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The First Ottoman Occupation Of Macedonia (Ca. 1383–Ca. 1403): Some Remarks On Land Ownership, Property Transactions And Justice

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Chapter Summary

The first Ottoman conquest of Macedonia was accomplished between 1383, the date of the capture of Serres, and 1387, the date of Thessaloniki’s surrender. It lasted until 1403, when Thessaloniki along with Chalkidiki and the western Strymon valley was recuperated by the Byzantines, in accordance with the treaties the latter concluded with the Ottomans. This chapter makes some remarks, formulates some hypotheses and asks further questions on the issues of land ownership, legal order and justice in Macedonia between 1383 and 1403, by using the documentation from Mount Athos and the Patriarchate. It explains the evidence concerning land possession and ownership in this period. It then focuses on two kinds of documents that inform us on legal practices: contracts, mostly concerning land acquisition, and court decisions, again largely regarding property disputes. More than half of the preserved documents from this period belong to one of these two types of documents.

Keywords: Byzantines; court decisions; first Ottoman conquest; land ownership; legal practices; Macedonia; property disputes; Serres; western Strymon valley



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