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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 9 May 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 9 MAY 2015 27 OPINION principality of Theodoro which is now known as Inkerman. Apart from the aforementioned Prince Demetrios, we know of the rulers of Theodoro, mainly through Russian chroniclers. The prince Stephen, known as "Stepan Vasilyevich Khovra", emigrated to Moscow in 1391 along with his son, Gregory. They became monks, with Gregory going on to found the Simonov Monastery in Moscow. In modern times, the Russian noble families of Khovrin and Golovin claimed descent from them. In Theodoro, Stephen was succeeded by another son, Alexios I, who ruled until his death in 1447. Alexios' heir was his eldest son Ioannis, who was married to Maria Asanina, a lady connected to the Byzantine imperial dynasty of the Palaiologoi and the royal family of Bulgaria, showing just how international in scope the principality was. The couple had a son, also named Alexios, who died young in Trebizond, indicating that as was the Byzantine practice, the princes of Theodoro would send their children to Trebizond to be educated. His epitaph, titled "To the Prince's son" (τῷ Αὐθεντοπούλῳ) was composed by John Eugenikos, the brother of Saint Mark Eugenikos who was resident for a time in the Empire of Trebizond. Such was the prestige of Theodoro, that Alexios was also able to marry off his daughter, Maria, to the last Trebizondian emperor, David. Alexios was then suc- ceeded, by his son, who was given the Mongolian/Turkish name of Olubei. No mention of Olubei exists in any records after 1458, with Genoese documents only mentioning "the lord of Theodoro and his brothers" (dominus Tedori et fratres ejus). Yet the Principality outlasted its suzerain, the Empire of Trebizond falling to the Ottomans in 1461. In 1465, a prince Isaac is mentioned, who in the face of the mounting Ottoman danger, engaged in a rapprochement with the Genoese at the nearby colony of Caffa and wed his sister Maria to Stephen the Great, ruler of Moldavia. However, his increasingly pro-Ottoman stance in the later years of his reign caused his brother Alexander to overthrow him. Despite this, Theodoro was powerless to arrest the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. In December 1475, after con- quering the other Christian strongholds along the Crimean coast, the Ottomans captured the city after a threemonth siege. Alexander and his family were taken captive to Constantinople, where the prince was beheaded, his son was forcibly converted to Islam, and his wife and daughters became part of the Sultan's harem. The rulers of Theodoro appear to have been members of the Gabras family, an important Byzantine family with Aramaic roots, which became especially prominent in the late 11th and early 12th centuries as the semi-independent and quasi-hereditary rulers of Chaldia, a region in the Pontian hinterland. The last notable members of the family are mentioned in Constantinople during the early centuries of the Ottoman Empire, where Cyril Gabras acted as the megas skeuophylax of the Patriarchate in 1604. Other family members are attested in Crete and the Aegean islands. An unnamed Gabras held lands in Santorini in the early 17th century and numerous Gabrades are to be found at Chios and in Crete, especially around Siteia, until the early 19th century. Any assessment of Pontian history would be lacking if it did not take into account the internationalist in outlook and broadly inclusive social fabric of the Empire of Trebizond, as is evidenced by the Principality of Theodoro. Its brief yet fascinating existence attests to a continuous presence of the Greek language in the region for millennia, a presence that was sorely tried and diminished during the twentieth and twenty-first century. *Dean Kalymniou is a Melbourne solicitor and freelance journalist more hours. Like, don't you think the food will get cold by then?" “Shhh! Get out of the way," she would say as she scuttled past me with a bowl of olives. "I haven't got time to chat with you now." It's a thing of beauty, really. She's a funny little woman sometimes. She loves her religion. She loves her housework and she loves her family. I often think how some people really do settle for a lot less out of life. My mother is no different to countless other migrant women. Their whole purpose of life seems to evolve around serving the men they married. Imagine that. These women work seven days a week, 365 days a year without sick leave, compo or holidays or any formal recognition of skills. I mean, this job sucks. So tonight before you go to bed, phone your mother and tell her you love her. And when she says, "sorry - who speaking please?" Tell her it's you. That should relieve the shock a bit. Mind you, if you still live at home with your mum, then don't bother to phone. The number will be engaged. See her in person. But isn't it amazing. I used to almost dread Christmas and birthdays because of all the kissing you had to do. I wasn't used to kissing family and relatives. I'm not sure if it's a Greek thing. I could kiss a thousand strangers quicker than give my sisters a peck on the cheek. Strange, isn't it? I used to get minor anxiety attacks before a dear old auntie from abroad was about to visit. Here's the thing. You're at the airport waiting. Your palms are getting sweaty. You have rehearsed this scene a thousand times in your head. You remind yourself to look her straight in the eyes, shake her hand, tilt your head, move Have Your Say LAST WEEK’S QUESTION: Do you think the death penalty is an effective way to deter crime? 36 % YES 64 % NO THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Who do you think will win the Hyundai A-League championship? Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City, Sydney FC, Adelaide Untied Vote online now. Go to neoskosmos.com Published by Ethnic Publications Pty Ltd (ABN: 13005 255 087) of 169 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122. Printed by Rural Press Printing, Ballarat. 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Editor-in-Chief: Sotiris Hatzimanolis Graphic Design: Peter Kelidis Fotis Petsinis Contributors: Dora Kitinas-Gogos Christopher Gogos Journalists: Proof Reader: Angela Costanzo Helen Velissaris, Michael Sweet, Nelly Skoufatoglou, Anastasia Tsirtsakis, Alexandra Manatakis forward and quickly kiss her right cheek. But is it two kisses or three. What is the protocol for visiting relatives? You start to panic. And then suddenly she appears out of Gate 1. She's approaching fast. Remember, keep your mouth closed, move forward and aim for the right cheek. She's smiling now, her arms outstretched. Shake her hand, right cheek. But wait, she tricks you. She turns to face the other way. You lunge forward. Careless. Awkward. Clumsy. You either get a mouthful of her peroxide hair, or your mouth swallows the wart at the end of her chin. So on behalf of all the Greek men, the fathers and the sons who have stuffed their faces at the dinner table without as much as a word or even a small gesture of gratitude - I would like to say “THANK YOU” to the Greek women for their unrelenting service and selfsacrifice. Thanks mum.
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