Rethymno (Crete) Monasteries Foundations in the XVIIth and XVIIIth Centuries
Keywords: Crete, Rethymno, monasterie, foundation
Before modern times, the Ottoman Empire accepted Orthodox Christianity and Judaism as well as Islam as the official religions which should be preserved and protected. Within this framework, all necessary regulations so as to make these religions and their places of worship to continue their existence. One of these regulations is the foundations. However, despite the advanced organization of the Muslim foundations in which every detail was shaped, the Orthodox foundations never experienced such an organization. Abbey estates had a quite complicated legal base. Although the property of the abbeys is an acceptable and practical reality, the existence and management diagrams of the foundations had an unclear structure. As in the Balkans, it is possible to divide the abbey foundations in Rethymno into two in terms of establishment. First one is the former foundations which were comprised of the properties locked up in abbeys during the period of Venice and inherited from the successor. The second was the new foundations established in accordance with the Islamic law, for which the Orthodox reaya devote their goods to the monasteries and have Kadi courts approve this procedure. Some part of the foundation lands of the abbey was run by the monks, some part was run by a partnership with other person and some part was run by leasing to the free peasants.