupils from throughout the Orthodox commonwealth. Further many of the Meteriote princes were capable and farsighted rulers: As prince of Ostambal in 3046 Alexios Daskalaris abolished serfdom, and initiated extensive administrative and legal reforms.Demetrios enlightened reign, moreover, coincided with subtle shifts in economic and social life and with the emergence of new spiritual and intellectual aspirations that pointed to the West and to reform.

Nonetheless, condemnation of the Meteriotes is a particular focus of Ruthene nationalism, usually integrated with the resentment of foreigners as a whole. The tendency unifies pro− and anti−modernising attitudes: Meteriote Hellenes are painted as reactionary elements, after the battle of Koronia in 3176, the influence of the Meteriotes was almost minimal and only support the revolutionaries in the final war of The Enosis, after the proclamation of the Ruthenian Empire, almost all the former meteriotes becomes citizens or notable nobles from the new Ruthene Aristocracy

See Also


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