Show Less
Restricted access

From «Pax Ottomanica» to «Pax Europaea»

The growth and decline of a Greek village’s micro-economy


Dimitrios Konstadakopulos

The macroeconomic development of south-eastern Europe has been profoundly affected not only by the region’s major historical events – for example, liberation from the Ottoman Empire, the outbreak of civil wars, and the birth of new nations – but also by global events, such as the world-wide conflicts of the twentieth century, and the recent transnational processes of globalisation and European integration. The rationale of this book is to employ a comprehensive micro-history – that is, the history of one particular community: in this case, the village of Tsamantas, in north-western Greece – as a means of providing a detailed picture that will permit extrapolation to a wider context. Situated in one of the most isolated parts of the region of Epirus, Tsamantas has a complex history and a rich folk culture. At times, it has been a textbook example of how decision-making within a community can impact upon the success of the local economy. Its inhabitants have been rational problem-solvers, with a sense of what is in their family’s best interests, rather than passive victims of circumstance, and their choices at critical points in the village’s history have resulted either in growth or decline. The author focuses his groundbreaking analysis on these choices, drawing upon publications, archived materials, and illuminating oral accounts of local events.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access



At the start of the twentieth century, the geopolitical map of south-east Europe was very different from the one we know today. For one thing, Albania had not yet been created, and what is now its southernmost territory was part of a region – an outpost of the vast Ottoman Empire – that bore the name of Epirus. But victory in the First Balkan War (1912–1913) against the Ottomans resulted in the region’s independence, and the subsequent division of its territory between Greece and the newly created state of Albania. The land subsumed by Greece continued to be known as Epirus.1 Its predominantly Greek-speaking population had long cherished the hope of joining the free Greek state, and the fulfilment of their objective was an occasion for joyous celebration. However, the new region of Epirus was very much an economically backward area, described by Yotopoulos, a perceptive observer of its development, as having a ‘conclave’ economy, due to both its geographical isolation and the belatedness of its unification with Greece (1967: 36). Furthermore, it was frequently the focus of world attention during the first half of the twentieth century, due to major battles contested on its stage: not only the war of liberation, but the longer and more devastating conflicts of the 1940s. In recent years, however, Epirus has started to emerge as a wealthier and more stable region, but still the poorest in the European Union before the accession of Romania and Bulgaria in 2007 – an achievement unthinkable a...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.